Jon Kolb's Appropriately Named "Summer of Rain"

Jun 13, 2014

If you just can't get enough of this week's heavy rain and fog, a new mystery by a local author might be just the meteorological ticket.  

The Summer of Rain: Odyssey of a Young P.I. plays out in a fictional Wisconsin town during a profoundly damp summer.

The investigator is Bobby Broyles - new to the job, and a man who finds himself wrapped up a soggy morass of corruption, murder, scandal, and yes, slimy funeral directors.  

Whitefish Bay author Jon Kolb's new book is "The Summer of Rain".
Whitefish Bay author Jon Kolb's new book is "The Summer of Rain".

The hard-boiled mystery is the work of the mild-mannered Jon Kolb of Whitefish Bay, who's previously written plays and short stories.

Kolb sat down with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich in the studio and talked about what makes a good mystery for him, and what initially drew him to the genre.

Most of Kolb's experience with the underworld comes through his love of the hardboiled mysteries of old.  But he does remember one experience that left a lasting impression.  "My parents used to take us to the Shorecrest Hotel in Milwaukee for dinner," he says, and they pointed out a telephone on the table, which was [Mafia boss] Frank Balistreri’s notorious phone that was eventually tapped…so I got some look into that world."

Kolb's hero makes it through this mystery relatively unscathed, leaving him available - potentially - for more crime-solving in the future, provided the rain lets up.