A Blind Goddess (Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Series #8)

A Blind Goddess (Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Series #8)

by James R. Benn
4.1 14


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A Blind Goddess (Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Series #8) by James R. Benn

March, 1944: US Army Lieutenant Billy Boyle, back in England after a dangerous mission in Italy, is due for a little R&R, and also a promotion. But the now-Captain Boyle doesn't get to kick back and enjoy his leisure time because two upsetting cases fall into his lap at once.

The first is a personal request from an estranged friend: Sergeant Eugene "Tree" Jackson, who grew up with Billy in Boston, is part of the 617th Tank Destroyers, the all-African American battalion poised to make history by being the US Army's first combatant African American company. But making history isn't easy, and the 617 faces racism at every turn. One of Tree's men, a gunner named Angry Smith, has been arrested for a crime he almost certainly didn't commit, and faces the gallows if the real killer isn't found. Tree knows US top brass won't care about justice in this instance, and asks Billy if he'll look into it.

But Billy can't use any of his leave to investigate, because British intelligence agent Major Cosgrove puts him on a bizarre and delicate case. A British accountant has been murdered in an English village, and he may or may not have had some connection with the US Army—Billy doesn't know, because Cosgrove won't tell him. Billy is supposed to go into the village and investigate the murder, but everything seems fishy—he's not allowed to interrogate certain key witnesses, and his friends and helpers keep being whisked away. Billy is confused about whether Cosgrove even wants him to solve the murder, and why.

The good news is the mysterious murder gives Billy an excuse to spend time in and around the village where Tree and his unit are stationed. If he's lucky, maybe he can get to the bottom of both mysteries—and save more than one innocent life.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616951924
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/03/2013
Series: Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Series , #8
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

James R. Benn is the author of the Billy Boyle World War II mysteries. The debut, Billy Boyle, was named one of the top five mysteries of 2006 by Book Sense and was a Dilys Award nominee. Subsequent books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and been listed as the Bookpage Mystery of the Month. Two have been tagged as a "Killer Book" by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. A librarian for many years, Benn lives in Hadlyme, Connecticut, with his wife, Deborah Mandel.

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A Blind Goddess 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
LoveToReadJFE More than 1 year ago
This latest installment in the Billy Boyle series is easily one of James R. Benn’s best. At the request of an old friend, Billy investigates a constable’s murder and finds that an enlisted man has been made a scapegoat for the crime. At the same time, Boyle has been thrown into the mystery surrounding the death of Stuart Neville, a British accountant. The disappearance of a young girl and the discovery of another young girl’s body provides an unexpected link to Billy’s murder investigations. The superbly-written story includes enough plot twists to keep the reader page-turning to the very end. Benn offers readers a stark look at the racism pervasive in the American military of the time and the Billy/Tree backstory is a highlight of this highly recommended book.
glauver More than 1 year ago
This is one of James R. Benn's better Billy Boyle novels. An old Boston boyhood friend who is now one of the members of a black anti-tank unit training for combat in Europe asks Billy for help. A valuable member of his squad is under arrest for killing his English lover's husband. Army prejudice has insured that there is little interest in finding the truth. Boyle is soon drawn into a second case involving British counter-intelligence and a serial killer who is preying on young girls. The case involving the black soldier is the more compelling of the two and its conclusion makes for one of the most ironic of the series. This is a good reminder of the wormy racial injustices the marred the great crusade against the Nazis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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orion60 More than 1 year ago
More than just a mystery novel. It contains a lot of WWII history facts. Can't wait for #9.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Just prior to the Normandy invasion in 1944, Billy Boyle, just promoted to the rank of Captain, is handed an assignment by Britain’s MI5: work with the local police to find the murderer of a supposed civilian, without any background, but the admonition to “stay away” from a couple running a rooming house. At the same time, a boyhood friend, a Negro sergeant in a tank destroyer platoon, beseeches him to look into the arrest of his gunner after the murder of a local policeman, stressing the man is innocent. As in the previous novels in the series, the book traces various aspects of World War II in which Billy, who serves on Dwight Eisenhower’s Supreme Headquarters staff, acts as a detective, solving crimes and other mysteries. Only this time, the author also portrays the injustice of race relations, since the army continued to be segregated until after the war. And the indignities suffered by Black servicemen. The plot proceeds smoothly with unexpected turns, but with familiar faces from previous novels, including Kaz and Big Mike, as well as Major Cosgrove and Billy’s girlfriend, Diana. Once again, Mr. Benn has done a superlative job of creating a first-class mystery while authentically describing the period and circumstances. Highly recommended.
jro1170 More than 1 year ago
I enjoy the way Mr. Benn mixes some WWII history into these fictional mysteries.
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ethel55 More than 1 year ago
As usual, Benn ties together a unique storyline in his latest Billy Boyle story. This one involves an African American unit stationed in England, that happens to have a child hood friend of Billy's as a member, with the story of other murder in a small English village. Turns out, Billy's case for Major Cosgrove takes him right to the same area of the countryside to help out his old friend Tree prove another's innocence in a local crime. The area around Hungerford seems to be a hotbed of crime, it almost seemed a bit chaotic as the crimes kept rolling in. But, it's war, guess that's to be expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amateurDS More than 1 year ago
Still a little predictable. But hey, sometimes I like that. I think James Benn is showing growth in his Writing. Maybe a little more depth on historical reference and significance will be forthcoming. Ike was a good General, but he was human.
T_M_Parsons More than 1 year ago
If you have never read any of the Billy Boyle series, your missing out.  the only bad thing about them is, once your done reading the latest book, you have to wait a few months for the next one to come out.   but if your like me you just go back and start over at the beginning.  I cant wait for the next one.