At one of our Christmas time family gatherings, people bring a gift for anonymous exchanges – draw a number, pick a gift, etc. Over the last few years, the theme has been about a country or city. It’s been kind of fun to see the different things people find to package together.
Last year I opened an England package, which included a book by James R. Benn, The White Ghost, A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery. It turns out that The White Ghost is #10 out of what is now fifteen books! The series seemed intriguing, so I went in search of #1: Billy Boyle. I found a copy at my local bookstore, Third Place Books, Ravenna. I just got around to reading it.
It’s an interesting setup, with Billy Boyle being a young Boston policeman of Irish ancestry who ends up enlisting in the army and getting posted to General Eisenhower’s staff in London. He is related to Ike through his mother’s family, and indeed calls him “Uncle Ike.” Initially, I wasn’t sure about the whole thing because there was a little too much “Gee, I’m Irish from Boston and here I am in London” stuff. But after that was dispensed with it turned out to be a really good story about the invasion of Norway. I’m always interested to learn more about that because of my Norwegian family. It appears that Mr. Benn has done his homework very well, so there is a great plot, fine characters, and historical accuracy.
So with lots of other things to read, it will take me a while to catch to book #10 on my bookshelf, but I’ll enjoy working on it. It’s always fun to look forward to another installment in a good series.