Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Terror At The Fair", A Vintage Chicago Who Dun It by Robert Goldsborough

Even though he's a Cub fan I like the books by Chicagoan  Robert Goldsborough. What's not to like? His Snap Malek books are historical mysteries set in Chicago that blend real people into his fictional stories. Snap is a crime reporter who's dogged pursuit of the story always seems to result in a few bodies. Mr. Goldsborough is a former Tribune newspaper man who writes with a breezy entertaining style that keeps things moving. I've read three of the five books and have enjoyed them all.

The latest one is called "Terror At The Fair" and is set at the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1949. In it Snap has been assigned to what looks like a summer of writing boring feature stories about this exposition celebrating 100 years of railroads in Chicago. It isn't long before murders begin to occur and the case is finally solved witha little help from Walt Disney.

A couple of months ago we posted on ChiTownView a video clip from the Chicago Railroad Fair that shows the stage show "Wheels A Rolling". Which in the book is the scene of the first murder. See below for more on the fair and this video.

The author is probably even better known for his series of mysteries that revived Nero Wolfe's character Rex Stout. You can read more about Bob and his books at his web site.

Published by ChiTownView on Sep 21, 2012
The Chicago Railroad Fair was an exposition that took place in 1948 & 49. It was held in Burnham park, on Lake Michigan between 21st & 31st streets. It celebrated 100 years of railroading or more precisely 100 years of the first train to operate out of Chicago. It was a tremendous success with all manner of railroading equipment on display.

Noted train enthusiast Walt Disney visited the fair in 1948. He was so taken by it that he was inspired to create his own amusement park which of course became Disneyland.

This clip shows us the "Wheels A-Rolling" pageant which traces the development of railroads & Chicago. It was was put on twice a day and viewed by thousands of people at a time. For more about the fair visit the Wiki page.

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