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RFTcoverWhole minutes passed when I didn’t think of my man and the swimming lesson set up for the next day, if no one was murdered before then, or the cars stopped, or a bomb go off somewhere…

On a hot, humid Monday afternoon in July 1919, Maeve Curragh watches as a blimp plunges from the sky and smashes into a downtown Chicago bank building. It is the first of ten extraordinary days in Chicago history that will forever change the course of her life.

Racial tensions mount as soldiers return from the battlefields of Europe and the Great Migration brings new faces to the city, culminating in violent race riots.

Each day the young Irish immigrant, a catalogue order clerk for the Chicago Magic Company, devours the news of a metropolis where cultural pressures are every bit as febrile as the weather. But her interest in the headlines wanes when she catches the eye of a charming streetcar conductor.

Maeve’s singular voice captures the spirit of a young woman living through one of Chicago’s most turbulent periods. Seamlessly blending fact with fiction, Mary Burns weaves an evocative tale of how an ordinary life can become inextricably linked with history.


Trade Paperback ♦ ISBN 978-0-9967558-1-8 ♦ $16.99

Ebook ♦ ISBN 978-0-9967558-2-5 ♦ $6.99

Available through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

FICTION/ Historical ♦ FICTION/ Literary

5.5″ x 8.5″

216 pages

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FYWS prepub front cover FINAL RGB


The Second Hanley & Rivka Mystery

On a spring morning in 1872, former Civil War officer Ben Champion is discovered dead—a bayonet protruding from his back. A routine case for Chicago detective Frank Hanley soon becomes anything but, as his investigation into Champion’s life turns up hidden truths.

Meanwhile, Rivka Kelmansky’s long-lost brother arrives on her doorstep, along with his mulatto wife and son. Fugitives from an attack by night riders, they know too much about past actions that still threaten powerful men—defective guns provided to Union soldiers, and an 1864 conspiracy to establish Chicago as the capital of a Northwest Confederacy. Champion had his own connection to that conspiracy, along with ties to a former slave now passing as white and an escaped Confederate guerrilla.

Hanley and Rivka must untangle this web of circumstances, amid simmering hostilities still present years after the end of the Civil War, as they race against time to solve the murder, before the secrets of the past claim more victims.


Praise for the first Hanley & Rivka mystery: Shall We Not Revenge

“The ominous title of Pirrone’s fine historical mystery, taken from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, suggests the bleak mood in Chicago’s Orthodox Jewish community after the devastating fire of [1871.…Pirrone] has painted a complex and intriguing portrait of her native Chicago, with a mix of crime, religion, and cultural division in a time of despair.” —Publishers Weekly

This “deeply nuanced mystery is bolstered by fine writing and historical detail.”       —Kirkus (starred review)

“A meticulously penned historical mystery, Shall We Not Revenge weaves complex characters into an intriguing plot. The sophomore novel from D. M. Pirrone is a gripping mystery that troubles the very notions of innocence and guilt. [It] is an eminently consumable and intelligent read…Pirrone is deft at bringing her characters to life, drawing each with a nod to the complexities around which personalities grow…The flaws in the best amongst her characters make them seem all the more real, and readers will be caught in tides of sympathy. Questions of right and wrong propel the mystery toward its conclusion, with intriguing results…Pirrone recreates a roiling time period in Chicago with skill, paying homage to the cultures of those at its margins. Both Irish and Jewish communities have an authentic feel, without the characteristics of either being overdrawn. Just enough Hebrew is woven in, with just enough evocation of the old country included. Even Pirrone’s character descriptions have a fresh quality, with one pieced together from a “dewlapped neck” and a splotch of a mouth. In such ways, Pirrone’s pages evince strong authorial discernment, and her care makes the novel’s last pages all the more satisfying.” —Michelle Anne Schingler, Foreword Reviews

“Pirrone creates a strong sense of place—both within Rivka’s tight-knit Jewish community and in the struggling, postfire city of Chicago.” Booklist 


Trade Paperback ♦ ISBN 978-0-9890535-9-4 ♦ $16.99

Ebook ♦ ISBN 978-0-9967558-0-1 ♦ $6.99

Available through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

FICTION/ Mystery & Detective/ Historical

6″ x 9″

320 pages

to download printer-friendly information about this book click here

Readers will also enjoy the first Hanley & Rivka mystery Shall We Not Revenge.