V.I. Warshawski is a series of novels written by Sara Paretsky. The books follow the exploits of a different sort of female investigator, the kind that drinks scotch and exchanges fists with the bad guys; basically, a female investigator that seems to break all the commonly held Female PI taboos.
Order of V.I. Warshawski Series
|1||Indemnity Only||1982||Description / Buy|
|2||Deadlock||1984||Description / Buy|
|3||Killing Orders||1985||Description / Buy|
|4||Bitter Medicine||1987||Description / Buy|
|5||Blood Shot||1988||Description / Buy|
|6||Burn Marks||1990||Description / Buy|
|7||Guardian Angel||1992||Description / Buy|
|8||Tunnel Vision||1994||Description / Buy|
|9||Windy City Blues||1995||Description / Buy|
|10||V.I. For Short||1995||Description / Buy|
|11||Hard Time||1999||Description / Buy|
|12||Total Recall||2001||Description / Buy|
|13||Blacklist||2003||Description / Buy|
|14||Fire Sale||2005||Description / Buy|
|15||Hardball||2009||Description / Buy|
|16||Body Work||2010||Description / Buy|
|17||Photo Finish (Short Story)||2011||Description / Buy|
|18||Breakdown||2012||Description / Buy|
|19||Critical Mass||2013||Description / Buy|
|20||Brush Back||2015||Description / Buy|
|21||Wildcat (Short Story)||2017||Description / Buy|
|22||Fallout||2017||Description / Buy|
Victoria Iphigenia Warshawski is the daughter of a Jewish-Italian Immigrant that fled the Mussolini Regime and married a Polish American Police Officer from Chicago. Victoria lost her parents fairly early on. Growing up on the southeast side of Chicago, Victoria’s grief drove her to pursue a reckless lifestyle.
It was during those early years that she learned her street-fighting techniques, moves that eventually serve her as an investigator. Besides playing sports, Victoria was involved in the social movements of her times, going so far as to traverse hundreds of miles to attend the rallies of popular Civil Rights leaders.
She eventually acquired her law degree and even worked as a public defender before finding satisfaction in her role as a private investigator. Her marriage to another law student fell apart when he joined the corporate legal arena and adopted an outlook that V.I. Warshawski didn’t care for.
Victoria primarily works white collar crimes. She is usually drawn into cases when her friends and family fall into trouble. V.I. Warshawski is normally driven to act whenever she finds that the people she knows are being mistreated by those privileged members of Chicago society.
There’s always a politician or a business person that thinks they are above the law. Victoria normally makes it her mission to prove them otherwise. Though, Victoria doesn’t always get the results she is looking for. The books have been known to put the investigator into situations where she identifies the murderers and the fraudsters but they are too powerful to be confined and punished by the law. In those moments, Victoria has little choice but to accept her partial victory of outing them as criminals.
V.I. Warshawski boasts a hot temper. Strong and self-reliant, Victoria works out so as to keep in shape. She isn’t afraid of violent confrontations. The first book in the series finds Victoria trying to determine the identity of a client who hands her an unexpected mystery.
V.I. Warshawski Awards
Sara Paretsky’s Warshawski books have been finalists for the New Blood Dagger Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Shamus Award and a Gold Dagger Award. The author actually won a Gold Dagger Award in 2003 for one of her V.I Warshawski novels.
V.I. Warshawski Books into Movies
A movie adaptation of Sara Paretsky’s books was released in 1991. Simply titled V.I. Warshawski, the movie starred Kathleen Turner and was directed by Jeff Kanew. The movie specifically adapted the novel Deadlock.
It was hardly a faithful adaptation. While the V.I Warshawski books are serious mysteries, the movie version was more comedic in its tone. It also made Warshawski subordinate to a male detective. The producers didn’t think a female character could succeed in a lead role. Sara Paretsky was infuriated by the liberties taken with her character.
Best V.I. Warshawski Books
The V.I. Warshawski series was revolutionary when it first came out primarily because it changed the way female detectives were viewed, with some of the best books in the series including:
Blood Shot: Caroline’s mother is dying. And because of their childhood friendship and the promise she made, V.I. Warshawski must go against her instincts and return to her old South Chicago Neighborhood. Caroline is desperate to find her father, a man she never knew.
Victoria regrets promising to help her accomplish this task when she begins her investigation and stumbles upon a corpse. A blend of big business and chemical corruption piques Victoria’s interest and she decides to follow the trail to its destination despite the dangers that await her.
Hard Time: V.I. Warshawski doesn’t really care that Global Entertainment has purchased the Chicago Herald-Star. But reporter Murray Ryerson definitely cares because the development affects his employment status. Murray is lucky enough to land a hosting gig on the Global Entertainment Network.
Victoria’s troubles begin when she decides to attend Murray’s celebratory party. On her way back home, Victoria nearly runs a woman over. In stopping to help the woman, who was lying in the street, Victoria is drawn into a case involving private security and prison services.
Other Book Series You May Like
Fans of V.I. also enjoy the “Kinsey Millhone” Series by Sue Grafton. Kinsey Millhone is a former cop and twice divorced loner with a soft spot for lost causes who operates a modest detective Agency in California.
The “Inspector Thomas Lynley” Series by Elizabeth George is another great detective series. These books tell the story of the Eighth Earl of Asherton who also does police work with Scotland Yard.