The Taylor Street Files, by JoBe Cerny
THE TAYLOR STREET FILE SERIES
Exposing the New Millennium of Chicago Crime
Chicago had always been a hotbed for violence, crime and political corruption. Four governors served prison sentences; two of them were sentenced to longer jail sentences than their terms of office. There are always more crimes than cops.
During Prohibition, Detective Tug Collier created the Widows and Orphans' Fund, a euphemism for graft money. That fund eventually financed a private investigation agency known as Taylor Street. When a case involving violence is closed for lack of evidence, the police department refers the case to the private detectives of Taylor Street who use alternative crime-fighting techniques.
Book 1: The Taylor Street Files Of Red Cin
Frankie Turk and Lola Lahti were suspended for using excessive violence in the pursuit of justice. So they were the perfect detectives to investigate the murder of the husband of a wealthy young widow who owns Chicago's hottest night spot, Club Red. Join Chicago's most interesting crime-fighting couple as they investigate The Taylor Street case file of RED CIN.
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Book 2: The Taylor Street Files Of Leg Men
In this second book in the series, ChicagoÕs most interesting crime-fighting couple, Frankie Turk and Lola Lahti, are hired on as bodyguards to protect Chita, the thirteen-year-old daughter of two billionaires. One hails from Brazil; the other from TexasÑand they are worlds apart. The family built a Farm of the Future in Illinois, where Chita trains a racehorse named Dandyosa. But oil and water don't mix.
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The Taylor Street File of Red Cin by JoBe Cerny, Cerny/American Creative, 342 pages, $17.50 paperback. This is the first novel by JoBe Cerny, part of an ambitious quartet of Chicago-based mysteries featuring a pair of private eyes named Frankie Turk and Lola Lahti, once married, now divorced but still living together. They are former cops suspended as a result of … well, "We both have anger management issues and short fuses," Turk says. They drive around in a 1970 Oldsmobile with a "two-body trunk in case we ever have to use it for such purposes," and they "are not heroes by nature, and we always like to see what is waiting for us when we enter an alley by night." There has, of course, been a murder, that of the owner of Club Red, and the private eyes are dealing with his young widow Cin, as in "short for Cinnamon." The dialogue is snappy, the characters — good and bad — appealing, the story full of humor, as exemplified by this jacket notation: "No real criminals were murdered or maimed in the writing of this novel." Cerny has had a fine, ongoing career as a successful actor/producer/director, as well as being the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy. He can now call himself a crime novelist.
A beautiful young heiress hires suspended Chicago police detective Frankie Turk and his partner in love and sleuthing, Lola Lahti, to find her husband’s killer in this engaging murder mystery.
Lahti and Turk, who had been married to one another, are on disciplinary leave from the police force. As the only residents of Taylor Street, an unofficial safe house for Chicago detectives who are temporarily sidelined, they have plenty of privacy for amorous antics when they aren’t on the clock as private investigators. Turk’s newest client, Cin Ahmen, lost a limb when the bullet she fired in an attempt to save her husband ricocheted into her knee. And that was just the latest in a series of disastrous events since her teenage years in rural Maine. Self-preservation led her to seduce a wealthy Chicago judge who was fly fishing in the woods near her home. He died, too, albeit of natural causes. Her second husband used some of Cin’s inheritance to open a swanky club called Club Red. Turk discovers that a Chinese national had been supplying the club with martini glasses whose stems contained something other than glass. It’s starting to look like Cin’s second husband might have run afoul of the Chinese mobster, who’s also providing upscale clubs with prostitutes from mainland China. But there are many more shadows in this story, largely because Cin hasn’t shared everything she knows with Turk and Lola. The tension intensifies when an unknown assailant brutally attacks Cin at her own club, sparking in Turk and Lola a fear that the next attack will be fatal. A revelation involving the true identity of the murdered husband lends poignancy to the investigation, and there are more surprises to come. Initially appearing to be some sort of femme fatale, Cin emerges as something else as the story unfolds. Since she’s ultimately a sympathetic character, and since Turk and Lola are quite likable themselves, the pursuit of Cin’s tormenter has a compelling resonance. The dialogue sometimes tilts to the saccharine but doesn’t unduly slow the progress to an unexpected, memorable conclusion.
A sharp murder mystery held together by likable characters.
5 out of 5 stars A Terrific new mystery series!
Frank & Lola are gritty, quirky, street-bred characters that leverage their unorthodox personal relationship to create a thoroughly thrilling and entertaining team of crime solvers... the Chicago backdrop provides some fun familiarity for anyone who knows the city.
I recommend this novel, and look forward to more in this series!
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The Taylor Street File Of Red Cin
"The Taylor Street File of Red Cin" was a good read with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting from beginning to end. A good sense of humor with a strong sense of storytelling. There must be more Taylor Street File stories worth telling. Keep 'em coming!
I totally enjoyed reading this book. The concept of the "Off the Books" detective agency was very intriguing. The setting in Chicago made it especially fun for a Chicagoan. I am looking forward to the next book in what I hope is a long-running series.
The mystery is complicated, but the Taylor Street detectives, Frankie and Lola are up to the challenge. Taylor Street is an off the books agency comprised of suspended police detectives. A young widow hires the agency to find out who killed her husband. Her name is Cin and she owns Chicago's hottest night spot, Club Red. The author's writing style is Film Noir laced with liberal doses of black humor. The story gives the reader a private eye's view of the streets of Chicago, showing both the beauty of the city and the sometimes violent crimes in it's neighborhoods. Characters you care about and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing to the end. Looking forward to the next Taylor Street File.
Cerny has taken the right tack to show us Chicago: A two-sided town--seen and unseen--with multiple layers of motivation and all shades of gray in legitimacy. Start this roller coaster ride with a judge you never see but surely know is as black and gray as a pile of ashes. End with a lady you've seen in bright colors but never know until the last moment. A fun ride!
About the AuthorJoBe Cerny is an award-winning actor, producer, director and writer. He grew up in Cicero, Illinois, home of Al Capone and organized crime. His high school reunions are small because many of his classmates are serving fifty to life. Cerny worked his way through college digging holes with a pick and shovel for a Cicero sewer company. Working in the gutters gave him a chance to talk to criminals and develop his lethal sense of humor.