Showing posts with label V.I. Warshawski. Show all posts
Showing posts with label V.I. Warshawski. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Who is Ready for the New V.I. Warshawski?

Her and I didn't always get along. But I've learned to love her. And she has learned to trust me. Well, you know what I mean. The point is that my pre-order for Sara Paretsky's 22nd V. I. Warshawski novel, Overboard, is in and ready to go. Next Tuesday... well... we already know what it is when our favorites release new books, eh? "On and poppin'" is the right expression for the occassion.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Muller & Paretsky Short Story Haul

Soooooo, I'm not that great at keeping up with short stories.  But shoottttttt I miss the cheeseburger and FRIES out of reading Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone private-eye stories.  And equally that of Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski series.  I've tidied up these series; totally up-to-date with these two iconic contemporary woman private-eye stories.  Now I really miss these author, and most certainly the voices of their characters.  So short stories it is!  

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

50 Pages a Day Keep the Good Reading... I Don't Know What Goes Here...

What’s on my reading plate after abandoning half of my October TBR?

"When V.I. Warshawski gets word that her close friend and mentor Lotty Herschel’s nephew has become a murder suspect, the legendary detective will do everything to save him. The cops found Felix Herschel’s name and phone number on the unknown victim’s remains, but Felix insists he doesn’t know why. Soon Vic discovers that the dead man was obsessed with Middle Eastern archaeology—the first clue in a bewildering case. 
But the trouble multiplies when Vic’s long-lost niece, Reno, goes missing. Reno is harboring a secret that may cost her her life. V.I. can hear the clock ticking on her niece’s safety and is frantic in her efforts to find her. She won’t leave any stone unturned until these very personal cases are cleared—a complex investigation that will entangle the Russian mob, ISIS backers, rogue ICE agents, a nefarious corporation preying on the poor, and a shady network of stock scams and stolen antiquities stretching from Chicago to the East Indies and the Middle East."

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Brush (the Hell) BACK by Sara Paretsky

"Chicago's V. I. Warshawski confronts crooked politicians and buried family secrets in the gritty new novel from New York Times - bestselling author Sara Paretsky. 
No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she'd be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that's precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo's plea for help. 
For six stormy weeks back in high school, V. I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full twenty-five years for her daughter's murder. 
Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V. I. for help. V. I. doesn't want to get involved. Stella hated the Warshawskis, in particular V. I.'s adored mother, Gabriella. 
But life has been hard on Frank and on V. I.'s other childhood friends, still stuck on the hardscrabble streets around the dead steel mills, and V. I. agrees to ask a few questions. Those questions lead her straight into the vipers' nest of Illinois politics she's wanted to avoid. When V. I. takes a beating at a youth meeting in her old hood, her main question becomes whether she will live long enough to find answers."
(Stripped from my Goodreads review.  Plunked into my cell phone in a moment of ranting.)

Boring. Unexciting entry. Terribly convoluted, confusing and contrive (why has her editors not checked her on this by now!?). Too many characters, with little to no character. Repetitive (sick of the dogs jumping in lakes, ransacked break-ins, squeaking young woman sidekick, stupid fist fights, prejudice-ass Mr. Contreras, one-dimensional politicians/goons, whiplash pacing). All the characters are either angry or spastic AND angry. Nothing worth investing into, really. 

Friday, April 5, 2019

Falling for Paretsy. And, Well, Warshawski Of Course!

The number one reason why now I’m in love with Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski series? Well, I’ve come to realize the books are a mental challenge/exercise for me. And I don’t use the word “challenge” and "exercise" to suggest the books are synonymous with "good" or even "great reads". Don’t get it twisted. Because they are long-winded and sometimes laborious as a mofo to get through (but I refuse to skip a page). They're also loopy and repetitious. How many times Warshawski can walk the dogs in one book makes a dizzying point. How many times Warshawski gets a parking ticket in one book is exhausting to relive. So, without a doubt, they could use some brevity in certain mundane areas outside of the already thick.

Still, they've become a mental challenge/exercise. Once, I was so adverse to how convoluted Paretsky's stories were; having to push through with gritted teeth. Now I find myself engaging with the challenge of keeping up with her offerings. From maintaining tabs on her many busybody characters and her funhousing method of plotting a mystery.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski Ebay Lot Sale Unboxing

So I'm suiting up for my 2019 Sara Paretsky V.I. Warshawski project.  Which, I guess I'll simply name, my 2019 Paretsky Project (mainly because those two P's sound so sweet together).  

Anyway, I made this purchase off Ebay–just as I did for my 2018 Marcia Muller Sharon McCone Project.  And just as with that one, I'm reading the entirety of the fictional female private-eye (Chicago-based) detective work of V.I. Warshawki this year.  

Have begun the project with book #9, I'm currently almost through book #11, Blacklist.  This leaves me with 9 entries (only pillar release and no short stories) left. But I'm taking them on a book-by-book bases; breaking whenever I need to.  So long as I get them all done before the end of 2019 to fulfill my project–I'm good.  Nevertheless, I'm doing so happily because I love challenging myself as an endurance reader.  And like with my reading of McCone, I'm taking on Warshawski in honor of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone.  These are her peers, after all.

Okay, done babbling.

BOOK 10.  Total Recall (2001)
BOOK 11.  Blacklist (2003)
BOOK 12.  Fire Sale (2005)
BOOK 13.  Hardball (2009)
BOOK 14.  Body Work (2010)
BOOK 15.  Breakdown (2012)
BOOK 16.  Critical Mass (2013)
BOOK 17.  Brush Back (2015)
BOOK 18.  Fallout (2017)

Random BOOK - Nightseer by Laurell K. Hamilton

Monday, April 11, 2016

Now I Know Where Kinsey GETS It | Marcia Muller Pushes Through! PART TWO

So let’s get into those quotes/passages I mentioned in my previous post on Marcia Muller’s Edwin of the Iron Shoes.  But if you haven’t followed me to this post, these are the stand-out lines I loved.  They're the lines where I received a flood of realization on how Muller’s protagonist, Sharon McCone, gave roots to women investigators in hard-boiled in crime fiction.  Particularly roots for Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski characters.  For more information, please refer to the previous post.  I’m going to have to try to reduce this down to a few, though.  If not, I’d probably serve up the entire book.
So let’s go!
“He was pushing too hard.  I kept my voice level.  ‘I’m not on my own; I’m an employee of All Souls.  I joined them after the detective agency fired me for refusing to jump at a special assignment that would have humiliated me and set up an innocent man for a very messy and expensive divorce.  And I don’t know about being what you call a “super-sleuth.”  I’m competent.  I’d say my strong point is knowing how to ask the right questions.  Without trying to cram my words into other people’s mouths.’”
Four chapters in and I already love McCone.  She has morals.  She has limits.  She has genuine concern for the individuals involved in her profession.  Most of all, she’s humble.  Yet brassy in a subtle way.
“On my way out of the kitchen, I grabbed a handful of cookies from the big jar that was always full of chocolate chips.  They would be my dinner.  Hank grinned and led me down the central hall to the second office on the right.”
This screamed Kinsey Millhone to me.  Anyone familiar with the character knows she’s obsessed with cheese/peanut butter and pickled sandwiches.  As well as Quarter Pounders.  (For a good while, I actually ate a few myself.  Didn't like them, but since Kinsey did....)  However, just the fluidity of McCone’s voice and actions in this scene stole me.  

I would say between the three, Warshawski has the best appetite.  Though she drinks too much.

Now I Know Where Kinsey GETS It | Marcia Muller Pushes Through! PART ONE

I would not have believed it until seen.  Actually, that’s not the case.  I believed it!  Intrigued it!  Embraced it!  Ran with it on my Amazon wishlist for about two and a half years (pitiful of me).  Put it on my Kindle for over a year (double pitiful of me).  And just this  past February finally received it!  You’re probably wondering what in the world am I talking about.  So let me just get to the point: I finally read the first book in Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone hard-boiled private-eye series, Edwin of the Iron Shoes.  I know.  I know.  Big deal, right?  Well for me–a female-controlled crime fiction junkie–it most certainly is a big deal!  Though I'm awfully late about it...

Most of you guys know I LIVE for Sue Grafton’s California private-eye, Kinsey Millhone.  ("LIVE" is an extreme, extreme understatement).  And you’re also familiar with my apathetic, strange off/on relationship with Sara Paretsky tough ‘n’ tumble Chicago-based woman of the same profession, V. I. Warshawski.  But here’s the thing.  The ticket.  The point of this erratic and fervent post–beginning with a little history lesson. 

In the early 80’s, Grafton and Paretsky transformed the voice of crime fiction.  Through, respectively, their characters Millhone and Warshawski; the authors released the female private-eye alone into the playgrounds of her male counterparts.  And their leading ladies came in just as hard-hitting, proficient, and uncompromising as the male investigators.  But, thankfully, their characteristics weren’t channeled through the virility associated with men.  

Millhone and Warshawski utilized a certain degree of wiles, ingenuity, and vocal consensus to turn a given case in her favor.  Though also dogged at times for answers, they would see cases to the end with just as much profession and dedication as men.  Yet, when push came to shove, they were sometimes afraid to shove back.  They had concerns about the use of violence, as it was first considered a defense and hardly a course of action.  So as level-headed and determined as they could be, force and violence always seemed a final recourse.  Neither were always necessary in the end–as the ladies were likely to have already outsmarted a criminal.  Nevertheless, what I described is precisely why I love the female detective.  She’s afforded an unassuming element that serves as a lethal surprise that never gets old when it's called upon.  Basically, I love a calculating bad-ass woman.

So the opportunities for the lone female private-eye to take stage arrived from Marcia Muller’s 1977 influential debut, Edwin of the Iron Shoes.  It's here Muller introduced the world to private detective Sharon McCone.  McCone was the first unshackled female detective to toss conventions previous held by women in her profession.  She wasn't a side-kick to the male private-eye.  She didn't use anything other than her brains and interrogating acrobatics to mine for information.  She had a voice–a retort–for societal affairs.  She had a heart, though took the zero nonsense approach.  She was brave.  She also meant business, needed to get paid with as little moral compromising, and was well-adjusted to standing alone.  And, well, she had a gun in her purse just in case.  You know, for those occasions she just may have to shoot somebody in the face for her own protection.  
So Muller opened the doors to this new field of detective fiction.  (I'll get into P. D. James' same decade debut of Cordelia Grey at another date.)  She employed a modern, realistic, and liberated woman to traverse the minefields of deception and murder.  All of which beamed on me as I finally read McCone’s first case.  

After the last page, I understood where Kinsey and Warshawski got her voice.  And Muller reminded me–so clearly–why it is that I love this genre when led by women.  Seriously, I highlighted a bucket of passages as I read the book.  Passages that screamed to me, “Kinsey would do/say this.”  Or, “This sounds like an argument Warshawski would find herself in.”  The revelation was too plain not to acknowledge and recognize.
So yes.  I’ve finally gotten down to the root of the modern, free-sprinting, hard-boiled female detective.  And clearly, I'm dedicated to moving forward with Muller and McCone.  I have a long way to go to catch up but, as of now, I’ve found myself a new place to find radiance for my passions.
Part of me wants to review the book, but the other half of me simply wants to share some of those passages I mentioned.  Only because they excited me, and I'm not to hard to please when I've found something special.  But just to be clear, I loved Edwin of the Iron Shoes once I got over having to read it on the Kindle (not good with e-readers).  It was watery in some areas.  Yet, McCone's voice was solid.  But what the hell can I say?  There's a certain respect and credit due to Muller's first book.  To me, that's good enough.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

#MarchMysteryMadness: The Preparation Book Haul

I’ve been a Barnes and Noble member for years and recently found the benefit of using the member card online.  FREE SHIPPING!  Where have I been?  (Oh, I’ve been on Amazon where they upped their free shipping price margin.)  Nonetheless, with #MarchMysteryMadness coming up, I needed to stock books to fulfill the upcoming mystery reading challenges.  So those, and some books I've collected from a couple of used bookstores, are featured in this haul post.  Many are from familiar series I plan on tackling #MarchMysteryMadness with–furthering my excitement for the challenges next month.

1.       Finally got a copy of Burn Marks.  It's book six in Sara Paresky’s V. I. Warshawski private-eye, hard-boiled series.  Now I’ve passed this particular 3rd edition hardback many times at the used bookstore.  Until now.  It’s right where I’m at with the series, so I went ahead and grabbed it.  The book is in great condition.  For a 1990’s release, the pages are super clean and crisp.  All that aside, this one has got to be a winning chapter in the Warshawski series.  You see, another one of Warshawski’s distant relatives is coming back in the picture.  And she's all set to hire her niece to solve a murder.  (For more on my Sara Paretsky reviews, see the LABELS at the bottom of the post.)
The other three books will feature on my #MarchMysteryMadness TBR video...
4.      Blanche Among the Talented Tenth by Barbara Neely.  Blanche is back!  I've had the third book since forever, but since I have to read a series in order, it has sat on my shelf awaiting book two.  Until now!  A black, domestic housekeeper solving murders makes a boy's dreams come true! (Visit Barbara Neely LABEL below for my thoughts on the first book in the series.)
5.       I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, book four in Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series.  YAY! It's finally in my hands!  Bookstore after bookstore I’ve searched, after reading The Red Herring Without Mustard [book three].  Actually, I would have to drive over the mountain to another Barnes & Noble in the valley to get a copy of this book.  Though I couldn’t see myself attempting so with a recently replaced crankshaft, and a cracked axle boot.  I feared my car wouldn’t pull the hill.  So I’ve ordered the book instead and can’t wait to continue with Flavia and her murder-solving mischief.  (For those unsure of what I’m even talking about, click the Alan Bradley LABEL below for all things de Luce.)

6.      The Goldfinch by Donna Tart.  Always, always wanted to give this book a go.  With all the acclaim and praise, it slammed onto my reading radar.  I was curious, and finally found this crisp copy for $4 at my public library’s bookstore.  With it in hand, I drew the attention of a staff member who stopped to gloat her love/hate relationship with the book.  This, naturally, fueled my excitement.
7.      No Rest for the Wiccan.  Another “I been to bookstore after bookstore” book.  Book four in Madelyn Alt’s Bewitching Mystery series required an online order as well.  I have a soft spot for this cozy mystery series about a witch solving local murders.  But I’ll digress for now.  (Click the Madelyn Alt LABEL for my thoughts on the previous book.)
8.      Two copies of Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles cozies.  That’s entry two [Witches’ Bane] and three [Hangman’s Root].  I’ve craved these hard-to-finds after discovering the first book while browsing the used bookstore.  And loved it.  (For my thoughts on the first book, click the Susan Wittig Albert LABEL below.)
Well, that’s it guys.  I’ve been hauling the hell out of books so far this year–and can’t wait to get into them all.  I have a copy of Buffy Season 10: Old Demons on the way also.  And in an attempt to use my Kindle more, I ordered/downloaded Marcia Muller’s Ask the Cards a Question.  It's book two in Muller’s Sharon McCone series.
So basically I’m back in my reading playground.  Cozies.  Female sleuths.  And murders.  With a splash of literature on the side.  Anyway, happy reading and all that jazz!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Paretsky's Blood

Ahh.  Back to the world of Chicago white collar crime, with Sara Paretsky’s super P. I., V. I. Warshawski.  In Warshawki’s fifth adventure, Blood Shot, we go deeper into Warshawski’s history.  Also, the under workings of chemical corruption in Chicago’s Dead Stick Pond.
It started with a reunion between Warshawski and her childhood friend, Caroline Djiak.  Caroline summoned Warshawski back to south Chicago under false pretenses; an invitation to a reunion of girls high school basketball players turns into more.  Warshawski isn’t exactly excited about returning to the old neighbor, but she comes.  Along with her old memories.  
One of those memories consist of a teenage V. I. babysitting Caroline.  Caroline’s mother, Louisa, spent her time at work in a local plant.  And with a family who disowned her, Louisa depended on the Warshawski's for support.  Now V. I. Warshawski finds herself in south Chicago to fulfill a personal request for Caroline.  Louisa is dying, and Caroline wants to hire V. I. to uncover the identity of her father.  He is someone Louisa has kept secret from Caroline all her life–and for good reason.  Reluctantly, Warshawski takes on the case.  In turn, she opens up a can of worms that leaves her fighting for her life the closer she gets to the truth. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bitter and Soft

"Once again, private eye V. I.  Warshawski finds herself up against rampant corruption in the city of Chicago.  She knows her friend Consuelo's pregnancy is already risky–she's sixteen and diabetic–but when the baby arrives prematurely, suddenly two lives are at stake.  Despite V. I.'s efforts to provide Consuelo with proper care, both mother and daughter die in the local hospital.  Suspecting malpractice, V. I. begins and investigation–and a reluctant romance with an ER doctor.  But deadly complications arise when a series of vicious murders and an attack on a women's clinic lead her to suspect a cold-blooded cover-up.  And if V. I. isn't careful, she just might have delivered her final case."
~ Bitter Medicine

Bitter Medicine was just too easy.  It’s interesting because I remember complaining about how convoluted the first two books in Paretsky’s hard-boiled V.I. Warshawski series were. Setups such as the insurance fraud in Indemnity Only (book #1), and the problematic Chicago freighters issue in Deadlock (book #2), seemed bloated with not-so-easy-to-follow facts, data and principles.  However, the third book in the series, Killing Orders, took on counterfeit bond certificates gracefully; further fueled by the development of Warshawski’s character. And then I arrived here, at Bitter Medicine, and its setup of medical malpractice and racketing.  Somehow, I pipelined my way to the end with very little difficulty comprehending the context concerning those topics. Which could be a good or bad thing, but kind of startling once I reached its conclusion. I was certain I missed something.  It was a Sara Paretsky mystery after all–which requires careful concentration.  But no, it was all laid out clearly, and a little too easily as a whole.

Nevertheless, Bitter Medicine wasn't nearly as great as the book before it, Killing Orders. In all respects, besides the medical malpractice and racketing setup, the murder-mystery aspect of Bitter Medicine kind of read like some sort of practice novel. For starters, a few stock characters were present.  There was the bent and irrational doctor desperately clinging to his status, while invoking its glory on surrounding "peasants" and the rest of the medical community.  Also, there was the Spanish Eddie-like gang leader who profuse intimidation and violence to get his point across.  Unfortunately, he was severely limited to that. 

For real, I could assemble the plot-points and events in a single summary, and even you would realize who the culprit was, and how Paretsky set these stock characters up to fulfill their unswerving purpose. Actually, "unswerving" is the precise word for Bitter Medicine

The book was so plotted and constructed that it gave me little room to speculate outside the narrative. The purposes of her characters and events were that obvious and clear. I immediately knew each role of her characters as they each pertained to the unfolding story. Try this: a women's clinic is raided by protesters. A specific, case-breaking file went missing in the fray. High-powered attorney is used to protect low-waged criminals involved in the raid. Said criminals retained this costly attorney through an undisclosed, third-party sponsorship. This sponsorship is linked to those files missing from the women's clinic's raid.  There is only one available slot for Warshawski to explore concerning the file, the criminals, the attorney, and the sponsorship.  And it's all laid out flat for the reader.  When you read the book, the obvious connections leaves very little for your imagination to deviate from.  At one point I only wondered why Warshawski was even questioning and investigating the plain and obvious.  However, I suppose there has to be some level of procedural work.

Very little difficulty involves piecing this one together.  With that being said, I will continue this series. I like it easy, but not this easy. Nonetheless, Warshawski at her truth-driven smart-mouthed best is worth the journey.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Paretsky's Orders

A startling event happened after reading the third book in Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski hard-boiled P.I. series--I wasn't overwhelmed by her normally convoluted mystery set up.  This go-round it revolved around stock certificates and thoughtful correlations between the Chicago mob and the Catholic church.  However, let me push aside the latter two to focus on the stock certificates ingredient.  Oh, and how that mixed into stock shares, securities, bond markets, and other sprinkled financial components.  While I am exaggerating, I do have to say that the subject matter in Killing Orders was handled a lot less intricately than the subjects of Paretsky’s previous two offerings, which entertained insurance fraud [Indemnity Only] the Chicago shipping industry [Deadlock].  Some may get what Paretsky is laying down the first time, but for me, I had to study the topics her P.I. delved into to understand and follow what’s unfolding in her books.  Especially because her topics pertain so closely to her murder mystery.  Luckily, Killing Orders was the easiest of the three to follow.

It all began when St. Albert’s Priory decided to retrieve their stock certificates to cash in for a new roof.  Unfortunately, those stock certificates turned out as fakes.  So naturally, the church’s treasurer member is taken to task.  Said treasurer happens to be V. I. Warshawski’s nasty, venom-dribbling great-aunt, Rosa.  And she's a woman who has held a grudge worth a millennium against V. I.--or specifically, V.I.’s mother Gabriella.  Nevertheless, as the treasurer of St. Albert’s Priory, Rosa finds herself under investigation by the FBI and SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) on suspicions of exchanging the church’s real stock certificates for counterfeits.  Acknowledging how somber her situation is, the bitter, grudge-soaked Rosa swallows a wedge of her pride and sends for her niece.  Thankfully, her niece happens to be Chicago’s hot-shot female P.I., V.I. Warshawski.  And this shit only gets better!

So, sworn by her dying mother to always, always look after her aunt should she need help, V. I. takes on her aunt Rosa as a client.  Almost regrettably, it turns out that Rosa’s situation is anything but undemanding.  The further V.I. uncovers the truth behind the counterfeit stock certificates, the further the stakes are raised in her direction.  And when an odd phone call threatens to throw acid in V.I.’s eyes, the case becomes very personal.  V. I. calculates how the Chicago mob and the Catholic church are two potent institutions hosting a number of potential aggressors to their individual causes.  Therefore, she quickly learns to traverse around their deadly paths, while uncovering deep family secrets and some of the finer examples of greed and murder by desperation.

Easily a five-star read!  I have to tell you, I couldn't put this book down.  Out of the three I've read so far in this series, Killing Orders is my favorite!  And I should also add that I think I'm finally won on V. I. Warshawski.  However, to be totally honest, I had the intention of cramming her down my throat until I did like her enough.  Therefore, while I've always delighted in V.I.’s ability to shoot a gun and kick ass, it finally dawned on me in Killing Orders exactly how vulnerable and human V.I. actually is.  Much to my complete and utter satisfaction.  

First let’s do away with her appealing ability to make many bad decisions and mistakes, as well as the spring of curse words she has in her arsenal (confrontational scenes are one of my favorites in P.I. novels because of this).  Instead, I stress her vulnerability in light of how this book dedicated itself to illuminating pieces of V. I.’s family history to help develop her as a multi-dimensional character, and not just a woman on a mission.  

You would think that because V.I.'s parents have long passed that there is only room for a solitary, one-note existence contained by her profession as a private investigator.  However, she actually has stand-ins for a mother and father who save her from the miffed, cynical woman she could've become.  Her “mother” is a Viennese physician named Lotty.  And her “father” is a police officer named Bobby Mallory, who worked alongside V. I.’s actual father on the Chicago police force.  Both Lotty and Mallory devoted themselves to V.I.’s well-being, as evident in Killing Orders by their ability to see beyond V.I. herself.  They were the characters who wholly disagreed, argued, and fought with her and her lifestyle as a P.I.  They drew her riling mind in with reason and force, determined to appeal against her magnetism for danger.  All that can be considered when V.I.’s actual blood relative, Rosa, rather have no relationship with her because of her decades old grudge with V.I.’s mother (the same can be said for V.I. who rather not have a relationship with Rosa either).  Added to the fact that Rosa drew V.I. into danger, as opposed to against it.  And even more of an addition, Rosa was a thoroughly religious woman, but could not practice forgiveness for a wrong V.I. didn't even commit.  One thing I can say is that Rosa and V. I. are alike in both their fire and stubbornness.  But thankfully that's about the sum of their connection.

Readers may not recognize this, but there’s a difference between plot and story.  Plot is all that the character does.  Story is all that a character becomes by the end of the novel.  Killing Orders did each of these so, tense, stylishly, and balanced that even I wanted to cry for V.I. toward the end.

A must read if you love hard-boiled detective fiction! 

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