Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"Blue Madonna"

James R. Benn is the author of the Billy Boyle World War II series, historical mysteries set within the Allied High Command during the Second World War. The series began with Billy Boyle, which takes place in England and Norway in 1942.

Benn applied the Page 69 Test to Blue Madonna, the eleventh installment of the series, and reported the following:
The beginning of the page 69 entry should make fans of the series feel right at home. Billy Boyle and his friend Baron Piotr Kazimierz have just returned from an assignment to the Dorchester Hotel in London, where “Kaz” hangs his hat. Kaz is Polish, and his family had visited him while at school in England before the war, and took a suite of room at the Dorchester. They returned to Poland, planning on immigrating to England, knowing war was looming. They did not act quickly enough, and were all killed as the Soviets invaded Poland from one side and the Nazis from the other. In this passage, Billy muses on why Kaz stays in this suite, and the changes he has seem in him over the past two years:
Making this suite his home was Kaz’s way of staying connected, I guess. To a family and a time ground into dust by war and hatred. He was the last of his line, with more money than he knew what to do with, a penchant for taking chances, and delight at taking revenge whenever he could. When I’d first met him, he was a skinny spectacle-wearing egghead, an expert at European languages and the finest wines. Two years later, he’d built up his body to serve him as well as his intellect and resolve. Now he was a wiry, tenacious, spectacle-wearing egghead, who was a terror with his Webley break-top revolver.
There is more on this page, having to do with black market criminals and stool pigeons, but I’ll leave that part for readers to discover on their own.
Learn more about the Billy Boyle WWII Mystery Series at James R. Benn's website.

The Page 99 Test: The First Wave.

The Page 69 Test: Evil for Evil.

The Page 69 Test: Rag and Bone.

My Book, The Movie: Death's Door.

The Page 69 Test: The White Ghost.

--Marshal Zeringue