cover image Proud Sorrows: A Billy Boyle WWII Mystery

Proud Sorrows: A Billy Boyle WWII Mystery

James R. Benn. Soho Crime, $27.99 (360p) ISBN 978-1-64129-415-7

Murderous tensions rock a quiet corner of the English countryside in Benn’s masterful 18th Billy Boyle mystery (following 2022’s From the Shadows). In 1944, Boston cop turned U.S. Army captain Boyle is en route to Norfolk, England, for a vacation at the country home of his girlfriend, Diana, and her father, Sir Richard Seaton. When he arrives, the locals put him on edge, acting secretive and uneasy in ways he can’t quite place. After a storm, a crashed German bomber with the corpse of a long-missing local Englishman in the pilot’s seat washes ashore, causing pandemonium heightened by the fact that the area is home to one of the royal family’s country estates. Ordered to investigate by the commander of a nearby POW facility, Boyle clashes with a British chief inspector who despises “Yanks” and with Norfolk residents who don’t take kindly to questions about their private lives. Benn combines the best elements of traditional small-town mysteries and WWII thrillers, developing a firm sense of place and never letting the suspense flag. This long-running series shows no signs of fatigue. Agent: Paula Munier, Talcott Notch Literary. (Sept.)