Pay Dirt

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.

Her worried friends send her down to Kansas for a weekend of college basketball; Angela, one of her protegées is a Northwestern star. And that’s when her troubles really begin.

One of Angela’s roommates disappears and V.I. agrees to stay behind to try to find her. Finding a missing person in a town where she doesn’t know anyone and has no snitches among the area’s lowlife is hard enough, but her search propels V.I. headlong into local land-use battles whose roots go back to the aftermath of the Civil War.

Today’s combatants are just as willing as the Reconstruction opponents of the 1860’s to kill to settle their differences. V.I.’s survival depends on keeping one step ahead of players in a game she doesn’t even know she’s playing.


Hailed by critics and readers, Indemnity Only was followed by nineteen more best-selling Warshawski novels. Paretsky “always makes the top of the list when people talk about female operatives.” — New York Times