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V.I. Warshawski

This page lists novels and short story collections that feature the private investigator V.I. Warshawski.

Some of the novels listed have been published a number of times. The cover images shown are, where possible, the first US edition and a recent mass market paperback edition.


 

V.I. Warshawski: Novels and short story collections

Indemnity Only

Sara Paretsky

Dial Press

1982

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"Meeting an anonymous client on a sizzling summer night is asking for trouble. Especially when the client lies and tells V.I. Warshawski he's the prominent banker John Thayer, looking for his son's missing girlfriend. But V.I. soon discovers the real John Thayer's son - and he's dead. As V.I. begins to question her mysterious client's motives, she sinks deeper into Chicago's darker side: a world of gangsters, insurance fraud and contract killings. And while she must concentrate on saving the life of someone she has never met, it becomes clear that she is in danger of losing her own."
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Deadlock

Sara Paretsky

Dial Press

1984

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"Boom Boom's body was found floating near the docks, chewed up and spat out by a ship's propeller. More like brother and sister than cousins, Vic and Boom Boom looked out for each other. Boom Boom grew up to be an ice hockey hero, and Vic a private eye. And now V.I. Warshawski would like to know how, exactly, her cousin died."
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Killing Orders

Sara Paretsky

William Morrow

1985

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"Years ago V.I. Warshawski's Aunt Rosa treated the detective's beloved mother in an unforgiveable way. Now, after she's accused of stealing $3 million from the Dominican priory where she works, Rosa calls upon the ties of blood to clear her name. V.I. is not prepared to forgive so easily. Until suddenly no one else - the FBI, a threatening phone caller, and even Aunt Rosa herself - appears to want her on the case either. V.I. turns to an old friend for help. But the stakes are higher than she could have realised."
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Bitter Medicine

Sara Paretsky

William Morrow

1987

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"Consuelo is sixteen, heavily pregnant and married to an unemployed gangster. The last thing she needs is a negligent doctor. When she is rushed into the Friendship private hospital, the staff are reluctant to treat her. Fortunately she has Vic Warshawski, family friend and ex-lawyer, with her. But Consuelo and her baby are the tragic victims of a system so corrupt that it pays her husband to keep quiet. Anyone who can discover anything about the unorthodox dealings of the Friendship is in danger. And Vic's investigations are just about to begin."
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Blood Shot

Sara Paretsky

Delacorte

1988

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"When V.I. Warshawski is asked to search for the father of a childhood friend, she assumes it'll be a straightforward case. But the return to her old Chicago neighbourhood reignites dark memories from her past - memories she'd sooner forget. As the body of another old friend suddenly turns up, V.I. finds herself embroiled in a dangerous quest for justice which pits her against the bosses of big business and industrial corruption. It's one of her toughest and most personal cases yet, one from which she may not emerge entirely unscathed."
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Burn Marks

Sara Paretsky

Delacorte

1990

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"When her seedy and importunate Aunt Elena turns up on her doorstep at midnight, having been burned out of her old people's home, V.I. Warshawski is exasperated rather than curious. Her interest is aroused only when an old friend, now a rising politician, puts pressure on her not to investigate ... and what she discovers isn't pretty: massive corruption and collusion among Chicago politicians and the construction industry. In the complex threads of past loyalties and big aspirations, the political stakes are high and friendship is cheap."
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Guardian Angel

Sara Paretsky

Delacorte

1992

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"V.I. Warshawski's Chicago neighbourhood is prospering. As it's out with the old and in with the new, long-term residents like elderly Hattie Frizell find themselves viciously under threat . . . But that's not all that's troubling V.I. When the body of her neighbour's friend is found washed up in the Sanitary Canal, her investigations lead her to uncover a world of corporate conspiracy and political corruption involving some of Chicago's most prestigious industrial players. And after several attempts on her life, it seems that this time, V.I. may have dug too deep."
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Tunnel Vision

Sara Paretsky

Delacorte

1994

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"The discovery of a destitute family in her office basement leads V.I. Warshawski to homeless charity Home Free. But the organisation's frosty reception gives V.I. cause for concern, especially when one of its board members is then found murdered, sprawled across her desk . . . Taking on the case, V.I. uncovers a framework of domestic abuse and fraud which spreads across the whole of Chicago, as well as into the abandoned tunnels beneath the city streets - where more dark secrets have been buried."
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Windy City Blues

Sara Paretsky

Delacorte

1995

V.I. Warshawski short stories

"It's strictly Friends & Family as V.I. Warshawski makes return appearances in a collection of stories that bring new meaning to 'ties that bind.' Decked out in her silk shirts and no-nonsense Attitude, V.I. is out to make a living--by the skin of her teeth. In Grace Notes, V I has barely finished her morning coffee when she sees an ad in the paper asking for information abut her own mother, long dead. The paper leads V I to her newfound Italian cousin Vico, whoís looking for music composed by their great-grandmother. Whatís the score? Clearly itís something to kill forÖ. The Pietro Andromache find V Iís friend Dr. Lotty Herschel with motive and means to dispatch her professional rival and steal his priceless statue. Lotty didnít do itóbut does she know who did? V I soon cuts to the art of the caseóand itís not a pretty picture at all! In Strung Out, love means nothing and V Iís quick to learn the score as her old friendís tennis-champion daughter is under suspicion for strangling her father with a racket string. And thereís more, nine stories in all, in this masterful collection of short fiction starring V I Warshawski"
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Hard Time

Sara Paretsky

Delacorte

1999

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"While driving home after celebrating friend Murray Ryerson's big break into TV hosting, V.I. almost collides with a fatally wounded woman lying in the street. The deceased is Nicola Aguinaldo, former employee of security giant B.B. Baladine and recent prison runaway. Taking on the case, V.I. finds herself plunged into a sinister network of corruption that pits her against the police, the prison and the entertainment industry - with potentially lethal results."
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Total Recall

Sara Paretsky

Delacorte

2001

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"When V.I.'s close friend Lotty Herschel is approached by a man claiming to be a fellow Holocaust survivor, she's forced to recall a painful past she's tried desperately to forget. Coming to Lotty's aid, V.I. decides to investigate the mysterious stranger. But her findings lead to the exposure of something much darker involving an international conspiracy reaching all the way back to Nazi Europe - as well as a shocking truth which could potentially devastate her friend."
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V.I. x 2

Sara Paretsky

Sara & Two C-Dogs Press

2002

Comprises two V.I. Warshawski short stories: Photo finish and Publicity stunts.

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Blacklist

Sara Paretsky

Putnam

2003

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"During a routine stake-out of a major client's former home, V.I. stumbles upon something she didn't expect to find: a body. The police immediately dismiss the victim as a drunken intruder, but V.I. sees things differently. Hired by the dead man's family to investigate, V.I. is lead back to the blacklists of the McCarthy era as well as into the murky operations of modern American government. Stopping at nothing in her quest for justice, V.I. soon discovers the perilous cost of bringing dark secrets to light."
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Fire Sale

Sara Paretsky

Putnam

2005

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"A dangerous, depressed place reeking of bad memories, South Chicago is a neighbourhood private investigator V.I. Warshawski left a long time ago. But now she's back, drawn to the streets of her childhood once again to do a favour for a friend. It was never going to be easy - and when the mother of a local girl asks her to look into claims of sabotage at the factory where she works, V.I. quickly finds herself caught up in something far more sinister."
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Hardball

Sara Paretsky

Putnam

2009

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"When V.I. Warshawski is asked to find a man who's been missing for four decades, a search that she thought would be futile turns lethal. Old skeletons from the city's racially charged history rise up to force her back with a vengeance - a nun who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. dies without revealing crucial evidence, and on the city's South Side, people spit when she shows up. The elderly sisters who hired her are also keeping important information to themselves. Then V.I. finds that her family is keeping secrets of their own. A young cousin whom she's never met arrives from Kansas City to work on a political campaign, but disappears under mysterious circumstances. Afraid to learn that her adored father might have been a bent cop, deception and corruption following her at every step, V.I. finds all her certainties under threat, but takes the investigation all the way to its frightening end."
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Body Work

Sara Paretsky

Putnam / Penguin

2010

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"Doctors take days off - why not PIs? V.I. Warshawski demands. But when the hardest-working of private eyes goes out one night, a stranger is shot and dies in her 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 and Iraq war veterans - and V.I.'s impetuous cousin, Petra. A tormented young painter shows up too, and the intricate designs she creates on the Body Artist drive one of the soldiers into a violent rage. When the painter is shot, the police think it's a clear-cut case: a shell-shocked war veteran goes off the rails. But the soldier's family hires V.I. to clear his name, and the detective uncovers a chain of ugly truths that stretches all the way from Iraq to Chicago's South Side."
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Photo Finish

Sara Paretsky

Berkley

2011

A V.I. Warshawski short story. Published electronically. Originally published in a magazine and as a bonus in the first edition of Body Work.

"When a beautiful young man hires Chicago detective V.I. Warshawski to find his long-lost father, his story has so many holes that V.I. knows sheís on thin ice. Some illusive resemblance to a face she canít quite remember keeps the PI on the case, even though when she finds the old man, he claims he never had a child. Uncovering the real identities of both father and son leads V.I. on a chase from Chicagoís seedy bars to its Gold Coast hotels and leave her shaken to the core."
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V.I. x 3

Sara Paretsky

Sara & Two C-Dogs Press

2011

Comprises three V.I. Warshawski short stories: Photo finish, Publicity Stunts and A Family Sunday In The Park. All stories had previously been published in magazines.

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Breakdown

Sara Paretsky

Penguin

2012

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"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. The girls include daughters of some of Chicago's most powerful families: the grandfather of one, Chaim Salanter, is one of the world's wealthiest men; the mother of another, Sophy Durango, is the Illinois Democratic candidate for Senate. For V.I. Warshawski, the questions multiply faster than the answers. Is the killing linked to a hostile media campaign against Sophy Durango? Or to Chaim Salanter's childhood in Nazi-occupied Lithuania? As V.I. struggles for answers, she finds herself fighting enemies who are all too human."
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Critical Mass

Sara Paretsky

Putnam

2013

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"Private Eye V.I. Warshawski is roused one morning by an SOS from a woman on a farm south of Chicago. When V.I. gets there, she finds no woman - but a dead man in a cornfield, his body savagely mutilated. V.I. is happy to leave the case to the local sheriff: it looks like a falling out among meth dealers. But back in Chicago, she learns that the missing woman is a protťgťe of her oldest friend and confidante, Dr Lotty Herschel, and is compelled to investigate. What V.I. uncovers pulls her into a world of nuclear secrets and high-stakes computing, with roots reaching back to the Second World War. The detective soon finds herself in a hall of mirrors where she can't tell reality from video games, and her life is on the line. For V.I., this is her most profound, and terrifying, adventure yet."
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Brush Back

Sara Paretsky

Putnam / Penguin

2015

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"For six stormy weeks in high school, V.I. Warshawski thought she was in love with Frank Guzzo. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for a living. She forgot about him until the day his mother was arrested for bludgeoning his kid sister Annie to death. Twenty-five years later, Stella is released and Frank comes to V. I., begging the private detective to help find grounds to exonerate his mother from a crime she claims she never committed. V.I. doesn't want to get involved, but life has been hard on Frank. When V.I. agrees to ask a few questions, it's a painful journey to the past for her, to her old neighbourhood and the people she grew up with. And when she gets beaten up after attending a youth-group meeting in her old 'hood, V.I.'s main question becomes whether she will live long enough to find the answers."
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Fallout

Sara Paretsky

William Morrow

2017

A V.I. Warshawski novel

"V.I. Warshawski's impossible god-daughter Bernie convinces her to look for August, a young film-maker who has disappeared. The evidence indicates that he has gone to Kansas in the company of Emerald, an older black movie actress who wants to film the story of her life. Her search takes V.I. from the military base Emerald was born on, to the farm where she grew up outside a university town, ploughing up past and present-day secrets as she goes. What is happening at the former nuclear missile site next door to the farm? What happened at the site in 1983, when students tried to stage their own version of Greenham Common? Everywhere V.I. turns she seems to be finding more trouble - with not a sign of August and Emerald. And then trouble turns to death."
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Wildcat

Sara Paretsky

Witness Impulse

2017

A V.I. Warshawski short story. Published electronically.

"V.I. Warshawski developed her strength and sense of justice at a very early age. Itís 1966 and on the south side of Chicago racial tensions are at an all-time high. Dr. Martin Luther King is leading marches at Marquette Park and many in the neighborhood are very angry. With nothing but a bicycle, eighty-two cents in her pocket, and her Brownie camera hanging from her wrist, Victoria sneaks off to Marquette Park alone to protect her father Tony, a police officer who is patrolling the crowds. What begins as a small adventure and a quest to find her father and make sure he is safe turns into something far more dangerous. As the day goes on and the conflict at the park reaches a fever pitch Victoria realizes she must use her courage and ingenuity if she wants to keep herself and her family members out of harmís way."
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Last updated February 2018