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Jul 24, 2017

Sometimes a great novel gets lost in lousy packaging. That’s the case of Renee Rosen’s fifth book, Windy City Blues. It is one of those magnificent, emotional reads that you can’t put down, capturing the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, race records, racism, and illicit relationships in one terrific bundle that you won’t put down until the final page. In fact, the only problem with the book is the way the publisher chose to market it. The cover features an attractive, white, WASP-y woman in 1960s clothes when the lead character, Leeba Groski, is portrayed as not pretty and extremely ethnic Jewish. The primary action takes place in the 1950s and early ‘60s.

RENÈE ROSEN podcast excerpt: "Terry Chess, who is Phil's son, knew Chuck Berry very well. Chuck used to stay over in Terry's room when he was a kid growing up... He'd wake up in the morning and Chuck Berry was there having breakfast with Phil. Terry and his sister Pam would sing songs for Chuck Berry. Wonderful memories; I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it."

Oh, and the majority of the musicians featured are guitarists, primarily Leeba’s boyfriend, Red Dupree, but also real life icons such as Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. But there is a saxophone player on the cover. And a keyboard. But no guitar or guitar player. Well, that’s my opinion. We’ll see what the author has to say next.

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