James R. Benn
  • Male
  • Hadlyme, Connecticut
  • United States
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James R. Benn's Page

Profile Information

Hadlyme, Connecticut
About Me:
I'm a mystery writer. My first series mystery, BILLY BOYLE, came out in September 2006 from Soho Press. It's set during World War II and features a military investigator, named oddly enough, Billy Boyle. The second title came out in 2007 - THE FIRST WAVE. the third, BLOOD ALONE, came out in 2008. The 2009 title is EVIL FOR EVIL. I always wanted to write, and now I only wish I'd started sooner.
I Am A:
Books And Authors I Like:
Fiction is great, but I focus on books about writing, or research.
THE SEVEN BASIC PLOTS by Christopher Booker.
WRITING FICTION by Jane Burroway.
Movies And TV Shows I Like:
NCIS, Foyle's War, Mythbusters, Andy Griffith (black and white only).
Hey, after a long day of work and an evening writing, a guy's gotta relax.

LIBRARY JOURNAL July 15, 2007 Starred Review

Benn, James R. The First Wave: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery. Soho, dist. by Consortium. Sept. 2007. c.304p. ISBN 978-1-56947-471-6. $24. M

Take a young Irish cop. Turn him into a lieutenant on Eisenhower's personal staff—one charged with being "Ike's investigator." Set him ashore on the coast of French North Africa along with the first wave of invading American troops. And watch the mayhem, mystery, and murder that are bound to follow. Corrupt Vichy French officers steal a shipment of American penicillin, killing a supply sergeant in the process. Benn follows up his first World War II mystery (Billy Boyle) with another danger-filled episode and delivers a cross-genre tale that is at once spy story, soldier story, and hard-Boyled detective. Bullets, babes, and bombs give Billy Boyle a bad time before he solves the case, but you'll have a good time reading about it. Highly recommended for all mystery collections.—Ken St. Andre, Phoenix P.L.

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James R. Benn's Blog

Book Launch Party Photos

Check out My Photos for a selection of pictures taken at the September 5th Book Launch Party for BLOOD ALONE. Over eighty people attended and were treated to a slide show of Sicily photos, featuring the settings for Blood Alone. Also, my wife Debbie Mandel cooked up a storm and provided homemade Sicilian baked goods to help set the mood. Sicilian wine, Italian beer, good conversations and lots of books sold and signed - it was a great party! Photos courtesy of Mischa Lassow.

Posted on September 13, 2008 at 9:00am


Anyone in the neighborhood is invited to the Book Launch Party for BLOOD ALONE, the newest Billy Boyle WWII Mystery:

Friday, September 5, 2008, 7:00 p.m.
Lyme Public Library
Route 156 (Hamburg Road)
Lyme, Connecticut

Book talk, refreshments (Siclian wine and baked goods), book sales & signing!

Posted on August 29, 2008 at 5:46am — 1 Comment


I'm very happy to report that BLOOD ALONE is now the September Mystery of the Month in Bookpage, the book review magazine distributed to over 3,000 libraries and bookstores. Check out a copy! From the review:
"Blood Alone is an intriguing blend of history and fiction, superbly crafted and paced, easily the best period mystery I’ve read in quite some time."

And, BLOOD ALONE is an INDIE NEXT pick for October (Indie Next replaces Book Sense, the independent bookstore website).

Posted on August 19, 2008 at 10:19am


Early reviews are in for BLOOD ALONE, the third in the Billy Boyle mystery series. See what Kirkus and PW have had to say, along with a great blurb from Joe Finder:

Another bracing cocktail of period action with a whodunit chaser from the increasingly authoritative Benn.

—Kirkus Reviews

Characterization and atmosphere carry Benn's third WWII mystery, a convincing blend of fact and fiction...a fine job of depicting a dusty, poverty-stricken Sicily, where warm loyalty… Continue

Posted on July 13, 2008 at 12:27am

Bouchercon 2008

I'll be attending my first Bouchercon in Baltimore, October 9 - 12, 2008. I'm very excited to finally make it to this storied gathering of mystery readers, writers, and assorted hangers-on. See you in the bar.


Posted on March 2, 2008 at 1:45am

Comment Wall (20 comments)

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At 10:16am on August 19, 2008, James R. Benn said…
Anyone in the Connecticut area is invited to the Book Launch Party for BLOOD ALONE, the newest Billy Boyle WWII Mystery:

Friday, September 5, 2008, 7:00 p.m.
Lyme Public Library, Lyme, Connecticut

Book talk, refreshments, book sales & signing!
At 2:21pm on March 3, 2008, Sarah M. Chen said…
Hi James. I recognize your name and your books from my job at The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood. Very catchy covers btw. I see you plan on attending your first Bouchercon this year. I'm contemplating attending my first too. I attended Crimebake last year and hoped to go again this year but alas! I can't attend both due to $.
At 4:59am on March 2, 2008, Donna Carrick said…
Great space, Jim! And this is one of my favourite renditions of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" -- hubby and I listen to it often.
Best in writing!
Donna Carrick www.donnacarrick.com
At 9:08am on December 31, 2007, Cara Black said…
Happy New Year Jim
At 1:00am on November 13, 2007, James R. Benn said…
Catering by Hannibal Lecter perhaps?
No, it's the annual conference of the New England chapter, Mystery Writers of America. See;

At 11:38am on November 12, 2007, Karen J. Laubenstein said…
Ah - and what, may I ask, do they serve at a New England Crime Bake? And... where?
At 11:01am on September 26, 2007, Ann C. Theis said…
In his younger years he looked more like Gomez Adams than Cleese. He is flattered by the Cleese comparison and has moved the first Billy Boyle book closer to the top of his tbr pile.

At 1:09am on September 9, 2007, James R. Benn said…
Thanks! I haven't even seen it yet; out here in the boondocks we have to wait until Sunday!
Lead? Wow!

At 10:28am on September 8, 2007, Cara Black said…
Ophra's next.

Great lead review in this Sunday's NYTimes, congratulations!!
At 1:25am on August 9, 2007, Lyn LeJeune said…
You had your books published and you have a day job? Kudos and to the Library Journal starred review. Speaking of libraries . . .
My book, The Beatitudes, is a paranormal thriller set in New Orleans. It will be out in the fall and I am donating all royalties directly to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation. Libraries support the infrastructure of a great city, so I have started The Beatitudes Network to promote awareness of the importance of public libraries in NOLA.
The blogsite www.beatitudesinneworleans.blogspot.com describes the Network, has excerpts from The Beatitudes, recipes, and more. Merci mille fois. Lyn Lejeune.

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