Mysteries Go to War: World War II

Walter's Purple Heart

By Catherine Ryan Hyde

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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.
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The End of the Affair

By Graham Greene

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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.

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Second Violin

By John Lawton

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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.
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Full Dark House

By Christopher Fowler

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"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."

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A Good Death

By Elizabeth Ironside

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"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?"
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The Redbreast

By Jo Nesbø

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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.

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The Final Solution: A Story of Detection

By Michael Chabon

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"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?"

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As Night Follows Day

By Pierre Moinot

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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.

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Billy Boyle

By James R. Benn

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"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.

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Stiff News

By Catherine Aird

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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.
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