The Rest Is Silence: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery

Soho Crime. Sept. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781616952662. $26.95;ebk. ISBN 9781616952679. M
Southwest England in 1944. Operation Tiger is underway, a dress rehearsal for D-Day. Nerves are understandably raw. When a corpse washes ashore, questions naturally arise: Is this simply a drowned local or a drunken sailor or could it be a German spy? In this ninth entry in Benn's series (after A Blind Goddess), plucky Billy Boyle, late of the Boston constabulary but now a member of General Eisenhower's (Uncle Ike's) Office of Special Investigations, is dispatched to investigate. The case of the dead body quickly gives way to a domestic drama played out at Ashcroft House where Billy is billeted. In residence are Sir Rupert, a former Indian civil servant, his two grown daughters and their husbands, plus a cadre of servants. Presiding over the menagerie is great-aunt Sylvia, she of the acerbic comment. When a possible heir (not only is he from below stairs but is also American-raised) arrives unexpectedly on the scene, it's not difficult to predict trouble on the stormy horizon. There are period details aplenty with cameo appearances by historical figures. A bit of cheeky fun is had when the author enlists the aid of a certain Mrs. Mallowan (aka, Agatha Christie), a local resident, during the course of the investigation.
VERDICT With its very smooth mix of mystery and historical references (with a dash of Downton Abbey), just about everybody will find something of interest in this fizzy retro cocktail.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.




Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.