Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John McEvoy  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Mystery Non-Fiction

Born: 1936 in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Sites:


Illinois Connection

McEvoy has lived in Evanston since 1966. His novels all have Chicago settings.

Biographical and Professional Information

John McEvoy is a former journalist.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Through the pages of Daily racing form
ISBN: B0006RG3IK

Daily Racing Form Press. 1995

Great Horse Racing Mysteries: True Tales from the Track
ISBN: 158150103X

Eclipse Press. 2004

Examines several unsolved mysteries of the racing world-- murder...suicide...arson...fraud....Definitely some of horse racing's strangest, most fascinating tales.

Women in Racing: In Their Own Words
ISBN: 158150067X

Eclipse Press. 2001

Women in all facets of this industry share their stories.

Round Table: Thoroughbred Legends
ISBN: 1581500726

Eclipse Press. 2002

Author John McEvoy chronicles Round Table from his birth at legendary Claiborne Farm to his transcontinental treks to his distinguished stud career.

The Seabiscuit Story: From the Pages of the Nation's Most Prominent Racing Magazine
ISBN: 158150098X

Eclipse Press. 2003

Using firsthand accounts of Seabiscuit's life and racing career as reported in the pages of "The Blood-Horse magazine, The Seabiscuit Story tells the amazing rags-to-riches story of this 1930s horse racing phenomenon.

Blind Switch: A Jack Doyle Mystery (Jack Doyle Series)
ISBN: 1590582764

Poisoned Pen Press. 2006

Desperate Jack Doyle accepts a sketchy job which leads to a deadly game of fixing horse races and murder--of the four-legged kind.... One-time amateur boxer Jack Doyle, an irreverent and rebellious advertising account representative, goes to work one fine Chicago day and finds his desk--and his job--both gone. A two-time loser at the marriage game as well, Doyle, usually ultra-confident, fishes himself out of a bottle to take stock, realizing, ""with a thumping finality, that Life sure as hell did have his number and was crunching it.""~At loose ends, Doyle accepts a most unusual offer from an acquaintance, Moe Kellman, ""furrier to the Mob,"" to fix a horse race. The context of making the deal, a Cubs game at storied Wrigley Field, sets the tone for the drama that follows. Thus begins a chain of events that will lead the FBI to Doyle's door where they ""coopt"" him into a quest after people who are maiming or killing thoroughbred horses for their insurance values. Their number one target is a loathsome media mogul who can't bear to lose at anything.~Built upon recent factual events, spiced with satire and peppered throughout with engaging loonies, Blind Switch is a noteworthy first novel with a hero forced to ask in its ultimate line, ""Where have I gone right?""

Riders Down (Jack Doyle)
ISBN: 1590582586

Poisoned Pen Press. 2006

No one really notices that a fix may be in until Matt O'Connor, a Chicago-based columnist for a national racing newspaper, gets a call from Moe Kellman, a horse-owning acquaintance. Kellman’s question for Matt: Was the death of ninety-two-year-old Bernard Glockner, Chicago's oldest active bookmaker, suicide or murder? Glockner was Kellman's late uncle and Kellman, a man not unfamiliar with the Chicago mob, wants Matt to check it out.



Matt quickly comes to believe that the fate of the bookie is tied to a series of races whose outcomes have been manipulated. His quest is aided by horse trainer Maggie Collins and Dave Zimmer, a professional gambler known as The Fount for his reputation as an encyclopedic source of information. Eventually, going as far afield as Las Vegas and Madison, Wisconsin, they fix their sights on a brilliant sociopath. But why would this psycho have plotted a race-fixing scheme?



Spiced with the kind of lively language that marked Blind Switch, the author's debut novel (2004), Riders Down offers striking insights into the world of horse racing and the possibilities of its corruption.

Close Call: A Jack Doyle Mystery (Jack Doyle Series)
ISBN: 1590587723

Poisoned Pen Press. 2010

Ex-amateur boxer and failed advertising account executive Jack Doyle, hero of

Blind Switch, returns to the world of thoroughbred horse racing

at a suburban

Chicago

track in this new thriller by the author of award-winning

Riders Down.

With the help of furrier-to-the-mob Moe Kellman, Doyle is hired as publicity director at

Monee

Park, a struggling suburbanChicago

track owned by heiress Celia McCann. Celia is fighting to keep the business afloat while awaiting passage of a law allowing the introduction of lucrative video slot machines at

Monee

Park. Meanwhile, she is under pressure from her co-heir and cousin, Niall Hanratty, to close the track and sell the valuable property to real estate developers. Working hard to convince Celia to sell are a pair of hired thugs from

Chicago’s Canaryville neighborhood.

Celia, whose husband is afflicted with ALS, is determined to maintain the business inherited from her beloved uncle Jim Joyce. The exploits of star sprinter Rambling Rosie help Celia’s cause, as do the efforts of the redoubtable Doyle, again a somewhat reluctant knight errant who rises to the occasion when needed.

Written from an insider’s viewpoint, and featuring a robust cast of offbeat characters,

Close Call

provides entertaining insight into the unique world of American horse racing with a climax as exciting as a Derby photo finish.

The Significant Seven (Jack Doyle Series)
ISBN: 1590587154

Poisoned Pen Press. 2010

Seven lifelong friends and racing fans from their student days at the University of Wisconsin strike it lucky at Saratoga Race Track when they combine to win a plus million dollar Pick Six. They subsequently use some of those profits to buy race horses, one of which, The Badger Express, turns out to be a sensational runner, stallion, and money maker. Seven years later, the men become targets of a professional assassin, an ex-Navy SEAL and Iraq private security guard named Orth. They begin dying, one by one. Jack Doyle returns to the race track, volunteering to aid FBI agents in a search for criminals fixing races. Doyle then becomes involved in protecting Rene Rison, the favored daughter of the Significant Seven’s leader Arnie Rison. Jack Doyle, as always irreverent, observant, opinionated, sometimes mistaken but always persistent, eventually manages to find answers to the questions of who is fixing the races and who is having members of the Significant Seven killed off.

Photo Finish: A Jack Doyle Mystery (Jack Doyle Series)
ISBN: 1464200157

Poisoned Pen Press. 2012

Irreverent Chicago racetrack publicist Jack Doyle, former advertising man and amateur boxer, accepts a new job as a thoroughbred jockey's agent. His client is a seventeen-year-old riding phenom from Ireland named Mickey Sheehan. Mickey and Jack prove to be an effective team until someone begins secretly doping the horses, affecting race results.



In his quest to identify the culprit, Doyle is aided by his old friend Moe Kellman, furrier-to-the-Mob

trainer Ralph Tenuta, himself the target of a blackmailer

and young veterinarian Ingrid McGuire, a talented horse communicator. The action moves from Chicago's Heartland Downs to New York's famed Saratoga Race Course, even stepping aboard Mob capo Fifi Bonadio's lavish yacht in Chicago's Belmont Harbor. Will Jack's persistent push for answers get him killed?

High Stakes (Jack Doyle Series)
ISBN: 1464202761

Poisoned Pen Press. 2014

Irreverent Jack Doyle has worn many hats, one or two blown off by his irrepressible temper. A former boxer, advertising rep, and publicity man, Jack’s midlife career has been shaped by the world of thoroughbred horse racing and dark deeds therein. So it’s no surprise when two FBI agents he’s sleuthed with before pressure him to identify an animal activist who is carrying out “mercy killings” of retired race horses donated to Midwestern university veterinary schools. Plus two Chicago senior citizens are being threatened by an imperious Internet millionaire intent on owning their beloved horse. Then a call comes from Ireland where the life of Jack’s friend Niall Hanratty, the noted bookmaker, is under attack from an unknown enemy. Meanwhile Doyle’s nemesis Harvey Rexroth, the rapacious media mogul Jack helped put into federal prison, enlists a fellow inmate, a Mobconnected attorney, to have Jack killed. Carrying out this contract will be W. D. Wiems, a brilliant, frighteningly warped University of Kansas student who has eagerly launched a career of murder for hire. Fast tracking, Jack visits vet schools while juggling pieces of investigations near home and traveling twice to Ireland where his quest to find Hanratty’s enemy takes him to Kinsale, Connemara, and a Dublin slum. Meanwhile the vicious contract killer is, all unknown, tracking Jack…


Awards

-- Benjamin Franklin for ''Riders Down'' and ''Great Horse Racing Mysteries''