Racine Avenue is going upscale -- bad news for hand-to-mouth residents like V. I. Warshawski. As tax bills skyrocket, newcomers pressure old inhabitants into fixing up their homes or moving out. To the yuppies on the block the worst eyesore belongs to old Hattie Frizell, whose yard is "returning to native prairie, complete with hubcaps." Their block club wants her and her five dogs gone.
V. I. and Hattie have a relationship of sorts: one of those five dogs gave V. I.'s dog Peppy an unwelcome litter. When Hattie slips in her bath and is rushed unconscious to the hospital, V. I. feels compelled to get involved. But neighboring lawyer Todd Pichea and his wife, Chrissie, act swiftly to get the courts to make them Hattie's legal guardians. V. I. returns from a business trip to find they've put the old woman's dogs to sleep. Furious, V. I. starts poking around in the Picheas' affairs, hoping to turn up something scandalous enough to make them lose their guardianship.
Hattie isn't the detective's only worry. When her downstairs neighbor's oldest friend disappears, Mr. Contreras persuades V. I. to investigate. As she probes both problems, V. I. uncovers a scandal linking one of Chicago's oldest industrial families to union fraud and a politically connected bank. Her investigation takes her into the depths of the steamy Sanitary Canal and brings her eyeball-to-eyeball with her ex-husband, Dick Yarborough. When her dear friend Lotty Herschel and her own lawyer turn against her, V. I. is left alone to struggle with the most serious case of her career.
Underneath V I Warshawski's wisecracking PI exterior lies a real pushover. When elderly neighbor Mr. Contreras asks her to look into a fellow union retiree's sudden disappearance, she says "yes" from her heart, not her head.
This is another good read of V I Warshawski. I can't believe how this old lady gets treated by her son and neighbors. It just goes to show how you need to have a social network. It was an interesting story to read.
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.
Series: V.I. Warshawski Series, #7
Sara Paretsky, creator of the popular V.I. Warshawski and an author whose following continues to grow with every book, now delivers the seventh case featuring "America's most convincing and engaging professional private eye."--Entertainment Weekly.
From The Critics
Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski becomes more believable with each appearance; in this nine-week PW bestseller and BOMC selection in cloth, the PI investigates a bond scheme that spans Chicago's industrial and legal worlds. (Feb.)
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
Attorney Caroline Masters has been estranged from her wealthy New England family. She is summoned home to defend her neice on a charge of murder. The police have their suapect, but Caroline has her doubts on the case. Challenges include trusting her former lover, the state prosecuter, and exposing a dark family secret.