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Blue Madonna: A Billy Boyle WWII Mystery    by James R. Benn order for
Blue Madonna
by James R. Benn
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This latest mystery featuring Billy Boyle and set during the Second World War unfolds in May, 1944, as Captain Boyle, and Kaz (Lieutenant Piotr Augustus Kazimierz of the Polish Army-in-Exile) set off on another dangerous secret assignment. The two men are sent into occupied France to connect with the underground and get a downed airman back to England safely so he will testify against a group of black-market profiteers who are stealing and selling military supplies.

The assignment will also reunite Billy with Diana Seaton, his former girlfriend and a member of Churchill's spy and sabotage outfit, who is working with the French underground and has been keeping an eye on a group of downed Allied airmen.

They are flown into France just as the D-Day invasion is occurring, and there's plenty of excitement in the countryside when Billy arrives. Complicating the operation is the fact that someone begins to kill some of the American, Canadian and British airmen who are being hidden in the underground maze of a safe house outside of Chaumont.

Besides unmasking the traitor in their midst responsible for the murders, Billy will have to get the targeted airman back to London so he can help derail the criminals who are profiteering from selling much needed military supplies. This is a tough assignment for the former Boston cop who has been using his investigative skills to solve the cases his superiors have tasked him with since he joined the military.

An unusual scenario has made this popular series a hit with those who enjoy not only an intriguing investigation headed by Billy but also assignments that take Billy and his buddies to the major theaters of the war. In fact, as this latest episode ends it appears Billy may well have a ringside seat for the final push across Europe as the Allies charge towards Germany and the defeat of Hitler's forces.

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