Comings and Goings

I have a couple of live events to tell you about, and a personal share… Catch Me In-Person… — At  Printers Row Lit Fest this Saturday (only); if you’re in the Chicago area, please come on down. You can find me at the Chicago Writers Association booth (Tent “F” on Dearborn). I’ll also be on … Read more

Why Did We Hold our Breath?

It’s been a week or so, but I’m still thinking about Nik Wallenda’s stunning feat. Talk about a thriller where your heart leaps into your throat, your blood pressure shoots through the roof, and you can’t sit still for more than a second! How can anyone walk a tightrope across the Chicago River without a … Read more

The 1980 Libertyville Rouse Murders

The Rouses were the model suburban family.  Father Bruce, a self-made man who built his fortune starting with a couple of gas stations and expanded into cable TV and real estate, built a 13 room mansion in Libertyville, an affluent suburb on Chicago’s North Shore. Wife Darlene was a member of all the right clubs … Read more

An Apology to the Northfield Police

My most recent blogpost was about the shooting in Northfield at rapper Chief Keef’s house. And while we still don’t know a lot of details about the incident, I made some comments about the Northfield police that were—well— kind of smart-ass. And inaccurate. And because I really admire and like Bill Lustig, Northfield’s current Police … Read more

Happ Road and Chief Keef: The Accident Waiting to Happen

For the 28 years I’ve lived in Northfield on the North Shore of Chicago, it’s been a quiet place. The village doesn’t have the cachet of Winnetka, the opulence of Lake Forest, or the population density of Evanston and Skokie (although most would say that’s a good thing). With the Forest Preserve on one side, … Read more

It’s Steve Sanders’ Fault; Les Edgerton’s too

I was at a Christmas party two years ago at which WGN  news anchor Steve Sanders was also a guest. We started to chat, and when he found out I was a crime writer he told me he had a story for me. Those words are like catnip for a kitten — I’m a sucker for a … Read more

Chicago Tribune Reviews Havana Lost

I was thrilled to get this review of Havana Lost in today’s Chicago Tribune… in Rick Kogan’s Literary Saloon. Btw, the photo was taken at 90 Miles, Chicago’s best Cuban restaurant, in front of a mural depicting the restaurant owners in Havana Vieja. If they could go back. Libby Fischer Hellmann, author of the new … Read more

I Moved to Chicago for the Weather

This is a reprint of an essay that appears in the current Mystery Readers’ Journal, Fall edition, which is all about Chicago. The magazine also includes essays by nearly two dozen other Chicago authors, including Marcus Sakey, Michael Sherer, Jack Fredrickson, Sheldon Siegel, and others. For more, check it out here.  Um… actually that’s a … Read more