Novels

Book cover

Brush Back

V I Warshawski thought she was in love with Frank Guzzo when he was a high school baseball star, but she’s long forgotten him until the day he comes into her office, wanting help with his mother.

Book cover

Critical Mass

New York Times-bestselling author Sara Paretsky’s brilliant protagonist V.I. Warshawski returns in another hard-hitting entry, combining razor-sharp plotting and compelling characters with a heady mix of timely political and social themes.

Book cover

Breakdown

Carmilla, Queen of the Night, is a shape-shifting raven whose fictional exploits thrill girls all over the world. When tweens in Chicago's Carmilla Club hold an initiation ritual in an abandoned cemetery, they stumble on an actual corpse, a man stabbed through the heart in a vampire-style slaying.

Book cover

Body Work, by Sara Paretsky

“Doctors take days off—why not P I’s?” V I Warshawski demands.  But when America’s hardest-working private eye goes clubbing, a stranger is shot, and dies in V I’s arms.

V I has been visiting Club Gouge, Chicago’s edgiest night spot, where a woman known as the Body Artist turns her naked body into a canvas for the audience to paint on.  The show attracts all kinds of people, from a menacing off-duty cop, to Ukrainian mobsters, Iraqi war vets—and V I’s impetuous cousin Petra.  A tormented young painter shows up, too, and the intricate designs she creates on the Body Artist drives one of the vets into a violent rage.

Book cover

Bleeding Kansas

Bleeding Kansas centers on the Grelliers and the Schapens, two families who have been farming in the Kaw River Valley for over a 150 years, and how their lives are affected by war and by the changing sexual and religious mores of the day. more »

Book cover

Fire Sale

V I Warshawski may have left her old South Chicago neighborhood, but she learns that she cannot escape it. When V I takes over coaching duties of the girls' basketball team at her former high school, she faces an ill-equipped, ragtag group of gangbangers, fundamentalists, and teenage moms, who inevitably draw the detective into their family woes. more »

Book cover

Black List

Eager for physical action in the spirit-numbing wake of 9/11, VI Warshawski is glad to take on a routine stake-out for her most important client, Darraugh Graham. His ninety-one year-old mother has sold the family estate, but Geraldine Graham keeps a fretful eye on it from her retirement apartment across the road. When Geraldine sees lights there in the middle of the night, Darraugh sends V I out to investigate—and the detective finds a dead journalist in the ornamental pond.  more »

Book cover

Hardball, by Sara Paretsky

When V. I. Warshawski is asked to find a man who’s been missing for four decades, a search that she figured would be futile becomes lethal. Old skeletons from the city’s racially charged history, as well as haunting family secrets—her own and those of the elderly sisters who hired her—rise up to brush her back from the plate with a vengeance. more »

Book cover

Total Recall

When a man claiming to be a survivor of the Nazi death camps seeks out his family among Lotty Herschel’s circle of friends, he forces her  to confront a memory from the war she has long refused to think about.  As a frightened V I watches her longtime friend and mentor unravel,  she comes to Lotty’s help in the only way she know how—by investigating the survivor’s past. more »

Book cover

Hard Time

Among the first, and perhaps the most compelling, female private investigators of contemporary fiction, Sara Paretsky's incomparable character V I  Warshawski at last returns to the page in her first full-length appearance since 1994's Tunnel Vision. Hard Time is the work of a master--a  riveting novel of suspense that is indisputably Paretsky's best V I Warshawski novel yet. more »

Book cover

Ghost Country

The gritty adventures of V I Warshawski have made the Chicago PI a marquee name among today's sleuths and turned her creator, Sara Paretsky, into one of the mystery world's most popular authors. So it's rather surprising that Paretsky risks her commercial success with a new book that veers sharply from the sure-bet Warshawski series. But Paretsky's latest may be her best book yet; it shows amazing  depth and emotion, offers richly complex characters and a stunningly original plot, and provides subtle but caustic commentary on today's social problems. more »

Book cover

Tunnel Vision

Her office building is falling down, the unpaid bills are mounting up. V I Warshawski needs a lucrative case and needs it fast. Instead, her  most important client demands that she find a community service job to keep his computer-hacking son out of jail. more »

Book cover

Guardian Angel

Racine Avenue is going upscale—bad news for hand-to-mouth residents like V I Warshawski. As tax bills skyrocket, newcomers pressure old inhabitants into fixing up their homes or moving out. To the yuppies on the block the worst eyesore belongs to old Hattie Frizell, whose yard is “returning to native prairie, complete with hubcaps.” Their block club wants her and her five dogs gone. more »

Book cover

Burn Marks

“Victoria, sweetie, you look terrific!”
With those words—and the sour yeasty smell of stale beer—Elena, V I Warshawski’s derelict aunt, re-enters her niece’s life at three in the morning. Burned out of her SRO hotel, Elena has turned to V I for a place to stay. V I vows that it will be a short visit and uses some old political contacts to find Elena a room. more »

Book cover

Blood Shot

In her fifth V I novel, Sara Paretsky brings the private investigator back to her old neighborhood and to the past she cannot escape.

Blood Shot begins innocently enough when V I attends the reunion of her championship basketball team and Caroline, a childhood friend who organized the event, asks V I a professional favor: “Find my father for me.” more »

Book cover

Bitter Medicine

Bitter Medicine, V I’s fourth case, starts when a young friend goes into premature labor. V I and Consuelo are far from home. By the time Consuelo's doctor, young Malcolm Tregiere, arrives, both she and her baby are dead at the local for profit hospital. V I assumes this is a tragic but unavoidable outcome. However, when Dr. Tregiere is  brutally murdered and V I begins to investigate, her work unleashes a trail of violence that leads her back to the hospital where Consuelo died.  more »

Book cover

Killing Orders

Killing Orders, V I Warshawski’s third adventure, starts when her great-aunt Rosa summons the detective to her cold suburban home. Rosa made V I’s childhood miserable and the detective resents the command to help her aunt prove she didn't embezzle five million dollars from a local Dominican priory. more »

Book cover

Deadlock

Deadlock, V I Warshawski’s second case, involves the huge Great Lakes shipping industry. Once again the subject is murder—this time the "accidental death" of Boom-Boom Warshawski, an ex-hockey star and V I’s beloved cousin, who fell—or was pushed—off a rain-slicked pier on Chicago’s busy waterfront. more »

Book cover

Indemnity Only

In this gripping adventure, the first V.I. Warshawski mystery, America’s top private eye is tossed into dangerous adventure when a seemingly straightforward assignment becomes complicated and deadly. more »