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Sunday, March 3

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Mystery writers love Chicago. Some are inspired by the city's gangster past. Others are drawn to its high crime statistics and ever-present political corruption. And many are attracted by Chicago's neighborhoods, its incredible diversity and variety.

The following list features just some of the authors who have set their mysteries in Chicago. There is something on this for everyone, whether you are interested in crime-solving single mothers, ex-cops, nuns or gay reporters. Print out the list and take it with you to the library to stock up for the long, dark nights ahead.

Ace Atkins
Leavin' Trunk Blues (New York, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur, 2000)
This is the second book of the Nick Travers series, in which Travers, a New Orleans blues historian, ends up getting involved in the 40-year-old murder mystery of a Chicago blues record producer.

Michael Black
A Killing Frost (Waterville, Me, Five Star, 2002)
Author Michael Black is a Chicago area policeman. A Killing Frost introduces us to Ron Shade, a former Chicago cop who turns to investigative work after getting kicked off the force.

Eleanor Taylor Bland
Dead Time (St. Martin's Press, 1992)
The Marti MacAlister series, which begins with this book, features one of the first female, African American detectives in fiction. MacAlister solves crime in a suburban Chicago town called Lincoln Prairie.

D.C Brod
Murder in Store (Walker, 1989)
This is the first in a series featuring Quint McCauley, an ex-cop who solves a murder while working as head of security for a Chicago department store.

Robert Campbell
The Junkyard Dog (New York, Signet, 1986)
Jimmy Flannery is a Chicago sewer inspector, a Democratic precinct captain and an amateur detective. The Junkyard Dog is the first book of the award-winning and highly entertaining Jimmy Flannery mysteries.

Charlotte Carter
Jackson Park (New York, One World/Ballantine, 2003)
After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Chicago college student Cassandra Lisle finds her life disrupted by more than just civil unrest. This is the debut of the planned Cook County series.

Jill Churchill
Grime and Punishment (New York, Bantam Books, 1989)
The popular heroine Jane Jeffry is introduced in this book. Jeffry is a single mom in the Chicago suburbs who finds time to do some sleuthing on the side.

Michael Craft
Flight Dreams (Kensington Books, 1997)
Flight Dreams introduces us to Mark Manning, a Chicago journalist who investigates the disappearance of a socialite while coming to terms with his own homosexuality. This is the first of the series.

Barbara D'Amato
Hardball (C. Scribner's Sons, 1990)
Chicago freelance journalist Cat Marsala is on the case in this first book of the popular Marsala series.

Michael Allen Dymmoch
The Man Who Understood Cats (St. Martin's Press, 1993)
Readers are introduced to detective John Thinnes and Chicago psychiatrist Jack Caleb. The two team up in this first book to investigate the apparent suicide of one of Caleb's patients.

Bill Granger
The El Murders (New York, H. Holt, 1987)
This is the fourth book in Granger's award-winning Chicago Police mysteries featuring police detective Terry Flynn. Public Murders (1980) is the first in the series.

Andrew M. Greeley
The Bishop and the Missing L Train (New York, Forge, 2000)
The crime-solving Bishop Blackie Ryan returns in the long-running Blackie Ryan series to investigate the disappearance of Auxiliary Bishop Augustus Quill, who vanishes while riding the El.

Hugh Holton
Chicago Blues (New York, Forge, 1996)
Chicago Police Commander Larry Cole investigates the murders of two hit men. This is the third of the Larry Cole mysteries, which begins with Presumed Dead (1994).

Fred Hunter
Presence of Mind (New York, Walker and Co, 1994)
Chicago police detective Jeremy Ransom teams up with an unusual partner, an elderly woman named Emily Charters. Presence of Mind is just the first book featuring this quirky, lovable pair.

Stuart M. Kaminsky
Lieberman's Folly (St. Martin's Press, 1991)
Award-winning author Stuart Kaminsky introduces one of his best-loved characters with this book, Jewish Chicago police detective Abe Lieberman.

Alex Matthews
Death's Domain (Philadelphia, Intrigue Press, 2001)
Oak Park psychotherapist Cassidy McCabe returns to help track down a cyberstalker. This is the sixth book featuring McCabe. The series begins with Secret's Shadow (1996).

Sara Paretsky
Indemnity Only (Dial Press, 1982)
Indemnity Only is the first book featuring the wildly popular Chicago private investigator, V.I. Warshawski.

Monica Quill
And Then There Was Nun (New York, Vanguard Press, 1984)
Chicago nun Sister Mary Teresa returns to investigate the death of a girls' soccer coach. The series begins with Not a Blessed Thing! (1981)

Michael Raleigh
Death in Uptown (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1991)
Chicago investigator Paul Whelan makes his first appearance in this book as he tries to solve the murder of a friend who was interviewing the homeless in Uptown for a possible book.

David Walker
A Ticket to Die For (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1998)
Husband and wife team Dugan and Kirsten track down a missing client after his friend is found murdered in an adult bookstore. This is the first book in a series.

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About the Author(s)

Alice Maggio is a real, live Chicago librarian. If you have topic ideas or questions you would like answered, send your suggestions to and it may be featured in a future column.

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