Pay Dirt

V.I. Warshawski is famous for her cool under fire, her sardonic humor, and her unflinching courage. All that changed when a case ended with a father killing the child she’d been hired to find. She’s second-guessing herself, forgetting to eat, forgetting her workout.


On her way home from an all-night surveillance job, V.I. Warshawski's dogs lead her on a mad chase that ends when they discover a badly injured teen hiding in the rocks along Lake Michigan.

Dead Land

Chicago may be the city of broad shoulders, but its political law is “Pay to Play.” Money changes hands in the middle of the night, and by morning, buildings and parks are replaced by billion-dollar projects.

Shell Game

When V.I.'s oldest friend's nephew is framed for the murder of a man found dead in a forest near Chicago and her own niece has vanished without a trace, she has to play by someone else's rules.


A small Midwestern town is way outside V.I. Warshawski’s comfort zone, but in Fallout, the detective spends a month in Lawrence, Kansas, where author Sara Paretsky grew up.

Brush Back

V.I. Warshawski thought she was in love with Frank Guzzo when he was a high school baseball star, but she’s long forgotten him until the day he comes into her office, wanting help with his mother.

Critical Mass

New York Times-bestselling author Sara Paretsky’s brilliant protagonist V.I. Warshawski returns in another hard-hitting entry, combining razor-sharp plotting and compelling characters with a heady mix of timely political and social themes.


Carmilla, Queen of the Night, is a shape-shifting raven whose fictional exploits thrill girls all over the world. When tweens in Chicago's Carmilla Club hold an initiation ritual in an abandoned cemetery, they stumble on an actual corpse, a man stabbed in a vampire-style slaying.

Body Work

“Doctors take days off—why not PIs?” V.I. Warshawski demands.  But when America’s hardest-working private eye goes clubbing, a stranger is shot, and dies in V.I.’s arms.


When V.I. Warshawski is asked to find a man who’s been missing for four decades, a search that she figured would be futile becomes lethal.

Bleeding Kansas

Bleeding Kansas centers on the Grelliers and the Schapens, two families who have been farming in the Kaw River Valley for over a 150 years, and how their lives are affected by war and by the changing sexual and religious mores of the day.

Fire Sale

When V.I. takes over coaching duties of the girls' basketball team at her former high school, she faces an ill-equipped, ragtag group of gangbangers, fundamentalists, and teenage moms, who inevitably draw the detective into their family woes.

Black List

Eager for physical action in the spirit-numbing wake of 9/11, V.I. Warshawski is glad to take on a routine stake-out for her most important client, Darraugh Graham.

Total Recall

When a man claiming to be a survivor of the Nazi death camps seeks out his family among Lotty Herschel’s circle of friends, he forces her  to confront a memory from the war she has long refused to think about.

Hard Time

Among the first, and perhaps the most compelling, female private investigators of contemporary fiction, Sara Paretsky's incomparable character V.I.  Warshawski at last returns to the page in her first full-length appearance since 1994's Tunnel Vision.

Ghost Country

Four troubled people meet beneath Chicago’s shadowy streets and discover a woman who changes their lives forever in this powerful, haunting novel of magic and miracles.

Tunnel Vision

Her office building is falling down, the unpaid bills are mounting up. V.I. Warshawski needs a lucrative case and needs it fast. Instead, her most important client demands that she find a community service job to keep his computer-hacking son out of jail.

Guardian Angel

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.

Burn Marks

“Victoria, sweetie, you look terrific!” With those words—and the sour yeasty smell of stale beer—Elena, V.I. Warshawski’s derelict aunt, re-enters her niece’s life at three in the morning. Burned out of her SRO hotel, Elena has turned to V.I. for a place to stay.

Blood Shot

Blood Shot begins innocently enough when V.I. attends the reunion of her championship basketball team and Caroline, a childhood friend who organized the event, asks V.I. a professional favor: “Find my father for me.”

Bitter Medicine

Bitter Medicine, V.I.’s fourth case, starts when a young friend goes into premature labor. By the time Consuelo's doctor, young Malcolm Tregiere, arrives, both she and her baby are dead at the local for profit hospital.

Killing Orders

Killing Orders, V.I. Warshawski’s third adventure, starts when her great-aunt Rosa summons the detective to her cold suburban home. Rosa made V.I.’s childhood miserable and the detective resents the command to help her aunt prove she didn't embezzle five million dollars from a local Dominican priory.


Deadlock, V.I. Warshawski’s second case, involves the huge Great Lakes shipping industry. Once again the subject is murder—this time the "accidental death" of Boom-Boom Warshawski, an ex-hockey star and V.I.’s beloved cousin, who fell—or was pushed—off a rain-slicked pier on Chicago’s busy waterfront.

Indemnity Only

In this gripping adventure, the first V.I. Warshawski mystery, America’s top private eye is tossed into dangerous adventure when a seemingly straightforward assignment becomes complicated and deadly.

Short Stories

Ends of Justice

This collection includes an essay, a poem, and two short stories by acclaimed author Sara Paretsky.

All proceeds will be donated to organizations supporting reproductive health care.

Love & Other Crimes

Of the 14 short stories in this collection, some are new, some have already been published. Some feature V.I., some are standalone. Two – “Wildcat” and “Death on the Edge” – were published only as ebooks and so now will be available in print for the first time.

Wildcat: V.I. Warshawski's First Case

Wildcat tells a story of V.I. Warshawski's childhood, and shows how she started a life of risk-taking to save the lives of the people she cared about most.

Women on the Case

Women's work is never done, as this brilliant and diverse collection eloquently demonstrates. Sara Paretsky presents women's stories of crime and punishment on a global stage, with voices known and unknown at home and abroad.

Sisters on the Case

Read an excerpt from a short story by Sara entitled "Marquette Park." Sisters on the Case is a new anthology of 25 short stories from today's best women mystery writers.

Windy City Blues

It’s strictly Friends & Family as V.I. Warshawski, “the detective mystery fans have been waiting for” (Time), makes return appearances in a collection of stories that brings new meaning to “ties that bind.”

V.I. x3: Photo Finish, Publicity Stunts, and Marquette Park

These stories, originally published separately in magazines are being printed together in a special new format and can be purchased through Women and Children First, or directly through Lulu.


Ends of Justice

This collection includes an essay, a poem, and two short stories by acclaimed author Sara Paretsky.

All proceeds will be donated to organizations supporting reproductive health care.

Writing in an Age of Silence

In this powerful book, Sara Paretsky explores the traditions of political and literary dissent that have informed her life and work, against the unparallelled repression of free speech and thought in the US today.

Afterword to The Brothers Karamozov

Read from the afterword Sara wrote for this new edition of The Brothers Karamozov.

Unloaded Vol. 2

Bestselling authors like Chris Holm, Lori Rader-Day, Bill Crider, Laura McHugh, James Ziskin and John Rector along with many more join together to call for an end to the needless violence and a start to a reasoned debate. With a forward by legendary Sara Paretsky, Unloaded Vol. 2 is a book we wish wasn’t needed. But staying silent is no longer an option.

In Chicago, We've Fought to Stand Together

From The Washington Post, August 24, 2008: On Saturday, Aug. 6, 1966, Chicago's southwest side was quieter than even the small Kansas town where I grew up. The five-room bungalows—the city's signature residences—were empty behind their lacy curtains. Even the children had disappeared.

Words, Works, and Ways of Knowing

In a preface written specifically for the published version, Paretsky offers a powerful indictment of sexism in the academy and how it affected her own life and work.

Terror in the Name of Jesus

From The Guardian, June 1, 2009: As of 30 May, ­abortion providers in America had experienced 15,124 acts of ­violence. On 31 May, the number rose to 15,125. Dr George Tiller was murdered at church in Wichita, Kansas. His wife, who was singing in the choir, was a witness.

Ode to the Season: When Your Landord is a Precinct Captain

From The Chicago Tribune, December 18, 2008: I came to Chicago from Kansas in 1966 to do community service work in Gage Park, near where Martin Luther King and Al Raby were trying to organize for open housing and social justice. It was a turbulent time in the city, but during my summer on the South Side, I developed a passion for Chicago.

Refusing to Allow Pressure to Silence a Critical Voice

From The Chicago Tribune, April 1, 2007: The night we began our invasion of Iraq—March 20, 2003—I was speaking at the Toledo public library. The day before, my speakers bureau told me that the library wanted me to change my proposed remarks; my talk on how the Patriot Act was affecting writers, readers and libraries was too political.

Bush's Pick a Reminder of What's Not Right

From The Chicago Tribune, January 7, 2007: From the beginning of his presidency, George W. Bush has done his best to undermine a woman's right to adulthood. His latest effort has been to appoint Eric Keroack to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Population Affairs.

Truth, Lies, and Duct Tape

Maybe you already knew that the Patriot Act lets law enforcement people search libraries, bookstores, and even our homes without probable cause. Or that librarians who say the FBI was there can go to jail for an indefinite period of time. I didn’t know any of that, let alone that police or FBI have seized circulation records from almost twenty percent of our country's libraries.

Writers on Writing

Some months ago, I had a letter from a reader who was so furious she covered four pages by hand, demanding to know why my books are “infested” with political issues. “When I buy a mystery I expect to be entertained and when you bring in all that stuff about homeless people, you aren't entertaining me.”