Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky is a modern American author of detective fiction. Paretsky was raised in Kansas and graduated from the state university with a degree in political science. She did community service work on the south side of Chicago in 1966 and returned in 1968 to work there. She ultimately completed a Ph.D. in history at the University of Chicago, entitled The Breakdown of Moral Philosophy in New England Before the Civil War, and finally earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Married to a professor of physics at the University of Chicago, she has lived in Chicago since 1968.

The protagonist of all but two of Paretsky’s novels is V.I. Warshawski, a female private investigator. Warshawski’s eclectic personality defies easy categorization. She drinks Johnnie Walker Black Label, breaks into houses looking for clues, and can hold her own in a street fight, but also she pays attention to her clothes, sings opera along with the radio, and enjoys her sex life.

Paretsky is credited with transforming the role and image of women in the crime novel. The Winter 2007 issue of Clues: A Journal of Detection is devoted to her work.

Her two books that are non-Warshawski novels are : Ghost Country (1998) and Bleeding Kansas (2008).

Books in order of publication:

V.I. Warshawski Books

Indemnity Only(1982) 
Killing Orders(1985) 
Bitter Medicine(1987) 
Blood Shot(1988) 
Burn Marks(1990) 
Guardian Angel(1992) 
Tunnel Vision(1994) 
Hard Time(1999) 
Total Recall(2001) 
Fire Sale(2005) 
Body Work(2010) 
Critical Mass(2013) 
Brush Back(2015) 
Shell Game(2018) 
Dead Land(2020) 

V.I. Warshawski Short Stories/Novellas

Photo Finish(2011) 
Death on the Edge(2018) 

V.I. Warshawski Collections

Windy City Blues(1995)

Standalone Novels

Ghost Country(1988) 
Bleeding Kansas(2007) 

Short Stories/Novellas

Taste of Life(2017)

Short Story Collections

A Taste of Life and Other Stories(1995) 
Love & Other Crimes: Stories(2020) 

Non-Fiction Books

Writing In An Age Of Silence(2007) 
Words, Works, and Ways of Knowing(2016) 


Mean Streets: The Second Private Eye Writers of America Anthology(1986) 
Beastly Tales(1989) 
City Sleuths and Tough Guys(1989) 
A Woman’s Eye(1991) 
1st Culprit(1992) 
Women of Mystery(1992) 
The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories(1992) 
Female Sleuths(1993) 
3rd Culprit(1994) 
Bad Behavior(1995) 
Women on the Case(1996) 
Win, Lose or Die(1996) 
Crime After Crime(1999) 
The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century(2000) 
Crime Story Collection(2000) 
A Century of Great Suspense Stories(2001) 
Sisters on the Case(2007) 
Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe(2011) 
Mystery Writers of America Presents Ice Cold(2014) 
Chicago Blues(2014) 
Gary Phillips’ Hollis for Hire(2018) 
Crime Hits Home of Stories from Crime Fiction’s Top Authors(2022) 
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