9 WWII Mystery Book Series To Read, From Billy Boyle to Bernie Gunther

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After the Victorian era, we are looking at a more recent period in our history, a shorter one, but also a darker one, as we are turning our intention today to the late 1940s, with a few mystery series set during World War II.

There is not a lot of place here for cozy mysteries. In fact, due to the complex political climate of this chaotic era, most series mix murder mysteries with espionage intrigues, often using historical figures and events to add an authentic feel to the stories.

Here is our Selection of WWII Mystery Book Series

The Billy Boyle World War II Mystery series by James R. Benn – A twenty-two-year-old Boston cop, Billy Boyle turned military detective and started working for Dwight D. Eisenhower. He sent Billy to his own personal investigator while his headquarters were in blitz-hit London. Billy has to uncover spies, look into homicides, retrieve stolen items, and apprehend a variety of criminals that impede the military effort.

The Maggie Hope Mystery series by Susan Elia MacNeal – Maggie Hope is a young woman with a background in mathematics and codebreaking who becomes embroiled in different types of mysteries during World War II. As a skilled codebreaker, Maggie is often involved in unraveling mysteries related to espionage, secret codes, and intelligence operations. The series weaves real historical events into the fictional mysteries.

The Inspector Troy series by John Lawton – A mix of historical, crime, and espionage stories, the series focuses on police sergeant (and later Chief Inspector) Frederick Troy who is investigating murder cases in London, England, from the late 1940s to the 1960s. While the series spans several decades, some books are set during WWII. Inspector Troy often finds himself involved in cases with elements of espionage and political intrigue. The series explores the intersection of law enforcement and intelligence work.

The Bernie Gunther series by Philip Kerr – This series is set in Germany during the 1930s, World War II, and the post-war era, exploring the challenges and complexities of living under Nazi rule and its aftermath. Bernie Gunther, a German detective, navigates the changing political landscape and is drawn into intelligence work during World War II. His investigations often involve complex crimes and political intrigue, dealing with both criminals and the Nazi regime.

The Tom Wilde series by Rory Clements – Set against the backdrop of WWII, this series follows Tom Wilde, a history professor at Cambridge, who despite his academic background, finds himself drawn into a mystery or investigation, espionage-related activities, dealing with secret intelligence, political conspiracies, and international intrigue.

The Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear – Set in England,, this series spans the interwar period, including the aftermath of World War I and leading up to World War II. Maisie Dobbs is a former maid who, with the support of her employer, pursues education and becomes a private investigator and psychologist. She is known for her keen intuition and compassionate approach to solving mysteries.

The John Madden series by Rennie Airth – Set in England between 1921 and 1949 and revolves around John Madden, an experienced detective haunted by his experiences during the Great War. Delving into the impact of the war on society and individuals, the cases often involve complex and layered investigations.

The Hannah Vogel series by Rebecca Cantrell – Set in pre-World War II and World War II-era Germany, the series follows the adventures of Hannah Vogel, a journalist and crime reporter for a Berlin newspaper, and explores the challenges and dangers faced by individuals living in Nazi Germany, delving into the impact of political events, including the Night of the Long Knives and the lead-up to the war.

The Poppy Redfern Mysteries by Tessa Arlen – Aka “A Woman of World War II Mystery,” this series introduces us to the charming Poppy Redfern who, during the summer of 1942, in the remote English village of Little Buffenden, spends her nights patrolling the village invaded by the American Air Force who transformed her farmland into a new airfield. When two young, popular women who were dating American servicemen are found strangled, Poppy quickly decides to start her own investigation with the help of a charismatic American pilot. 

With more than a thousand articles published on HowToRead.Me, it is clear that navigating through the different reading orders is becoming a bit arduous. To try to help, why not try to sort the series by genre (or sub-genres)? This will take some time, but if you want to ask for a particular list, leave a comment.

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