In his early teens, Robert Goldsborough began reading Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries. It was during his tenure with the Chicago Tribune that the paper printed the obituary of Rex Stout. On reading it, his mother lamented that "Now there won't be any more Nero Wolfe stories." "There might be one more," Goldsborough mused, and began writing an original Wolfe novel for his mother. As much as he enjoyed writing these books, Goldsborough longed to create his own characters, which he has done in Three Strikes You're Dead, set in the gang-ridden Chicago of the late 1930s and narrated by a Tribune police reporter.
Goldsborough, a lifelong Chicagoan who has logged 45 years as a writer and editor with the Tribune and with marketing journal Advertising Age, says it was "Probably inevitable that I would end up using a newspaperman as my protagonist."
A DEATH IN PILSEN
A Snap Malek Mystery
1946, the first post-World War II year, finds Tribune police reporter Snap Malek hip deep in a murder case. Someone has stabbed his cousin's British war bride to death in their Bohemian neighborhood home in Pilsen. As the prime suspect, the meek and self-effacing man is jailed, and Malek, convinced of his innocence, begins a dogged hunt for the murderer.
Snap’s rogue investigation takes him into the shadowy blue-collar saloon world of Pilsen, where he encounters a mélange of characters, including cynical and hard-bitten factory workers, a tragic war widow, and a former professional prizefighter–all "bar friends" of the murdered woman. Despite objections from the police, Malek presses on, incurring the anger of one of the bar’s habitués, and fighting for his life in a bare-knuckle slugfest in a Pilsen street.
Determined, Malek hires the city’s best defense attorney, encounters legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and deals with the traumatic emotional distraction of reporting on one of the nation’s worst-ever train wrecks that rocked the western Chicago suburb of Naperville. Finally, when Snap turns his attention back to the murder case, he finds multiple surprises and an unexpected and tragic resolution.
I love history and always have–to the point where it became my college major. More specifically, I relish learning about the colorful and free-wheeling history of Chicago, which along with an assortment of its suburbs has been home for all of my seven decades.
After I concluded that I had written enough Nero…Continue
Posted on February 27, 2008 at 2:31am — 2 Comments
My interest in blending historical and fictional characters in a novel came with the reading of E.L. Doctorow's 1975 book Ragtime. In that panoramic story, which covered the first two decades of the 20th Century, Doctorow weaved a cornucopia of real people through his colorful tale.
Theodore Roosevelt, Booker T. Washington, Harry Houdini, J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Sigmund Freud, and famed architect Stanford White are among…Continue
Posted on November 3, 2007 at 12:39am
If Max Allan Collins is not the most productive writer in the mystery and suspense field, I would be hard-pressed to find another nominee. He has written more than 80 novels, many of them components of seven different series. His works include his 14 highly acclaimed Nate Heller books, the CSI series, and the New York Times bestseller "Saving Private Ryan."
In addition, he has been a scripter of the "Dick Tracy" comic strip, and his graphic novel "Road…Continue
Posted on April 10, 2007 at 8:23am — 2 Comments
Private boys’ schools have supplied rich fodder for novelists over the years. Witness Charles Dickens and the horrors of a 19th Century British school in “Nicholas Nickleby.” Witness “The Catcher in the Rye,” J.D. Salinger’s classic 1951 tale of Holden Caulfield, an abysmally unhappy and conflicted student in the process of leaving an eastern boys school. Witness John Knowles and his…Continue
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 8:16am