Mysteries Go to War: World War II

Michael C. White

In the final days of World War II, Dieter Kallick, one of 200 German prisoners of war ... escaped into the woods. His body would later be found washed on the shore of Moosehead Lake. Decades later, Wolfgang Kallick arrives in this same rural town, hoping to unravel the mystery.

Christopher Hyde
"In this historically accurate, pulse-pounding suspense thriller, Hitler's Luftwaffe rains terror upon London, as Scotland Yard pursues a lone psychopath who kills with methodical precision--and is privy to the Allies' most closely guarded secrets."
Elizabeth Ironside
"It' 1944 and Theo Cazalle is returning to the family he left in Bonnemort, an estate deep in the French countryside, when he went off to fight with the Free French. Memories of Bonnemort have sustained him through four years of war, but when at last he comes home, he finds his world in tatters. The house has been abandoned, a family servant has been shot, Theo' wife has been accused of collaborating, and a Nazi officer has been found dead in front of Bonnemort' front gate. To save his sanity, Theo must restore order to Bonnemort, but first he must understand the disorder into which it has fallen. Is his wife a whore? A murderer? Or could there be another alternative?"
Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy L. Sayers

Lord Peter is abroad on secret business for the Foreign Office, while Harriet Vane, now Lady Peter Wimsey, has taken their children to safety in the country. But war has followed them there---glamorous RAF pilots and even more glamorous land-girls scandalize the villagers, and the blackout makes the nighttime lanes as sinister as the back alleys of London. Daily life reminds them of the war so constantly that, when the village’s first air-raid practice ends with a real body on the ground, it’s almost a shock to hear the doctor declare that it was not enemy action, but plain, old-fashioned murder. Or was it?

At the request of the overstretched local police, Harriet reluctantly agrees to investigate. The mystery that unfolds is every bit as literate, ingenious, and compelling as the best of original Lord Peter Wimsey novels.

Pierre Moinot

France, 1949. The inhabitants of a little village in the Poitou region are outraged by the incomprehensible murder of two of their own men. Moinot paints stirring portraits of the villagers, whose lives become increasingly intertwined as they are confronted with the senseless crime. As Night Follows Day is a marvelous portrait of rural France and a tender reflection on the ineluctable passing of time and the marriage life and death, good and evil.

James R. Benn
"What’s a twenty-two-year-old Irish American cop who’s never been out of Massachusetts before doing at Beardsley Hall, an English country house, having lunch with King Haakon of Norway? Billy Boyle himself wonders. Back home in Southie, he’d barely made detective when war was declared. Unwilling to fight—and perhaps die—for England, he was relieved when his mother wangled a job for him on the staff of a general married to her distant cousin. But the general turns out to be Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose headquarters are in London, which is undergoing the Blitz. And Uncle Ike wants Billy to be his personal investigator.

"Billy is dispatched to the seat of the Norwegian government in exile. Operation Jupiter, the impending invasion of Norway, is being planned, but it is feared that there is a German spy amongst the Norwegians."

First of a series.

Greg Iles
January 1944. Two men embark on a murderous mission into the heart of Germany to destroy a devastating new Nazi weapon.
Len Deighton

With 1942 Cairo under siege and at the mercy of General Erwin Rommel, British Captain Albert Cutler enters the city to locate the spy that his government is certain Rommel has placed there.

Michele Roberts
Therese and Leonie, cousins growing up in Normandy after World War II, concoct intricate fantasies about the secrecy and lies that linger around their home, unknowingly revealing truths that will haunt their lives.
Martin Cruz Smith

Set in the crazed, nationalistic Tokyo of late 1941, December 6 explores the coming world war through the other end of history's prism.

Robert Harris

A fictional account of the desperate efforts to break the Nazi's Enigma code takes place in a British railway town, a struggle that becomes complicated by the pivotal disappearance of a beautiful cryptographer.

Walter Mosley

"Paris Minton is minding his own business--a small used bookstore of which he is the proud proprietor--when a beautiful woman named Elana Love walks in and asks a few questions. Within the next twenty-four hours, Paris has been beaten up, made love to, shot at, and robbed, and his bookstore has been burned to the ground. He's in so much trouble he has no choice but to get his friend Fearless Jones out of jail to help. Fearless Jones is an army veteran, a man who is proud of his accomplishments during World War II, and refuses to step into the background now that the war is over. Violence dogs Fearless's every step, and Paris has tried to keep his distance. But there's no friend like the one you need. The two set out to find the elusive Elana Love, and every step leads them deeper into a bewildering vortex of money and betrayal."

Christopher Fowler
"A bomb rips through present-day London, tragically ending the crime-fighting partnership of Arthur Bryant and John May begun more than a half-century ago during another infamous bombing: the Blitz of World War II. Desperately searching for clues to the saboteur’s identity, May finds the notes his old friend kept of their very first case and a past that may have returned--with murderous vengeance.

"It was an investigation that began with the grisly murder of a pretty young dancer. In a city shaken by war, a faceless killer stalked London’s theater row, creating his own sinister drama. And it would take Bryant’s unorthodox techniques and May’s dogged police work to catch a fiend whose ability to escape detection seemed almost supernatural—a murderer who decades later may have returned to kill one of them--and won’t stop until he kills the other."

Peter Rawlinson
"In the past he had been seated on the judge's bench looking towards the dock in which he now stood... He turned and faced the clerk, who asked a fourth time: 'How say you? Are you Guilty or Not Guilty?' Jonathan Playfair, Knight of the Realm, sometime Judge of the High Court, is standing trial for the murder of David Trelawney. The two once fought side by side in the mountains of North Africa, and the death of David 50 years later unearths the tainted details of their past together. While the Prosecutor tells the court of Trelawney's death, Jonathan is far away-in the recesses of his mind where memories from North Africa, long buried, pierce and consume him; where he cannot escape having witnessed another man's death in this dark Africa of 50 years past."
Loren D. Estleman

"Detriot was a tough town in a tough time. Southern whites and blacks working side by side, rationing, the black-market, the Mafia, a new kind of jazz for seething summer nights; it was a powder keg. Through this troubled world cuts a killer, savaging ordinary people, the elderly and the defenseless. Lieutenant Zagreb's job is to keep the city from exploding, then to catch a mad killer. And finally, he must save his own soul. He cannot succeed at all three."

Joseph Kanon
"Spring 1945. As work on the first atomic bomb nears completion on a remote mesa in New Mexico, Karl Bruner, a Manhattan Project security officer, is found murdered in nearby Santa Fe. Is Bruner the victim of a violent sexual encounter, as the local police believe, or is his death a crime that threatens to jeopardize the secret of the Project itself?"
Elliott Roosevelt

In 1941, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt undertakes a dangerous covert mission into Nazi-occupied France to prove the United States' opposition to Hitler by assisting a French/German resistance group plotting to assassinate Hitler.

Robert Barnard

An unidentified boy with little memory of the past is taken in during the height of World War II by a couple who know nothing about him except his strange cries at night.

Michael Oren
In Belgium’s Ardennes Forest, the site of a brutal, last-ditch assault by the Nazis in December 1944, the surviving members of the 133rd Infantry Battalion reunite for one last chance to relive their youth, bury some old ghosts, and try to find answers to the mystery that has haunted the men for fifty years.
John Lawton
With Europe on the brink of war, Frederick Troy, recently promoted to Scotland Yard's Murder Squad, is put in charge of rounding up a list of German and Italian enemy aliens, but as the bombs begin to fall on London, he finds himself investigating a series of murdered rabbis.
Peter Dickinson
"Rachel is old, paralyzed, barely able to speak, and dying. She has a strong mind and vivid memories though, and is determined to hold on to both until the end, so that she can die fully aware, fully herself. Suddenly she learns that a precious possession, one with a dangerous history, has gone from the place where she thought she had hidden it. Her whole past starts to unravel!"
Catherine Aird
Strange deaths occur in a British home for retired military officers and their wives. As he investigates, inspector C.D. Sloan discovers that all the victims were connected to a World War II battle.
J. Robert Janes

In Nazi-occupied France, a French detective and an investigator for the German Gestapo take up the case of the murder of a woman whose archaeological discoveries supposedly confirm the Nazis' Aryan pretensions.

Robert Wilson

"Lisbon, 1944: Andrea Aspinall, plucked out of academia by British intelligence so that her mathematical knowledge might help in the hunt for atomic secrets, disappears under a new identity in Lisbon, where such secrets are easily bought and sold. Karl Voss, already experienced in the illusions of intrigue when he arrives in Lisbon, is an attache at the German Legation, though he is secretly working against the Nazis to rescue Germany from annihilation.

"After a night of terrible violence, Andrea creates a family for herself from Voss's memory and the clandestine world they knew. In Portugal, in England, and in the chilly world of Cold War Berlin, she discovers that the deepest secrets aren't held by governments--and that death is a relative term."

Graham Greene

The novelist Maurice Bendrix's love affair with his friend's wife, Sarah, had begun in London during the Blitz. One day, inexplicably and without warning, Sarah had broken off the relationship. It seemed impossible that there could be a rival for her heart. Yet two years later, driven by obsessive jealousy and grief, Bendrix sends Parkis, a private detective, to follow Sarah and find out the truth.

Michael Chabon

"In deep retirement in the English country-side, an eighty-nine-year-old man, vaguely recollected by locals as a once-famous detective, is more concerned with his beekeeping than with his fellow man. Into his life wanders Linus Steinman, nine years old and mute, who has escaped from Nazi Germany with his sole companion: an African gray parrot. What is the meaning of the mysterious strings of German numbers the bird spews out--a top-secret SS code? The keys to a series of Swiss bank accounts perhaps? Or something more sinister? Is the solution to this last case -- the real explanation of the mysterious boy and his parrot--beyond even the reach of the once-famed sleuth?"

Jessica Mann

"1940. The world is at war and the lives of two English boys are about to be changed forever. Jonathan Hicks, heir to the Cornish estate of Goonzoyle, and Ted Johns, son of the estate's groundskeeper, find themselves floating in an icy Atlantic Ocean, clinging to the wreckage of the doomed SS City of Benares. The ship was carrying British evacuee children to a new home, but as it made its perilous way to the USA it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Jonathan and Ted have been thrown together in spite of their different backgrounds, but as the chance of rescue ebbs further away, it becomes clear only one can survive.

"2001. At her home in Cornwall, bestselling writer Jessica Mann is busy researching her book about the wartime evacuation of children, Out of Harm's Way, when she is contacted by Connie, Ted Johns' sister, who has recently bought the derelict manor house at Goonzoyle. Jessica is drawn into playing detective to discover what really happened aboard the SS City of Benares, and why that brief moment in history is the key to present events. Matters take a decidedly sinister turn when human bones are discovered at Goonzoyle, and Jessica is hurled into a race to uncover the secrets that bind the Hicks and Johns families together."

Jo Nesbø

A tale moving from the final months of World War II to the present, and from the Russian front to contemporary South Africa, follows the dual adventures of a freedom-seeking war martyr and an alcoholic police officer who is drawn into a mystery with past origins.

John Dunning
"...a riveting new thriller that takes us back to the summer of 1942, when radio was in its prime, when daylight saving time gave way to "wartime," when stations like WHAR on the New Jersey coast struggled to create programming that entertained and inspired a nation in its dark hour.

"Into this intense community of radio artists and technicians in Regina Beach, New Jersey, come Jack Dulaney and Holly Carnahan. They are determined to find Holly's missing father, whose last desperate word came from this noisy seaside town."

Catherine Ryan Hyde
Michael Steeb is an aimless twenty-one-year-old pot farmer living a day-to-day existence in an unfinished farmhouse in central California in the 1980s. He has no real plans or interests--until the day he connects with the memories of a life that seems to belong to someone else, that of a young American soldier killed in World War II.