MYSTERY

Love & Other Crimes

Morrow. Jun. 2020. 448p. ISBN 9780062915542. pap. $17.99. M
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Paretsky continues to thrill with her latest collection filled with stories set in her home state of Kansas as well as her PI heroine V.I. Warshawski’s hometown of Chicago. These 14 stories transcend time with settings ranging from the Prohibition era through the 1960s and modern day. Many of them extrapolate upon past Warshawski novels, telling stories readers never knew they needed. Vic sniffs out likely and unlikely suspects in “Love & Other Crimes” and “Is It Justice?” In “Safety First,” Dr. Herschel gets sent to jail in a dystopian nightmare. “Trial by Fire” features ancestors of characters in Paretsky’s novel Bleeding Kansas, a miniprequel in the making. The author pays homage to mystery authors past, such as Agatha Christie and Anna Katharine Green with letter formats, fun plot lines, and rich characterizations. In addition to heart-pounding crime fighting and sleuthing, these stories run deep with aching sketches of love and loss. Some contain scathing political commentary, with haunting versions of possible futures.
VERDICT Fans of witty characters, complicated plots, stories with somber endings, and, of course, V.I Warshawski will enjoy this book.

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