Adult education, as Woody Allen once said, is a wonderful thing, and it's great to see consummate Chicago wardheeler Jimmy Flannery taking a couple of night courses. His English class brings Jimmy together with Jake O'Meara, a broken-down ex-cop who's caring for Billy, an elderly dog that stands between the Papadopolous family and a fat inheritance. When Jake asks a favor, Jimmy, always a master of the calculus of favors, has to decide how far he'd go to protect Jake from the Papadopolous clan. Meanwhile, his political-science teacher, sleek attorney Frank Vollmer, has been acting very strangely, and Jimmy's Mob-connected fellow-student Vince Pastorelli has gone from dozing in class to sleeping the big sleep after a convenient hit-and-run in a nearby park. Only in Jimmy's Chicago, where everything from love to public-service contracts is for sale or trade, would Pastorelli's death be tied in to Billy's well-being. But watching Jimmy make the connection and fix the price makes for some deeply adulterated joy. Jimmy's ninth case (In a Pig's Eye, 1991, etc.) is as irresistible as coffee and biscotti. And it's great to see that despite all those English classes, Jimmy, like Hyman Kaplan, still sounds as uniquely American as ever.