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Guardian Angel Hardcover – January 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (January 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385299311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385299312
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,259,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Short-tempered and defensive--"ornery," according to the cop whom she warily lets into her bed--Chicago private detective V.I. Warshawski abruptly shakes off stereotypes to become more believable and more complex with each appearance. Last seen in Burn Marks , V.I. is currently furious at Todd and Chrissie Pichea, an upscale couple on her block who, upon having themselves appointed legal guardians of an eccentric old neighbor after she has a stroke, immediately have her beloved dogs put to sleep. Soon, Vic and another neighbor, 77-year-old Mr. Contreras, identify the body pulled from the Chicago Sanitary Canal as that of a friend of Contrera's who had recently boasted of having the goods on their old employers at Diamond Head Motors, a small manufacturing concern on the West Side. Investigating Diamond Head, V.I. uncovers a intricate bond-parking scheme that reaches deep into her former husband's prestigious law firm and ties into the behavior of the Picheas. Paretsky's emphasis on character comes at no expense of action: Vic's investigation is as physical as it is mental, taking her inside Chicago's industrial world and up against bad guys who use everything from bats to heavy machinery to thwart her. Among today's PIs, nobody comes close to Warshawski. QPB and Mystery Book Club alternates; BOMC selection; author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Chicago private investigator V. I. Warshawski is suffering from I'm-nearing-40-and-is-this-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-life angst. But, as usual, she does so with grit. Her neighborhood is becoming gentrified and an elderly neighbor is pressured by the new residents to fix up her unsightly yard and home or, preferably, to leave and take her five dogs with her. The woman is hospitalized and her yuppie lawyer neighbor, who not-so-coincidentally works for the same firm as Vic's ex-husband, becomes her legal guardian. Justifiably suspicious, Vic gets involved. At the same time, another neighbor hires her to investigate the disappearance of an old friend. Although seemingly disparate cases at first, Vic eventually sees them merge into one--but not before she endures numerous close calls and a friend is injured in an attack meant for her. Unlike the detective's previous reactions to her encounters with death--and to life itself--here she becomes increasingly introspective. The novel ends with her becoming estranged from the friend who was hurt and questioning her budding romance with a black Chicago cop. These extra layers of complexity add depth to Vic's character and lead readers to look forward to Paretsky's next installment in the Warshawski saga.
- Marilyn J. Schoon, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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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

A fascinating page turner.
Jacques COULARDEAU
In every episode V.I. is beaten, thrown into the sewer that is south Chicago, has her life nearly destroyed her friends beaten and shot.
Gerald D. Ireland
I'm a fan of Paretsky's novels, so I know what to expect from the intrepid V I Warshawski, but I really enjoyed this book.
Louise108

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B.E. Sanderson on March 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
V.I. Warshawski - best known through Kathleen Turner's representation of her in the '80's - is not your typical detective, and this is not your typical detective story. If you're looking for Mickey Spillane or Erle Stanley Gardner type grit, this isn't the place. Thus, I would classify this more along the lines of a detective story for the fairer gender. Still, Paretsky manages to write a gritty detective novel while weaving her stories in such a way that her reader's get an idea about the inner lives of her characters. Vic has problems outside of the detective business, and Paretsky incorporates just enough of the daily chore of living into the story without letting it overwhelm the reader. By the end, you can feel you're reading about a friend, and you can cheer when she wins because you know her. Another great thing about this novel, Paretsky has managed to keep a positive sense of life throughout, despite the trials that Vic faces. Vic has it hard, but there's no whining deprecation to the character. All in all a wonderful book to curl up with on a Sunday morning while you have your coffee.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. DuPar on July 7, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the best in the series! In the 7th installment V. I. Warshawski, Chicago's PI, Vic becomes involved with her neighborhood. An old friend of Mr. Contreras is in trouble and then missing. The neighborhood has its own problems with new neighbors complaining and harassing the neighbors who have been around for many years. It includes more details on her ex-husband, a new love interest and a strained old friendship.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on December 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sara Paretsky is a lot more than a plain detective story writer. She describes a whole society, in this case that of Chicago and its crime, or crimes. Violent crime is not number one on her agenda, though it comes in due time. She is mainly interested in white collar crime, the type you find in business and finances. These criminals are highly qualified and educated and some believe that they can have all they want, just because they have the education, the money or the power it takes to command the world. Violence only comes up when some outsiders, first of all the private investigator of this book, try to get into the circle to find out about those criminal acitivites. After moral or social intimidation violence comes in the same line, and it can go all the way to elimination. But this classy world does not accept to be endangered and they are ready to sacrifice some of their children in order to save the system. You can become an outcast overnight if your actions or initiatives endanger the power of the bosses of this society. It is a clan and those who do not accept these clannish procedures are rejected. But Sara Paretsky goes a lot beyond and gives also a fair picture of some burning issues in our socieries. She does not put them all on the front burner but she does for the position of women : they can do all they want, no profession is beyond their reach, because an equal society has to reject any privilege or segregation. A fascinating page turner.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Bonavia VINE VOICE on October 17, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This one, to me, is a bit of a departure from Paretsky's norm and not an altogether happy one. The tone seems rather bleak and sour. The dauntless PI, Vic Warshawski, spends a lot of her time exhausted, or injured, or in a rage that makes her do dumb things. At the end of the book she still has a huge problem in her relationship with her previous all-time best friend, Lotty, and has doubts about the relationship she has entered into with the black detective - will it ever work for cop and PI to be together? And this was published in 1993: Paretsky documents the prejudice Vic encounters, and the casual use of the n-word.

Still, like any Warshawski story, it's a page-turner, and also fun to step back to the time before cell-phones, and when computers had a blinking cursor or a menu - no Windows - and her trusty Olivetti is her standby (do some younger readers know what Paretsky's talking about?) And the disgust at corporate shenanigans and ripoffs can still resonate today. Worth a read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kenda on December 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Vic is my favorite among the female detective series. She is tough and no nonsense. I do wish that she would tell Lotty to take a big jump sometimes...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FloB on August 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
She never fails to give you a good read - I read some of her earlier works and then she fell off my radar when she was on a hiatus of sorts until I came across some of her books on a clearance table at a local bookstore - I bought one to catch up with her and was not disappointed, I then caught up the rest of the series with her Kindle editions. The only CON to her books is the higher than normal Kindle price - I wanted to finish the series and was glad I did BUT I feel she needs to get in line with her Kindle edition prices
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul S on June 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
One of her better ones in the VI Warshawski series. More dense, character driven. Yes, the author could have provided more clues and made the who/what/why ending a bit more exciting, punchy. But it's the ride and characters in this book that make it a strong read.

Paul
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
GUARDIAN ANGEL is book seven in Sara Paretsky's female detective series and it is a serious departure from previous works. This is why Paretsky is so much fun to read, you never know where her stories will take her intrepid PI.
Her low-income neighborhood is going upscale and the residents can't afford the boost in prices. The worst offender is Hattie Frizell and her five dogs. Hattie ends up in the hospital, a lawyer has himself declared legal guardian and the dogs are destroyed.
Then another resident disappears and the block is scared and come to V.I. for help. Working the case she runs into her ex-husband and fireworks fly.
A great series that keeps getting better.
Nash Black, author of QUALIFYING LAPS.
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