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Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski Novels) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1991

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Product Details

  • Series: V.I. Warshawski Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (June 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440210690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440210696
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The Chicago writer  whose name always makes the top of the list when  people talk about the new female operatives."  -- Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times  Book Review.

From the Publisher

Meeting an anonymous client late on a sizzling summer night is asking for trouble. But trouble is Chicago private eye V.I. Warshwski's specialty. Her client says he's the prominent banker, John Thayer. Turns out he's not. He says his son's girlfriend, Anita Hill, is missing. Turns out that's not her real name. V.I.'s search turns up someone soon enough -- the real John Thayer's son, and he's dead. Who's V.I.'s client? Why has she been set up and sent out on a wild-goose chase? By the time she's got it figured, things are hotter -- and deadlier -- than Chicago in July. V.I.'s in a desperate race against time. At stake: a young woman's life.

"The Chicago writer whose name always makes the top of the list when people talk about the new female operatives." -- Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review.

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

Delores P. Rowe
I enjoy Sara Paretsky / V.I. Warshawski, and particularly enjoyed her new intro to one of her older novels.
Shari A. Mann
I'm not going to boring you with all the twists that the plot contains for getting your attention.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Craig P. Roberts on August 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
She's as tough as nails, a real smart cookie and she's taking on the Chicago crime scene. Her name is V.(ictoria) I.(phigenia) Warshawski, a contemporary private eye investigating white-collar corruption in the heartland of America. Sara Pareksky has created a female character in her series of books that can rival Mickey Spillane or Mike Hammer in her toughness and wisecracking. Indemnity Only is the first V. I. Warshawski novel written by Pareksky. In this novel she finds herself employed by her client to find his son's missing girlfriend and instead finds the son,and he's dead. Soon she finds herself embroiled with union leaders, mob killings and insurance fraud, as well as continuing her hunt for the young woman whose life may be in jeopardy. This is a novel that will hold the interest of those of us from the babyboomer generation as we relate to Warshawkski's return to her college alma mater. Read this novel for a great introduction to V. I. Warshawski.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Untouchable on July 25, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the book that introduces us to V.I. Warshawski, possibly the toughest female private investigator in the game. She is hired by an influential businessman to find his son and his son's girlfriend. It doesn't take long before she finds the son dead, the man who hired her wasn't whom he said he was, and she's had the proverbial beaten out of her as a warning to drop the case. V.I. is another one of those private investigators that, once hired, will stop at nothing to solve the case. Although she's told by her original client that he no longer requires her services, she persists like a dog with a bone, determined to see the case through to it's conclusion.
The setting is Chicago and it's summer, so we're given a lot of speculation on how the Cubs are going to fare that year. Now, I'm from Australia, but even I know that the season's only going to end in disappointment...again. (No offence sports fans).
This is another enjoyable private investigator book with a good, hard as nails protagonist. I have no problem recommending this to anyone who enjoys the Robert Parker "Spenser" series or the Robert Crais "Elvis Cole" series.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After a late night visit from a client asking her to find a missing girl, V. I. Warshawski finds the body of a collage student shot in the head at his kitchen table. V. I., Vick, as her friends call her, has a mystery to unravel. The first thing she unravels is that nobody appears to be who he or she says they are.
I truly enjoyed this book. V.I. Warshawski was a wonderful character. Ms. Paretsky did a wonderful job at making her colorful and humorous. Indeed, Ms. Paretsky made all of the characters good. This book, though a little on the older side was the first in the V. I. Warshawski series. Not possessing the extreme descriptions that so many authors in this genre feel needs to be included, Ms. Paretsky described people, places and things providing enough information without overkill.
Ms. Peters (reader) also did a wonderful job at bringing characters to life. Though the male characters weren't overpowering, (tough for a female to do a male characters voice), the female characters were all outstanding, including that of Jill the 14-year girl.
This was my first experience with Ms. Paretsky and found it enjoyable. Being one who listens to many audio books while commuting to/from work. I found this book enjoyable and certainly plan on trying others by Ms. Paretsky.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader VINE VOICE on December 7, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a late-comer to the V.I. Warshawski series. I'd known about for years, but after seeing the dreadful Kathleen Turner movie version, I decided to skip the books. Stupid me! I've only read this first book, but I have to say I'm hooked. The character of V.I. Warshawski is probably one of the best female P.I. characters out there. Sara Paretsky has written strong, three dimensional female that you can easily become attached to. The plot of this first book was a little choppy, but the author's understanding of Chicago -- the lay of the land, the police, the politics -- makes up for any shortcomings. Bravo job! I look forward to reading the entire series.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lesbian Reader on February 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading JM Redmann's wonderful Death by the Riverside featuring MIckey Knight, I was so vividly taken with the strong female character that I just had to re-read the other strong female character that I love: VI Warshawsky. Like Knight, Warshawsky is a tough cookie who can hurt, a smart woman who makes human mistakes, and a real pain... for friends who wish she wouldn't get herself into such danger.
Paretsky's gift in storytelling is the way she takes a small incident and lets it mushroom until seemingly unrelated incidents form the picture of a larger, uglier tale. Warshawsky herself is complicated and richly textured character and I loved revisiting her.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Carol Peterson Hennekens on May 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read most of the V.I. Warshawski series as they were released and thought I know Vic pretty well. However, this first book in the series proved an unexpected source of new insights on one of the leading ladies of PI fiction. Some of it was simply background stuff. More interesting was just getting a sense of who she is and why she ticks.
The mystery is interesting enough. A University of Chicago student has gone missing. Before she can blink, VI is immersed in a murder mystery with links to big insurance, a sleazy union and a very dangerous mobster. Still, her sarcastic humor and basic good heart come through as we tour greater Chicago. The pages turn easily.
Bottom line: Certainly a good read for those who are new to the series and not a bad read for longtime fans.
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