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V. I. Warshawski Series

Sara Paretsky
Blood Shot by Sara Paretsky
Hard Time by Sara Paretsky
Total Recall by Sara Paretsky

V. I. Warshawski Series : Titles in Order

Book 10
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A spectacular mystery—complex, fast-paced yet ruminative, and imbued with the grim awareness, shared by all intelligent hard-boiled novels, that the past always catches up with us . . . a thrilling and even moving mystery.”—The Washington Post Book World

V.I.’s journey begins with a national conference in downtown Chicago, where angry protesters are calling for the recovery of Holocaust assets. Replayed on the evening news is the scene of a slight man who has stood up at the conference to tell an astonishing story of a childhood shattered by the Holocaust — a story that has devastating consequences for V.I.’s cherished friend and mentor, Lotty Herschel.

Lotty was a girl of nine when she emigrated from Austria to England, one of a group of children wrenched from their parents and saved from the Nazi terror just before the war broke out. Now stunningly—impossibly—it appears that someone from that long-lost past may have returned.

With the help of a recovered-memory therapist, Paul Radbuka has recently learned his true identity. But is he who he claims to be? Or is he a cunning impostor who has usurped someone else’s history . . . a history Lotty has tried to forget for over fifty years?

As a frightened V.I. watches her friend unravel, she sets out to help in the only way she can: by investigating Radbuka’s past. Already working on a difficult case for a poor family cheated of their life insurance, she tries to balance Lotty’s needs with her client’s, only to find that both are spiraling into a whirlpool of international crime that stretches from Switzerland and Germany to Chicago’s South Side.

As the atrocities of the past reach out to engulf the living, V.I. struggles to decide whose memories of a terrible war she can trust, and moves closer to a chilling realization of the truth—a truth that almost destroys her oldest friend.
Book 9
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “When it comes to creating character, evoking place, and writing crackling and convincing dialogue, Sara Paretsky has no peer—and Hard Time proves it once again.”—Chicago Tribune

“Terrific . . . expertly plotted . . . This book [is] her best.”—The New York Times Book Review

In an instant, the lives of two women collided. One was behind the wheel of a Trans Am she liked to drive too fast. The other was lying in the road, dying an agonizing death. When Chicago private eye V.I. Warshawski got out of her car to look at the woman she almost hit, she began a long, harrowing descent into a world of shadowy secrets and tangled lives—and into the darkest heart of her city.

In Hard Time, which heralds the triumphant return of the much-loved heroine V.I. Warshawski, Sara Paretsky revisits the gritty urban landscape she illuminates with brilliant compassion and vivid color. For as V.I. unravels the mystery of a battered and discarded woman, she moves through circles of the rich and the troubled, into the bitter home of a powerful Chicago family, into the pampered world of a TV star, and behind the razor wire of a women’s prison. What V.I. finds is a web of conspiracy—and explosive secrets hidden in the darkest places of all. . . .

”You’ll feel handcuffed to this book until you’ve finished—probably at 3 a.m.”—The Denver Post
Book 8
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “ The best of Sara Paretsky’s mystery novels . . . all of [Sara] Warshawski’s feminist and liberal proclivities are in full boil, propelling a complex and action-filled plot.”

Stubbornness has landed private eye V.I. Warshawski in big trouble at her Chicago office. With her grand old Loop building set to be razed, she’s become a hold-out tenant amid frayed wiring and scary, empty corridors. Then she finds a homeless woman with three kids in the basement, and before she can rescue them, they disappear. Worst of all, she’s been implicated in a murder—after the body of Deirdre Messenger, a prominent lawyer’s wife, turns up sprawled across her desk.

V.I., who had volunteered with Deirdre at a women’s shelter, suspects her death is linked to a case of upper-class domestic abuse so slickly concealed that the police refuse to believe it. Increasingly at odds with the cops, V.I. is blindly plunging ahead after the truth. And her path may lead to corruption at the highest levels.or deep into the abandoned tunnels beneath Chicago’s streets, where secrets are hiding in the dark like a child’s—or V.I.’s—worst nightmare.

“Riveting . . . a ripsnorting climax . . . [Warshawski is] street-smart, feisty yet appealingly vulnerable.”—Chicago Sun-Times
Book 6
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Another triumph for Ms. Paretsky, her most captivating novel yet . . . V.I. herself [is] undoubtedly one of the best-written characters in mystery fiction.”—The Baltimore Sun

Someone knocking on the door at 3 A.M. is never good news. For V.I. Warshawski, the bad news arrives in the form of her wacky, unwelcome aunt Elena. The fire that has just burned down a sleazy SRO hotel has brought Elena to V.I.’s doorstep. Uncovering an arsonist—and the secrets hidden behind Elena’s boozy smile—will send V.I. into the seedy world of Chicago’s homeless . . . into the Windy City’s backroom deals and bedroom politics, where new schemers and old cronies team up to get V.I. off the case—by hook, by crook, or by homicide.

“One gritty good read . . . V.I. is a worthy heir to Marlowe!”—Daily News (New York)
Book 5
“No one, male or female, writes better P.I. books than Paretsky.”—The Denver Post

V. I. Warshawski isn’t crazy about going back to her old south Chicago neighborhood, but a promise is something she always keeps. Caroline, a childhood friend, has a dying mother and a problem—after twenty-five years she wants V.I. to find the father she never knew. But when V.I. starts probing into the past, she  stumbles onto some long-buried secrets—and a very new corpse. Now she’s stirring up a deadly mix of big business and chemical corruption that may become a toxic shock to a snooper who knows too much. 

“[Paretsky’s] work does more than turn the genre upside down: her books are beautifully paced and plotted, and the dialogue is fresh and smart.”—Newsweek

“Her best and boldest work to date . . . a criminal investigation that is a genuine heroic quest.”—The New York Times Book Review
Book 2
“V.I. Warshawski is one of the best . . . smart, tough, sexy.”—Daily News (New York)

“Sara Paretsky makes excellent use of local backgrounds in a carefully plotted tale of murder and great misdeeds in the world of Great Lakes cargo shipping.”—Chicago Tribune

When Chicago Black Hawks hockey legend Boom Boom Warshawski slips off a wharf and drowns in Lake Michigan, his private-eye cousin questions the accidental death report and rumors of suicide. Armed with a bottle of Black Label and a Smith & Weson, V.I. follows a trail of violence and corruption to the center of the Windy City’s powerful shipping industry. Dodging elaborate attempts on her life with characteristic grit and humor, the one-of-a-kind detective wends her way through a maze of grain elevators and thousand-ton freighters, ruthless businessmen and gorgeous ballerinas, to ferret out Boom Boom’s killers before they phase her out of the picture—permanently.

“Hard-boiled detective fiction . . . a swift-paced and engrossing read.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Slithers with suspense!”—Chicago Sun-Times
Book 1
The first V.I. Warshawski novel! • “[V.I. Warshawski] is . . . wonderful company and a rich discovery awaiting those who have yet to meet her.”—Los Angeles Times

Meeting an anonymous client late on a sizzling summer night is asking for trouble. But trouble is Chicago private eye V.I. Warshwski’s specialty. Her client says he’s the prominent banker John Thayer. Turns out he’s not. He says his son’s girlfriend, Anita Hill, is missing. Turns out that’s not her real name. V.I.’s search turns up someone soon enough—the real John Thayer’s son, and he’s dead.

Who’s V.I.’s client? Why has she been set up and sent out on a wild-goose chase? By the time she’s got it figured, things are hotter—and deadlier—than Chicago in July. V.I.’s in a  desperate race against time. At stake: a young woman’s life.

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