Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  David J. Walker  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Mystery

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

David grew up in Mundelein and currently resides in Wilmette.

Biographical and Professional Information

Walker's most recent novel, ''No Show of Remorse'', is his fourth book featuring Chicago private investigator Mal Foley. His other series, his "Wild Onion Ltd." Series, features a husband/wife private eye team. The three books in that series are ''A Ticket to Die For'', ''A Beer at a Bawdy House'', and ''The End of Emerald Woods''. Dave has been a parish priest, an investigator with the Chicago police department and a lawyer. He now divides his time between writing and practicing law.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Fixed in His Folly
ISBN: 0312130740

St Martins Pr. 1995

When knife-wielding street punks warn private investigator Malachy Foley against "bein' even close to happy," the message isn't about Mal's state of mind. Harriet "Happy" Mallory, a high-powered Chicago attorney with political ambitions, has just hired Mal to find her son, placed for adoption thirty-one years ago. Seems there's more here than just the late-blooming maternal interest Harriet claims.
Mal, fast on his feet and more quick-witted than prudent, follows the trail to a gentle woman headed home from prison, a beautiful woman headed nowhere but the grave, and then to Harriet's boy - trapped in a maelstrom of vengeance and death. Bad cops, tarnished priests, and Scripture-quoting killers stalk Chicago's mean streets together.
He ought to take time to salvage his own failing marriage, or maybe stick to playing barroom piano, but Mal presses forward into the center of a strange and violent vendetta. With a furious pace and meticulous plotting, David J. Walker gives us characters we care about and a vivid portrait of love gone wrong in this unusually accomplished debut mystery.

A Ticket to Die for (Wild Onion Ltd. Mysteries)
ISBN: 0312193459

Minotaur Books. 1998

A female private detective and her lawyer husband join forces to investigate the murder of a young woman whose death may be connected to organized crime. By the author of Applaud the Hollow Ghost.

A Beer at a Bawdy House (Wild Onion Ltd. Mysteries)
ISBN: 0312252420

Minotaur Books. 2000

The first book in Walker's Wild Onion series, A Ticket to Die For, has collected rave reviews for its rich plotting, intense characters, and breathtaking suspense. Now in the second installment, the husband-and-wife investigative team is hired by Chicago Bishop Peter Keegan to look into disturbing messages he's received threatening to reveal a dark secret in his past. Kirsten and Dugan are quickly caught up in the whirlwind of danger surrounding the bishop and his estranged police chief brother, who may be more than a bystander in Peter's troubles. Once again, Edgar Award nominee Walker delivers a crafty tale of murder and intrigue in which even the innocent have secrets to hide and even the just can't be kept safe.

No Show of Remorse
ISBN: 0312252404

Minotaur Books. 2002

Chicago private eye Mal Foley was a lawyer once. Then he disobeyed a court order requiring him to reveal a client's role in a shootout that left three people dead, one of them a cop, and his law license was revoked. Now years removed from that fateful day, Mal is filing a petition to get his license reinstated. It quickly becomes a problem, however, as Mal is expected to "express remorse for his misconduct" in order to satisfy the court, something he steadfastly refuses to do.

In fact, he would withdraw the petition -- if people would only stop trying to frighten him into doing just that. Anonymous notes turn into death threats, then into savage beatings, and finally into murder. It seems no one wants Mal's petition to lead to a hearing, where testimony might reveal what really led to the shooting so many years ago.

The person with the most to lose should the truth come out seems to be Jimmy Coletta, a second cop shot that night. Coletta survived, but has spent his life since in a wheelchair. Whatever part he played in the shootout, he seems a good man now, spending his life helping minority kids who have disabilities. Mal doesn't want to bring Jimmy down, but soon an innocent man's life depends on Mal pressing ahead with his petition, no matter who gets destroyed in the process. Set in Chicago, No Show of Remorse is a startling novel about crime, corruption, and their devastating consequences.

The End of Emerald Woods (Wild Onion Ltd. Mysteries)
ISBN: 0312252153

Minotaur Books. 2000

Chicago investigator and lawyer, wife and husband team Kirsten and Dugan are working together again to investigate what looks like a penny-ante problem: the theft of $2112.50, donations to the Committee to Rescue Emerald Woods, from the grassroots organization's treasurer. It seems like an open-and-shut case. But when it becomes clear that one group who might take offense by CREW's activities is a powerful Chicago land developer, and that the supposedly small-time theft of the money has been accompanied by some very serious threats, the case gets complicated-and deadly-in a hurry.

Edgar Award nominee David J. Walker's Wild Onion series-which includes A Ticket to Die For and A Beer at a Bawdy House-features two of the most appealing and creative series characters in mystery fiction today, and this cleverly drawn new installment is sure to be a success with longtime fans as well as those new to Walker's fine work.

All the Dead Fathers (Wild Onion Ltd. Mysteries)
ISBN: 0312334540

Minotaur Books. 2005

Two years ago, Father Michael Nolan was sued by the family of a seventeen-year-old girl who had committed suicide years ago after confessing to having an affair with Father Nolan. The lawsuit was thrown out, but all of Michael's secrets came out, resulting in the end of his life as a priest and ruining his relationship with his niece, Kirsten. Michael and Kirsten, a private investigator and the lead character along with her lawyer husband, Dugan, a lawyer, of David J. Walker's acclaimed Wild Onion mystery series, were quite close, especially after Michael helped her out of a big jam when she was in college, and Kirsten is devastated by the revelations about her uncle.

She still feels obligated to him, though, after everything they've been through together, and when a list of priests who have been accused of abuse appears in the Chicago newspaper, she is sympathetic. Unlike Dugan, who defended him against the lawsuit but since then would rather have less than nothing to do with him. But Kirsten's sympathy turns to real fear when one of the priests on the list turns up dead, murdered and his body mutilated. Has the list in the newspaper ignited a killer, or is it someone seeking revenge for a more personal reason?

Before they can get anywhere on the first murder, another priest turns up dead. In this latest intricately constructed novel by the award-winning author of the Mal Foley mysteries, Kirsten and Dugan try to find a killer amid the rising danger.

Saving Paulo (Five Star Mystery Series)
ISBN: 1594146551

Five Star. 2008

Too Many Clients (Wild Onion Ltd. Mysteries)
ISBN: 0727869302

Severn House Publishers. 2010

The new novel in the acclaimed ‘Wild Onion Ltd.’ mystery series - Private eye Kirsten and her lawyer husband Dugan have a problem. A tarnished Chicago cop has been murdered, and Dugan’s foolish flouting of certain rules has ensured his place on the list of suspects. Kirsten knows it’s unwise to have her own husband as a client, but doesn’t trust his freedom with anyone else. Soon, though, she has two more clients, who both want her to find the real killer – or at least they say they do . . .



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