Jules Landau feels right at home in the ethnic stew of the Windy City, where he’s indebted to the hopes and schemes of his criminal ancestors. Street-smart and college-educated, Jules wants nothing more than to go straight and atone for his family’s past. But when he investigates a horrific killing, Jules uncovers a hidden world of lucrative corruption.
Jack Gelashvili had his head bashed in and no one knows why. The most obvious answer is that he was a parking cop, a universally loathed job—especially in Chicago. Turns out there’s a lot of money to be made on expired meters, and when Jules starts making noise, he starts making enemies—from the head of a media empire to the mastermind of a prostitution ring. When rumors of bloodthirsty Mob connections arise, Jack’s gorgeous cousin Tamar objects, and Jules is increasingly swayed by the logic and charms of the sexy baker. Following this beautiful woman into the cloistered world of Georgian immigrants, Jules brings his hunches, his family connections, and his gun. But he’s just one man against a pack of criminals with a million reasons to shoot first.
Previously published as Scofflaw Blues.
Private Investigator Jules Landau reminds me of one of those PI's from an old television show - a little rough around the edges, rumors (or more) of a shady past, and they always, ALWAYS, get 'their man'. Landau's shady past has to do with generations of his family being big in the Chicago underworld. Talk about disappointing your Dad by not going into the family business, or worse, by becoming someone that investigates crime!
And *sheesh*, they take their parking seriously in Chi-town. At the opening of the book, a traffic cop is found behind some bushes - with his head separated from his body. I know parking tickets are annoying (to those who find one on their windshield) but that treatment seems a bit, oh, excessive for slapping a ticket on someone's car.
That's because there is more going on than just a simple parking ticket. It all leads back to the money. As if the parking fees were not enough, the parking fines are astronomical. All that money from the fees and fines has got to go somewhere, and you know it doesn't all go into the city's coffers. (This is not a slam on Chicago alone as it happens everywhere to some degree.)
I enjoyed the language Krulewitch used in Windy City Blues. Thanks to the descriptions, I could experience what the characters did, like I was an observer in the story. I love that in a book - when I can be in on the action instead of merely watching it. It's great to visit a city through the eyes of a once long-term resident.
Windy City Blues is a great follow-up to Maxwell Street Blues. I will be looking forward to the as-yet-to-be-named third installment in the Krulewitch's "Blues Trilogy".
"Windy City Blues" is the second of Marc Krulewitch's Jules Landau mystery series and the second of his "Blues Trilogy," after which he will think of some other titles to call his books. His novels take place in Chicago, where he was born and where his family has lived for generations. He now resides in Colorado.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)