The bestselling V.I. Warshawski novels have dazzled readers and earned the acclaim of critics everywhere. "V.I. Warshawski rules," writes Newsweek, crowning her "the most engaging woman in detective fiction." Of V.I.'s creator, the Chicago Tribune says "Sara Paretsky has no peer."Now Paretsky brings her incomparable storytelling brilliance to her most powerful Warshawski novel yet. Total Recall follows the Chicago P.I. on a road that winds back more than fifty years - and into an intricate maze of wartime lies, heartbreaking secrets, and harrowing retribution.
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December 31, 2000
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Excerpt from Total Recall by Sara Paretsky
Baby-Sitters ' Club
' They wouldn ' t even start the funeral service. The church was full, ladies were crying. My uncle was a deacon and he was a righteous man, he ' d been a member of that church for forty-seven years when he passed. My aunt was in a state of total collapse, as you can imagine. And for them to have the nerve to say the policy had already been cashed in. When! That ' s what I want to know, Ms. Warshawski, when was it ever cashed in, with my uncle paying his five dollars a week for fifteen years like he did, and my aunt never hearing word one of him borrowing against the policy or converting it. '
Isaiah Sommers was a short, square man who spoke in slow cadences as if he were himself a deacon. It was an effort to keep from drowsing off during the pauses in his delivery. We were in the living room of his South Side bungalow, at a few minutes after six on a day that had stretched on far too long already.
I ' d been in my office at 8:30, starting a round of the routine searches that make up the bulk of my business, when Lotty Herschel called with an SOS. ' You know Max ' s son brought Calia and Agnes with him from London, don ' t you Agnes suddenly has a chance to show her slides at a Huron Street gallery, but she needs a minder for Calia. '
' I ' m not a baby-sitter, Lotty, ' I ' d said impatiently; Calia was Max Loewenthal ' s five-year-old granddaughter.
Lotty swept imperiously past that protest. ' Max called me when they couldn ' t find anyone ' it ' s his housekeeper ' s day off. He ' s going to that conference at the Hotel Pleiades, although I ' ve told him many times that all he ' s doing is exposing ' but that ' s neither here nor there. At any rate, he ' s on a panel at ten ' otherwise he ' d stay home himself. I tried Mrs. Coltrain at my clinic, but everyone ' s tied up. Michael is rehearsing all afternoon with the symphony and this could be an important chance for Agnes. Vic ' I realize it ' s an imposition, but it would be only for a few hours. '
' Why not Carl Tisov ' I asked. ' Isn ' t he staying at Max ' s, too '