Carmilla, Queen of the Night, is a shape-shifting raven whose fictional exploits thrill girls all over the world. When tweens in Chicago's Carmilla Club hold an initiation ritual in an abandoned cemetery, they stumble on an actual corpse, a man stabbed through the heart in a vampire-style slaying. The girls include daughters of some of Chicago's most powerful families: the grandfather of one, Chaim Salanter, is one of the world's wealthiest men; the mother of another, Sophy Durango, is the Illinois Democratic candidate for Senate. For V.I. Warshawski, the questions multiply faster than the answers. Is the killing linked to a hostile media campaign against Sophy Durango? Or to Chaim Salanter's childhood in Nazi-occupied Lithuania? As V.I. struggles for answers, she finds herself fighting enemies who are all too human.
Both Paretsky and her sharp-tongued justice-seeker, V.I. Warshawski, remain formidable in the masterfully suspenseful fifteenth novel in this superb and adored Chicago-set series ...V.I. reigns as crime fiction's spiky, headstrong warrior woman of conscience, and Paretsky, classy champion of the powerless, has never been more imaginative, rueful, transfixing, and righteous. -- Booklist, starred review Plotted with all Paretsky's customary generosity, this standout entry harnesses her heroine's righteous anger to some richly deserving targets, all linked together in a truly amazing finale. -- Kirkus, starred review She is writing with the kind of passion for social justice that inspired Chandler and Hammett -- Joan Smith, Sunday Times The thing about Sara Paretsky is, she's tough ... she doesn't flinch from examining old social injustices others might find too shameful (and too painful) to dig up -- The New York Times Paretsky's eye is sharp but it's not just about satire. BREAKDOWN is also a propulsive rush of a thriller. Somehow she packs in politics, great characters, nifty wisecracks and a breakneck story. That takes some doing. -- Metro Joy and rapture - Vic's back, Paretsky's heroine, V.I. Warshawski, is the thinking woman's private detective; intelligent and brave, yet just as vulnerable and muddled as the rest of us ... Don't miss -- Saga Magazine The usual pleasure points are ticked: gutsy liberal opinions; hidden urban connections; public issues and personal pains; plust appearances from cousin Petra and the dogs ... this is a solid additon to an involving series. -- Financial Times Smart and sharp-tongued Chicago detective Warshawksi is looking for her cousin's curfew-breaking child (wrong - sorry, Sara!) when she finds a man's corpse impaled on a steel stake in a cemetery. America's travails are laid as bare as those entrails in the subsequent investigation. -- Sunday Express
Sara Paretsky, the author of the V.I. Warshawski novels, was named 2011 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. She is the winner of many awards, including the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement from the British Crime Writers' Association and the CWA Gold Dagger for Blacklist. Visit Sara's website, www.saraparetsky.com, find her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SaraParetsky, and follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/Sara1982P.