When I was a kid, if I brought home the news that my teacher had particularly praised some project of mine, my father would frown and say, “SPS.” This stands for “self praise stinks.” Actually he only had to do this twice before I learned to be truly ashamed of ever letting anyone know about praise in my life.  So forgive me for violating the SPS mantra, but Booklist has given Hardball a starred review, which is very pleasing, and Chicago Magazine named me Chicago’s “best mystery writer.”  Okay, I’ll go away and be quiet and promise I won’t do this again for a long time, although I will post links to pieces I write if they appear online.



  • corkhead

    Congratulations, Sara! Well done! You shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying praise for work well done.

  • Go on! SPS as much as you like.

  • That’s fantastic! Are there links to those articles?

    I can’t wait to read Hardball.

  • saraparetsky

    Thanks very much. There’s no link to Booklist–it’s by subscription only, but the review reads: “A snippet from Paretsky’s own life informs her fifteenth VI Warshawski crime story, which harks back to the riots during Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1966 visit to Chicago; at that time, Paretsky was working in Chicago as a community organizer. As usual in the series, the city, especially its working class neighborhoods, is vividly characterized, as are its politics and ethnic and cultural conflicts. VI is at her most vulnerable here. Though ever the champion of the disenfranchised and the poor, and still pretty fast on her feet, the sometimes-reckless private investigator now sees 50 on the horizon. Having parted from yet another lover, she has begun to wonder if her stubborn devotion to work, which often wreaks havoc with those she cares about most, makes her unable to sustain a long-term relationship. The disappearance of her lively, twentysomething cousin, who was in Chicago to work on the campaign of an up-and-coming politician, adds to her nagging self-doubt. Surely savvy VI should have been able to keep the girl safe. Her angst-ridden determination to put things right eventually leads her back to thte sxties and to a shocking secret about her family’s history. Nuanced, well-realized characters and an intricately braided plot mark another stellar performance from a storyteller as dedicated to entertainment as to exposing humankind’s treachery and greed.”

  • My mother used to say “pride goeth before a fall” – SPS is shorter!

    Thanks for adding the review, Sara – I can’t wait for Hardball to get this far north!

  • Wonderful review!! Congrats Sara! Yes, self-promotion can get tiresome among friends & family but it’s totally appropriate for an author’s blog I’d say! As for self-praise… I can’t believe your dad said that to a kid. That must have been a harsh world-view to grow up around. And I thought my mom was tough!

  • S. K. Eller

    Since you’re one of the top mystery writers in the US, not surprising you’re the best even among even the talented group in Chicago. Enjoy it. I pre-ordered Hardball already. No local independents left, unfortunately, but I just love an Amazon box waiting when I get home from work.

  • Oh, no! I liked VI’s lover.

  • Hell, I say BE proud!

  • I didn’t think it was possible, but now I’m even more excited to read Hardball.

  • Thanks for all this support–I’m much heartened.

  • Moloney

    A recent convert to Warshawski – getting through about seven of her adventures in a coupla months – I cannot wait for more. They’re an absolute joy to read – she’s rushed up the order in my personal detective pantheon with terrific speed. Keep ’em coming, Sara!

  • genny winne

    The praise is certainly well-deserved!

    I’ve got my calendar marked for the release of “Hardball”.

    I’ve actually been re-listening the the audio book for “Fire Sale” in anticipation of the new book. I like to go back through the series periodically.

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  • Nothing wrong with a little SPS in my opinion. Thanks for sharing!


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