Last year I wrote that James R. Benn's novel A Mortal Terror
"opens with a giant wink to the reader that promises a fair bit of fun along with the human drama and military history: `Kim Philby owed me one.'"
, the follow-up book, includes several such cameo appearances, including one by a Hollywood actor who, for purposes of his military service, went by the name John Hamilton. Other bit players include Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, a Vatican diplomat who later became Pope Paul VI, and Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty
(and his butler, John May), whom I had not heard of before reading the author's note Benn appends to the novel, but who is very much worth hearing about.
And that's where you come in: What are your favorite cameo appearances by historical figures in crime fiction?
(Here's a link to one of mine
A Moral Terror
is the sixth of Benn's Billy Boyle World War II mysteries, Death's Door
the seventh. Today is release day for the eighth in the series, A Blind Goddess
, which lands Billy in a case that involves the 617th Tank Destroyer Battalion and racism in the U.S. military.
James R. Benn will be part of my "World War II and Sons" panel at Bouchercon 2013 in Albany, N.Y., on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 4:00 p.m.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013
Labels: Bouchercon, Bouchercon 2013, conventions, historical crime fiction, historical fiction, historical mysteries, history, James R. Benn, World War II