Best Chicago writer who also owns a bar

Michael Harvey

michaelharveybooks.com

Michael Harvey has written three thrillers starring Chicago private investigator Michael Kelly, a world-weary ex-cop with a penchant for quoting the classics: The Chicago Way (2007), The Fifth Floor (2008), and The Third Rail (2010). I've read—and reviewed and recommended—them all; they're nicely paced and at times edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, which you might expect from a writer with a bio like Harvey's: cocreator of the TV show Cold Case Files, law degree from Duke, master's in journalism from Northwestern, a bachelor's in classics from Holy Cross, bar owner. Said bar is the Hidden Shamrock (2723 N. Halsted, 773-883-0304, thehiddenshamrock.com), a place where PI Kelly occasionally goes to wind down after a day of sleuthing and being shot at. The bar has recently begun hosting "The Chicago Way," a monthly literary series that features a Q&A format with a local author; Harvey himself will be the featured guest at the series' July 12 event. His next Michael Kelly novel, We All Fall Down, is due out in July from Knopf. I'm betting there will be a scene at the Hidden Shamrock, with Kelly nursing some fresh wound and a Guinness or two. —Jerome Ludwig