Author James Benn

At Island Bound Bookstore on Oct. 11
Thu, 10/04/2018 - 4:15pm

James R. Benn, author of the acclaimed Billy Boyle World War II mystery series, will be at Island Bound Bookstore Thursday, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. to talk about his newest book in the series, “Solemn Graves.” 

Critics are uniform in their enthusiasm for Benn’s series, which features Billy Boyle, an Army detective in World War II. “Once again, Benn has unearthed a fascinating piece of relatively unknown WWII history and built an engaging mystery around it, combining the Ghost Army with a chilling view of the ugly reparations exacted by Resistance fighters on assumed Nazi collaborators. Liberation, Billy is shocked to learn, has its own dark side.”

“Benn’s plotting and his first-person narrative both acquire more gravitas as they continue to chart the course of World War II. His latest outing is a complex tale that hinges on a particular moment in world history he captures incisively.” (Kirkus Reviews) According to Benn, “My idea for a historical mystery series set within the Allied High Command during the Second World War began with the first title, “Billy Boyle,” which takes place in England and Norway in 1942. 

The second, “The First Wave,” carries on a few months later during the Allied invasion of French Northwest Africa. The third, “Blood Alone” continues the story through the Allied invasion of Sicily. In the fourth installment, “Evil For Evil” Billy Boyle voyages to Ireland.” Benn has written 12 books in his “Billy Boyle” series as well as two stand-alone novels. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Benn received his MLS degree from Southern Connecticut State University. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, and the Author’s Guild. 

Benn has worked in the library and information technology fields for more than 35 years and quit his day job in 2011 to write full-time. Benn says he has learned two valuable lessons since starting to write that have been very helpful. The first is a quote from Oscar Wilde, who said, “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one’s pants to a chair.” The second is from novelist Rachel Basch, who told Benn, “the story has to move down, as well as forward.” Both sound simple. Neither is. Please join us to hear James Benn discuss his writing career and his “Billy Boyle” mystery series.