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Bitter Medicine Mass Market Paperback – April 13, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Since her debut in Paretsky's Indemnity Only, Chicago private eye V. (Victoria) I. Warshawski has been attracting both enthusiastic readers and critical acclaim. This fourth story narrated by the spiky detective is the series' most suspenseful so far. V. I. brings a teenager about to give premature birth to a private hospital where the mother and her baby die. Since the poor girl's own obstetrician is unavailable, Warshawski's friend, Dr. Tregiere, arrives from his inner-city hospital to check procedures; he's found murdered later. So is the supposedly bereaved husband, member of a street gang that atacks Warshawski during her tenacious investigation of the related cases. There are other appalling deaths as tough V. I. gets to the facts behind a tawdry coverup. The cast of the earlier mysteries again adds flavor here, and the big city's ethnic mix, as enlived by Paretsky, does too.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"No one, male or female, writes better P.I. books than Paretsky."
--The Denver Post

"Paretsky's books are beautifully paced and plotted, and the dialogue is fresh and smart.... V.I. Warshawski is the most engaging woman in detective fiction."
--Newsweek

"The plot [is] fast moving, the dialogue snappy, the premise for murder persuasive.  This novel hasn't a single snag in its springs."
--Chicago Sun-Times

"Paretsky is still the best...she doesn't pull punches."  
--The Washington Post Book World
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (April 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044023476X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440234760
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,042,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sara Paretsky is the award-winning creator of the V I Warshawski detective novels. When Sara introduced V I in Indemnity Only in 1982, she revolutionized the mystery novel. By creating a female investigator who uses her wits as well a her fists, Sara challenged a genre in which women were traditionally either vamps or victims.

V I is the quintessential urban woman. She grew up in the shadow of the old steel mills on Chicago's Southeast side and knows her way around every alley in town. She's a street fighter, a singer, a bit of a clothes horse, and a woman of great intensity and passion.

So how much like V I is her creator? They certainly come from very different places. Sara grew up in rural Kansas where she attended a two-room school. She continues to believe the high point of her life came at the age of twelve when she was picked to play third base for the Kaw Valley District 95 baseball team.

Bleeding Kansas, Sara's 14th novel, is set in the part of the Kaw River Valley where Sara grew up.

Sara first came to Chicago in 1966 to do community service work in the same neighborhood where Martin Luther King was organizing. It was a time of fierce passions in the city and in the country as people fought over racial justice, the rights and wrongs of the war in Vietnam, and women's rights. Sara has always felt that that summer changed her life forever, and when she finished her undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas, she came back to make Chicago her home. Some of the history of that summer is recounted in her essay collection, Writing in an Age of Silence.

Like V I, Sara likes to sing, in an amateur way, has a hopeless passion for the Cubs, loves Italian shoes'and is obsessed by the search for the perfect cappuccino, so much so that she even went to cappuccino school.

In other academic ventures, Sara received a PhD in American History and an MBA from the University of Chicago. In 1976, she married physics professor Courtenay Wright. The two live in the city of Chicago with their wonder dog Callie. Their lives are made brighter by their adored granddaughter, Maia.

Sara shares V I's passion for social justice. She founded Sisters in Crime in 1986 to support women readers and writers in the mystery world. To give back to the community, Paretsky established the Sara and Two C-Dogs Foundation, which primarily supports girls and women in the arts, letters, and sciences. She has endowed several scholarships at the University of Kansas, and has mentored students in Chicago's inner city schools. She serves on the advisory boards of Literature for All of Us, a literacy group for teen moms, and Thresholds, which serves Chicago's mentally-ill homeless.

Sara has received numerous awards, including the Diamond Dagger for Lifetime achievement from the British Crime Writers Association, the Gold Dagger for best novel for her book Blacklist, and the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from several different universities. Sara's books have been translated into almost thirty languages.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book back in 1988 when it was first published. Having forgotten this, I purchased this newly reissued edition. I really wish publishers would make it clear right up front (on the cover) that these books have been previously published. This is a good story, but not worth reading a second time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
While it is clear that Paretsky used the story to pontificate around the abortion issue, the story was not (in my opinion) held hostage by her views. Of course, she must have known that those who hold opposing views might be somewhat derailed by her machinations. Apparently she felt it was a risk worth taking. For my part, the story was entertaining and amusing. There were sufficeint plot twists and turns, a romantic interlude, loveable yet annoying characters... all the stuff that makes us enjoy V.I. This is what I call hot-fudge-sundae fiction. I read it for its entertainment value--not intellectual nutrition. YUM!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like Paresky and I like her creation, V.I Warshawsky and this is one of the best so far. I have read probably 5 of these and will continue (by present intentions) thru the rest.

In this one, V.I. is drawn into the world of hospitals and the practice (and malpractice) of Medicine with all the discrepancies due to disparities of the wealth and class of the patients. She has taken a poor person to a hospital of the wealthy, where they kill her by indifference and then they must cover it up because V.I. is a lawyer and a P.I. High jinx and low jinx follow and V>I.get exhausted and her dear friend's threatened and extremely inconvenienced and V.I. (of course) almost gets killed.

Sobering side note is that the health care system is worse now in the early 21 st Century than it was in the last two decades of the 20th, even if you are optimistic about Obama Care.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I likie Sara's writing even with the wearing use of minucia about streets and Chicago sights. V.I. is always hurt from her miscalculations, and lack of preparations. How many detectives can't figure out how to keep private private. She's continually attacked in her own home and almost violently cross with her friends. She finds solutions that come up to the reader a beat before the text reveals the important infomation. The basic good writing keeps me reading. V.I. is at heart a bleeding heart and for that she is forgiven her bad character. I keep going back since I like the writing, seems contradictory but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very entertaining, kept my interest throughout. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery book.
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Format: Paperback
Great read, V.I. Warshawski is a woman I'd like on my side. A bit of a bull headed trouble maker who gets the job done. I loved that the author took the private investigator into the world of corrupt medicine in this suspense filled read, V.I. is looking out for her friends when a sixteen year old pregnant friend dies while giving birth, also losing the baby. The author has a great writing style that is believable in its' every day language and situations. I am definitely looking forward to reading more novels by Sara Paretsky.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I discovered Sara Paretsky a couple of years ago while researching a dissertation on female detectives, and I've enjoyed the three that I have read so far. This V.I. Warshawski novel moves a little away from the world of insurance and finance and into medicine. It's a good read, and has a feminist perspective that is still relevant today, especially in relation to reproductive rights. Paretsky still manages to balance that with the tropes of the wisecracking, gumshoe genre.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Sara Paretsky always expands one's horizons. You learn a lot from reading her mysteries. She is an excellent writer and her V.I. Warshawski is a very likeable character. She's believable, though sometimes I want to reign her in and tell her that her next idea is going above and beyond what is required of her, but I know she would go ahead and do it anyway -- and live to tell about it!
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