NOTE: Mark Schweizer is known for his cozy, tongue-in-cheek St. Germaine mysteries. Please be aware that although "Dear Priscilla" has a significant amount of humor, it is a hard-edged police thriller. It is NOT a cozy mystery.
October, 1943. Detective Merl Cahill and his partner, Fish Biederman, have got a good thing going. Chicago in 1943 is a very lucrative place to be one of “Chicago’s finest.” Merl Cahill is not only one of “Chicago’s finest,” he’s also one of “Chicago’s largest” — an ex-Chicago Bears’ lineman standing six-seven and weighing two hundred eighty pounds. He might be considered one of “Chicago’s meanest” if any one of his collars stayed alive long enough to press charges.
When a dead girl is found in an alley behind a grocery store, it’s Merl and Fish who get the call. After a second girl turns up, so does the heat. A mug like this would usually be no match for these two, but this killer is different — colder, smarter, with a warped psyche that defies all attempts at unravelling. All they can do is wait for him to strike again.
A female detective promoted to the squad does little for morale and as the tension mounts, it becomes clear that the killer isn’t finished. Not by a long shot.
A love story, a hard-bitten potboiler with twists, slugs, roscoes, and more than a few belly laughs, Dear Priscilla is also a look back at Chicago in the early ’40s — WWII, Maxwell Street, the Union Stock Yards, the Times, Chicago Bears football — and populated with some of Schweizer’s best characters to date. All this makes for a comic noir thriller that you won’t want to miss.