When V. I. Warshawski becomes the girls' basketball coach at her old high school, she quickly learns that the job involves more than fast breaks and foul-shooting practice. Befriending the working mother of one of her players, she learns about a pattern of sabotage at small South Side factory. The allegations become personal when the plant explodes and V.I. is injured. Her suspicions lead her to the Bysen family, the fractious owners of the giant discount chain By-Smart. With an eccentric octogenarian founder and four quarrelsome sons, this mean-spirited brood provides more suspects than even V.I. can handle.
Nobody does physical danger and personal pain better than Paretsky, and in many ways the audio version of her 12th V.I. Warshawski mystery captures those qualities more effectively than the book. It helps considerably that Burr makes us believe almost instantly that she is the thorny Chicago private eye who has never really escaped her rough South Side roots even though she now usually works in more upscale neighborhoods. Burr catches all the vocal nuances-the tough and touching young female basketball players from V.I.'s old high school; the black cop ex-lover and the foreign correspondent seriously wounded in Afghanistan who has taken his place; and V.I.'s crotchety, well-meaning old neighbor. As Warshawski looks for a corporate sponsor for the basketball team she has agreed to coach, a flag factory explodes and its owner is killed, a young man from a giant discount store family disappears with one of the basketball players-and once again life for V.I. becomes extremely complicated, not to mention painful. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, May 16). (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Paretsky's latest draws V.I. back to her South Chicago roots when she reluctantly agrees to coach the girls basketball team at her former high school, which is struggling with poverty, teen pregnancy, a lack of equipment, and gang influence. The old neighborhood has declined, too, and when a small local factory is sabotaged, V.I. is persuaded to investigate. Meanwhile, she hopes to gain financial support for the basketball team from By-Smart, a megadiscount chain whose founder also grew up in South Chicago. In a series of events that includes an explosion at the local factory, a horrifying murder, and the disappearance of a basketball player, V.I. is drawn into a deadly conflict between By-Smart and South Chicago's residents. Fast-paced and as entertaining as any entry in the series, this installment will please fans. Recommended for public libraries and popular reading collections. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 2/1/05.]-Leslie Madden, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Corruption and deception are never far behind as V.I. Warshawski (Blacklist, 2003, etc.) goes back to her South Chicago roots. Basketball players aren't what they were when Warshawski played for Bertha Palmer High. Center Sancia's got two kids, and Celina Jackman and Theresa Diaz are gang members who constantly fight with April Czernin. Still, when her cancer-stricken former coach Mary Ann McFarlane asks Vic to take over, she can hardly say no, and soon she's in way over her head, practicing the fast break while keeping the girls from rumbling and helping guard Josie Dorrado's mother Rose find out why someone is sabotaging the Fly the Flag factory, where she earns barely enough to feed her family of six. Trying to promote enough cash to pay a real coach, Vic visits the corporate headquarters of By-Smart, a discounter that employs most of her players' families at minimum wage. And though her plea is briskly rebuffed by the Bysen family, richer than the God they invoke at every turn, they eventually hire her to find their youngest son Billy, missing after a dustup between his grandfather and community activist Pastor Andres. Once she has the bit between her teeth, nobody-not her current lover Morrell, her former lover Con Rawlings, her stubborn neighbor Mr. Contreras, or golden retrievers Peppy and Mitch-can stop Vic from seeing justice done. Warshawski's tense, sharp 11th shows that you really can go home again.
Praise for Fire Sale
“Takes off with a bang—literally...V. I. remains a paragon among PIs, and Fire Sale is one of Paretsky’s best books yet.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“A moving and multilayered novel.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“While V. I. Warshawski may be older and even wiser, she’s lost none of her trademark wit or moral indignation.”—Chicago Tribune
“A compelling case. Snappy and satisfying, as always.”—People
“Another gripping chapter...tightly written.”—Chicago Sun-Times
More Praise for Sara Paretsky and the V. I. Warshawski series
“Sara Paretsky’s Chicago private eye, V. I. Warshawski, is one tough cookie.”—The New York Times Book Review
“One of our genre’s crucial, solid-gold, best-ever series. Paretsky is a genius.”—Lee Child
“V.I. Warshawski is one of my all-time favorite investigators.”—Lisa Gardner
“For me, the most remarkable of the moderns is Sara Paretsky.”—P.D. James
“One of the most-loved characters in crime fiction.”—Booklist (starred review)
“No one, male or female, writes better P.I. books than Paretsky.”—The Denver Post
“Paretsky's books are beautifully paced and plotted, and the dialogue is fresh and smart...V.I. Warshawski is the most engaging woman in detective fiction.”—Newsweek