5 May 2011

Forgotten Book: GUARDIAN ANGEL, Sara Paretsky

This week's Friday's Forgotten book for the meme hosted by Patti Abbott on Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books appears in my records for 1993.

GUARDIAN ANGEL, published in 1992, is  the seventh in Sara Paretsky’s  V I Warshawski series (now 14 books). I had already read a number of the earlier books and was already hooked.

Publisher's blurb (from author's website)

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.

V I and Hattie have a relationship of sorts: one of those five dogs gave V I’s dog Peppy an unwelcome litter. When Hattie slips in her bath and is rushed unconscious to the hospital, V I feels compelled to get involved. But neighboring lawyer Todd Pichea and his wife, Chrissie, act swiftly to get the courts to make them Hattie’s legal guardians. V I returns from a business trip to find they’ve put the old woman’s dogs to sleep. Furious, V I starts poking around in the Picheas’ affairs, hoping to turn up something scandalous enough to make them lose their guardianship.

Hattie isn’t the detective’s only worry. When her downstairs neighbor’s oldest friend disappears, Mr. Contreras persuades V I to investigate. As she probes both problems, V I uncovers a scandal linking one of Chicago’s oldest industrial families to union fraud and a politically connected bank. Her investigation takes her into the depths of the steamy Sanitary Canal and brings her eyeball-to-eyeball with her ex-husband, Dick Yarborough. When her dear friend Lotty Herschel and her own lawyer turn against her, V I is left alone to struggle with the most serious case of her career.

Grand Master:  On 28 April 2011 the Mystery Writers of America named Sara Paretsky its Grand Master at the Edgar's Banquet.


Anonymous said...

I read this one in the summer of 1995 and still remember quite a bit about it. It was my first V.I. novel, not my last! LOL

kathy d. said...

This was an excellent book in Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski series, a superb set of mysteries with a strong, determined, courageous, smart and independent woman detective.

I'm sure V.I. was a role model for many women detectives that came after her.

I am very glad that Paretsky was named Grand Master. She deserves this and many more awards, not only for her writing, but her principled stances on many important issues facing the U.S. today, including First Amendment freedom of speech tenets.

George said...

I started reading Sara Paretsky with Indemnity Only and have followed her career for decades. Like Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky writes with passion and panache.

Todd Mason said...

I've enjoyed my erratic passage through though the VI series...I almost liked the film (Kathleen Turner could've made a franchise of it with a better script).

Yvette said...

I haven't read any of the books in this series. Over the years I guess I've just been too busy reading other stuff. I'm not overly fond of women private detectives, but this sounds pretty good. I'll add Sara's name to my TBR Mountain. Thanks, Kerrie. :)


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