Thursday, November 9, 2023

VETERANS DAY MYSTERIES // VETERANS DAY CRIME FICTION


Veterans Day
, originally known as Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day), is November 11. Veterans Day commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compi├Ęgne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, that took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" 1918.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson
first proclaimed Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. The U.S.  Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting the President issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. The 11th of November is"a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'." It was later changed to Veteran's Day.

I love to read mysteries that reflect regions and holidays, so I'm reposting about Veterans Day with several additions. 

Julia Spencer-Fleming's Once Was a Soldier,  Jacqueline Winspear, Renie Airth, and Charles Todd's mystery series are at the top of my list of Veterans Day Mysteries. There's also the Joe Sandilands series by Barbara Cleverly. And Bulldog Drummond is a WWI veteran in the Sapper/H.C. McNeile books. Add to that Walter Mosley's WWII Vet Easy Rawlins. Don't miss Marcia Talley's All Things Undying in which Hannah Ives helps to locate the grave of a WWII serviceman. James Lee Burke is another great mystery author whose Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux is a Vietnam Veteran. And, of course, the Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers where the mystery turns on the poppy in the lapel. (and so many more below)..



BV Lawson's 2007 post of Veteran's Day Mysteries is great. No need to duplicate her efforts. Be sure and read her blog, as well as all the comments. 
 
I also did a Memorial Day post here on Mystery Fanfare that covers some of the same territory. It is  a good resource, as many of the books overlap.

You'll want to read J. Kingston's Pierce's article 9 Mysteries Set in the Immediate Aftermath of WWI on CrimeReads.

Wikipedia has an entry about Veterans Day Mysteries. Several hardboiled heroes have been war veterans. Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer and many others from World War II, and John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee from the Korean War. "The frequent exposure to death and hardship often leads to a cynical and callous attitude as well as a character trait known today as post-traumatic stress characterizes many hardboiled protagonists."

ADDITIONAL VETERANS DAY MYSTERIES with Veteran Protagonists

River of Darkness by Rennie Airth
Mark of the Lion by Suzanne Arruda
Billy Boyle series by James R. Benn
Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody
Tom Clancy Oath of Office by Marc Cameron
The Bee's Kiss by Barbara Cleverly
Quarry; The Million Dollar Wound by Max Allan Collins
Long Shot by Jack Coughlin
Foul Trade by B.K. Duncan
One Killer Force by Dalton Fury
Young Blood by Matt Gallagher
The Man Who Won the Medal of Honor by Len Giovannitti
The Sleepwalkers by Paul Grossman
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Direct Hit by Mike Hollow
A Gentleman's Murder by Christopher Huang
Operation Burning Candle by Blyden Jackson
Berlin Noir: March Violets, The Pale Criminal, A German Requiem by Philip Kerr
Lone Jack Trail by Owen Laukkanen
After the Rain by Chuck Logan
Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
Hystopia by David Means
First Blood by David Morrell
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee
The Odd Angry Shot by William Nagle
The Sympathizer by Viet Than Nguyen
A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn
Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien
The Given World by Marian Palaia
The Drifter by Nick Petrie (and others in the Peter Ash series)

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers
Dog Day Afternoon by Vern E. Smith
The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller
Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone
A Test of Wills and others; A Duty to the Dead and others by Charles Todd
Dragonfish by Vu Tran
Maisie Dobbs; Messenger of Truth; The Mapping of Love and Death; and others by Jacqueline Winspear

For the young set, one of the first Veteran-related mysteries: 
Cherry Ames: Veterans' Nurse by Helen Wells. 

As always, let me know any Veterans Crime Fiction that you recommend.

Read a Veterans Day mystery today and remember the men and women who have served our country. Thank you for your service.

In Memory of Veteran - Major Joseph Rudolph, M.D., WWII

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Surprised not to see Michael Connolly’s Bosch series — in the first book and some others he refers to Bosch’s time as a ‘tunnel rat’ in Vietnam.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Hey, Janet: You should consider adding Max Allan Collins' The Million-Dollar Wound to this list. It finds series private eye Nathan Heller returning from traumatic foxhole duty in the South Pacific during World War II, just in time to witness the final violent days of Chicago gang boss Frank Nitti. -- Cheers, Jeff

Janet Rudolph said...

Thanks, Jeff, I'll add Max Allan Collins..

KimHaysBern said...


Thanks for sharing the photo of your family member for Veteran's Day, Janet. After living here in neutral Switzerland for thirty-five years, I sometimes need to be reminded to remember the world's war dead on November 11.

Massachusetts Mystery Lover said...

The Billy Boyle series, by James R. Benn, are set in WW 2 in European Theatre of Operations. Boyle is a US Army officer.