Herda: Chi-Town Blues

CHI-TOWN BLUES  Here are all the whimsical, haunting, riveting, and erotically charged tales you’d expect from a lifetime spent growing up in the Windy City. When master storyteller D. J. Herda left Chicago in the late Seventies, he took a big part of the city with him. Now, he has unleashed some of his most memorable tales in all their wild-and-wooly, sexually charged, hit-and-hit-harder glory. These tales are hauntingly vivid, running the gamut from Crime and Punishment to Humor, Pathos, Spirituality, and Coming-of-Age in the Windy City.

Among the tales of intrigue included in this volume are these eye-popping delights.

“The Tenants” When an officer of the law investigates a series of disappearances all centered around one main suspect, he’s convinced she’s as clever and diabolic a murderess as he’s ever seen. Until she convinces him otherwise, after which he sets out to prove both himself, and her, wrong.

“The Fisherman” A look at just how wrong things can go when a young man leaves his comfortable home to go smelt fishing with his gung-ho, war-hero uncle one raw, rainy, Saturday morning–and just why he’s not likely to do so again.

“Double Jeopardy” When a young bank executive joins a new firm and gets promoted to mortgages and personal loans, he finds his new landlady the perfect customer–as old, doddering, and doting as anyone he’s ever seen. Not to mention trustworthy. As he sets up a foolproof trap to ensnare her in a vintage game of bank embezzlement, she turns the tables on him before he manages at the last moment to wiggle free from the trap. With one rather exceptional caveat.

“The Great Man” A young man in the glory years of his youth discovers that his grandfather, whom he always considered a great man, was nothing but a bum, a philanderer, and a womanizer. He’s crushed–until he meets one of his grandfather’s by-then aging but still sexually alluring conquests. And then he realizes that he’d been right after all. Jim Blasdell really was a great man.

“The Union” They meet at the university’s Ratskeller and immediately fall in love–he with her angelic face and demonic body and she, with his apparently unlimited funds and innate gullibility. But when she goes to tighten the noose she’s just placed around his neck, he adroitly dances out of reach and turns the tables on her. Until she turns them right back on him.

“Trapped” A young building contractor and part-time author moves to a small town in suburban Illinois where he meets all the right people, including the really wrong ones. Poised to make a legal killing in real estate, he soon discovers others are just as poised to stop him. After beating back false criminal charges, he’s finally in the clear, but his own gullibility enables his best “friends” and business associates to ensnare him in a noose he constructed by himself–from which there is no escape. At least not until the most surprising person of all comes to the rescue!


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