Michael Lesy's book Murder City is a great read if your looking for something light but still dealing with historical crime for vacation reading. He doesn't tell you about every murder in Chicago during the 20's. He avoids the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and the Leopold & Loeb's murder of Bobby Franks because both have had extensive coverage.
The book shines in the chapters discussing the cases that are forgotten today. Cases like the first one of Carl Wanderer a war veteran who murdered his wife and an out of luck stranger that he had hired to look like a mugger. When I showed an acquaintance wanderer's picture he said "he doesn't look like a murderer". I think that's the point of Lesy's book for the most part he concentrates on the cases concerning people who are ordinary people who carry through a bad idea. Some of the stories are spooky because the details are the things I've heard about as anecdotes but never thought it happened, but it did! The transvestite Fred Thompson who married both a man and a woman and is falsely accused of a murder. He asked for a "white man's chance", but was actually better off being thought of as a white woman. Charles Church who murdered two men and then butchered them because he wanted a new Packard. He led the police on a merry dance telling them what they wanted to hear with as many different versions of what happened as there were investigators. When he's brought to trial he withdraws so far into himself that he becomes the walking dead. The original cases that spawned the musical Chicago and the the fact that battered women syndrome was a very effective defense in Chicago during the 20's. This book is a great read. My only complaint are the chapters spent on Chicago's beer wars there's nothing new here and a couple of facts are a little off. I'd have rather the space been given to some other long forgotten murder case.