Writing the Billy Boyle World War II mystery series has brought me an immense amount of joy, enabling me to meet people in person and online from all over the country (and the world) and hear their reactions, feedback, and most importantly, their own stories.
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 (September 2009) Billy Boyle voyages to Ireland.
The fifth book in the series deals with the infamous Katyn Massacre of Polish Officers by the Soviets, and how the uncovering of that crime affected the war, especially Polish-Americans and the Poles in exile in England. It is titled Rag and Bone (from the Yeats poem), and was released September 2010. Number six, released in 2011, is A Mortal Terror. It is set in southern Italy and within the Anzio beach head, where Billy tracks down the Red Heart Killer, who is targeting officers of increasingly senior rank. Mortal terror also refers to combat fatigue and the terrible effects of prolonged exposure to the not only combat but the rigors of winter in the mountains.
The 2012 release, Death's Door, is set within the Vatican City, during the German occupation of Rome. A Blind Goddess, deals with racial segregation in the U.S. Army on the eve of D-Day in England and was long-listed for the prestigious Dublin Literary Award. The Rest Is Silence, released in 2014, was a finalist for the 2015 Barry Award for Best Novel, as well as a finalist for the Housatonic Book Award.
The White Ghost, the tenth in the Billy Boyle series, was published in September 2015 and garnered a starred review from Booklist. The eleventh title, Blue Madonna, came out in 2016. The 2017 release, The Devouring, received a starred review from Kirkus and was called a "white knuckle adventure from the start" by the New York Journal of Books. Excellent starred reviews continued for Solemn Graves, When Hell Struck Twelve, and The Red Horse. Most recently, Road of Bones (2021) was released with another starred review and rave reviews.
I also have two stand-alone novels published by Open Road Media, available from B&N or Amazon. Souvenir is an exploration of the effects of World War II combat on one man during three stages of his life. On Desperate Ground is a classic WWII thriller set during the last days of the war. Two other recent stand-alones are Shard and Freegift.
I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida with my wife Deborah Mandel, a psychotherapist and copyeditor who offers many insights into the motivations of my characters, a good critical read, and much else. We have two sons, Jeff and Ben, and seven grandchildren (Camille, Claudia, Emma, Luke, Nathaniel, Noah, Oliver).
I'm a graduate of the University of Connecticut and received my MLS degree from Southern Connecticut State University. I am a member of the Mystery Writers of America, and the Author's Guild. I've worked in the library and information technology fields for over thirty-five years and quit the day job routine in 2011 to write full-time.
I've learned two valuable lessons since I started writing which have helped me greatly. The first is a quote from Mary Heaton Vorse, 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 me "the story has to move down, as well as forward." Both sound simple. Neither is.