DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Signed by the Author > Writing instructor's 10th novel pursues a Chicago murder mystery

Writing instructor's 10th novel pursues a Chicago murder mystery

Cover of Murder in the Summer of Love

By: Michael Raleigh, Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse

It is the Summer of Love, and unorthodox private eye Harry Strummer is hired by night club singer Valerie Rolfe to find her estranged husband, who may or may not have been murdered by a pair of out-of-town killers after a drug deal gone wrong has left three men dead on a Florida beach.

Against the backdrop of his colorful Old Town neighborhood, Harry's search for the missing man is complicated by a street kid informant, a clever Chicago cop, and a Louisiana private eye hopelessly out of his depth. And he is reminded that no one is ever entirely what they seem.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I enjoy using the character of a detective to explore particular times in Chicago's past and issues specific to the city. These books are also my way of sharing things about the city that I'd like people to know. Someone once wrote that Chicago is always a character in my books. I appreciated that.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned while writing this book?

I teach students to do research in my classes, and I'm very fond of using old newspapers as sources. It was fascinating to see, through DePaul's microfilm collection, what the Tribune and Sun-Times had to say about Chicago in 1967. I lived through the Summer of Love but had forgotten how much was going on in our town, and in particular in the Old Town neighborhood.

Persuade someone to read your book in less than 50 words:

Chicago in the Summer of Love, Old Town, '60s music, a missing man, a satchel of money, a woman in trouble, a dead bookie, and a detective who has no idea how complicated his life is about to get. Murder, romance, Chicago in summertime.

About the author:

Michael Raleigh has taught writing for nearly 50 years, including the last 14 as an adjunct faculty member for DePaul's Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse. Previously he taught at Truman College for more than 30 years. He has published 10 novels, including both literary novels ("In the Castle of the Flynns", "The Conjurer's Boy") and mystery novels with a Chicago flavor.

Publisher, release date:

Coffeetown Press, June 1, 2021

Signed by the Author allows DePaul faculty and staff to introduce their recently published or upcoming book or chapter to the university community. To submit your book or chapter for consideration, contact Newsline.​