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Chicago Blues

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Dark collection of crime stories from Chicago
Paperback, 456 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Bleak House Books
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  210 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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A collection of stories set in Chicago. Many stories center on 'blues' in the musical sense. In some cases, 'blues' means the police, for better or for worse. Very few of these stories involve PIs or police solving crimes. I haven't read many crime short stories, beyond the Matt Scudder collection and Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, but this wasn't what I was expecting. Less straightforward crime, many of these stories aim for for a horror feel, focusing on the emotional trauma over logistica ...more
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a great collection of crime stories with the one common ingredient being the use of the theme “blue”. Sometimes it refers directly to the musical connection that Chicago has with the blues and blues men and women who have and still do populate Chicago.

Other times, the blue refers to the Chicago police and the thin blue line, sometimes very thin indeed, that separates the good guys and the bad guys. In other stories, the great rattling El train that races all around the city is the focus
Barbara Nutting
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it
If you’re into Chicago and enjoy short stories you’ll like this compilation. Some were 5 star and some 2 star, thus a 3star overall. Having lived in the Chicago suburbs for 20 years I found these “blue” tales a fun revisit to the city.
Pat Camalliere
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a pleasant surprise this book was! I rarely read short fiction, so I wasn’t expecting much when I picked it up, but almost every one of the authors represented in this 450-page anthology has produced a well-written page-turning story related in some way to Chicago Blues. I highly recommend this book to crime and mystery lovers.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chicago, anthology
An anthology of somewhat dark blues stories based in Chicago...I loved it and highly recommend.
Pete Nickeas
Jan 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Erin bought me this book. I'm usually not a fan of fiction. I read a lot of fiction when I was younger but find myself far more interested in fact these days.

This book, with its couple dozen or so short stories, was a nice break. I could read a story or two at a time, put the book away for a day or two, and come back to it without worrying that I may have forgotten something.
Mystery and the Second City - what could be better?
Aug 05, 2011 added it
I am usually not that crazy about short stories, but I did enjoy these. Twp perfect elements....Chicago and crime - can't go wrong with that! ...more
Rose Blum
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm not a fan of crime fiction... just read this because I'm a fan of Chicago... the Bears, the Blackhawks, the Blues, the Bulls, & my husband who grew up there :)
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I always keep a book of short stories on my nightstand so that when I finish one book I don't have to jump into another one right away. This was a good anthology of Chicago stories the refreshed my memory about many parts of the city. Like any themed compilation, some of the stories were better than others. Overall it was a worthwhile read. ...more
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Like all collections of short stories, this one was a little inconsistent. However, there were very few really bad stories in it and quite a few gems. Helps that it covered my home turf but I think these stories would be enjoyable for anyone, not just people from Chicago or the burbs.
Carl Brookins
Jul 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chicago, like most large cities anywhere in the world, is really two or more cities. It exists in different times and sometimes in different universes, even while occupying the same real estate. Daytimes the people of the upper world are there, crowds of shoppers, traffic, wheelers and dealers, the thousands or millions who go busily about their daily lives in the hard sunlight, visible to almost everybody.

Then there’s the other city, the one you may encounter at night after the sun departs alon
May 03, 2009 rated it really liked it

Fischer Hellman authors 1 story in this anthology, which she also edited. I don't read a lot of short stories, but loved this book.

Such a variety of authors and treatments of stories that all have a tie either to Chicago and/or the musical genre of blues.

Loved reading about the "L", below Wacker Street, the blue-blood suburbs north of the city.

Also, a great range of eras and characters -- from '80s feminist urban P.I. to lower-level Mafia street thugs (in '70s?) to a young c
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's not always easy to review a book of short stories because there is usually an inconsistency in the quality of the work. Especially when there are multiple authors. But in the case of Chicago Blues, a collection of 21 stories compiled by Libby Fischer Hellmann, the quality is consistently excellent.
They all take place in Chicago and contain a diverse assortment of pretty unsavory characters including, corrupt cops, crooked politicians, gangsters, perverts and general crazies. You know, the
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thought I'd just read a few stories at a time, in between other books. Ha! Each story has it's own flavor and twists that it was like eating potato chips. The "Blue" part of the book related to the blues music scene in Chicago, or the Windy City police force. With stories set in different decades, and with the variety of author's voices, this was a fun read. ...more
Lisa Zink
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
meh.... Perhaps the hardest part about short stories is their length. I liked most of the stories but would have preferred them in a longer format. Definitely I have a few new authors to add to my reading list.
Lisa Zink
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
meh.... Perhaps the hardest part about short stories is their length. I liked most of the stories but would have preferred them in a longer format. Definitely I have a few new authors to add to my reading list.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am not usually a fan of short stories, but I miss Stuart M Kaminsky, so I picked this up, and I was sucked into every excellent story in the book. This collection of crime stories about Chicago is from 21 great authors who feel their hometown blues.
Jana Giger
Jul 22, 2008 rated it liked it
A collection of well-written short stories involving crime stories and the blues, all taking place in Chicago. Especially good for short attention spans.
Sep 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Picked this up at the Illinois Library Association. The author Libby Fischer Hellmann was there to sign my book. Plan on reading it on the train back home.
Jackie Fancher
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Chicago folks
Recommended to Jackie by: no one...saw it on the shelf at the library
Great short stories. Loved them because I work downtown and actually have been to places described. Makes it more real. Assorted authors.
Mar 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
A short story collection featuring Chicago and Chicago authors. A great way to find new authors!
May 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Mystery,Second City, short stories by some really good authors...well worth the time.
May 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Possibly the least disappointing collection of short stories ever. Styles vary greatly, and even subject matter. However, consistently compelling writing makes this collection impressive.
Seizure Romero
My favorite opening line came late in the book: "If she was a shot of cheap tequila, I was the worm at the bottom of the bottle."
--The Blue Line by Ronald Levitsky
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting collection of different authors who use Chicago and the blues scene as a back drop. Enjoyed the variety and I intend to follow up on some of the authors.
Jim A
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection of short stories, centered in and around Chicago, by some very good authors. I increased my 'must read' author list via this collection.
Unlike some reviewers, I like short stories and Chicago Blues delivers a number of very good ones. I like the way the real geography of Chicago features in many stories as does Chicago blues.
Jan 13, 2016 added it
Some of the stories were very good; others, not so much. As a native Chicagoan, I did enjoy reading about places I knew.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Some of the stories are really good, others okay. All the stories take place in various Chicago neighborhoods.
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Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 40 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Sixteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery writing community and has even won a few.

Her newest work is A BE

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