Shell Game (V.I. Warshawski, #19)
Sara Paretsky follows her instant New York Times bestseller Fallout—her most widely read novel in years—with an extraordinary adventure that pits her acclaimed detective, V.I. Warshawski, against some of today’s most powerful figures.Legendary sleuth V.I. Warshawski returns to the Windy City to save an old friend’s nephew from a murder arrest. The case involves a stolen artifact that could implicate a shadowy network of international criminals. As V.I. investigates, the detective soon finds herself tangling with the Russian mob, ISIS backers, and a shady network of stock scams and stolen art that stretches from Chicago to the East Indies and the Middle East. In Shell Game, nothing and no one are what they seem, except for the detective herself, who loses sleep, money, and blood, but remains indomitable in her quest for justice.

Shell Game (V.I. Warshawski, #19) Details

TitleShell Game (V.I. Warshawski, #19)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 16th, 2018
PublisherWilliam Morrow
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime

Shell Game (V.I. Warshawski, #19) Review

  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    I was utterly thrilled to be reading the latest in Sara Paretsky's iconic V.I. Warshawski series set in a Chicago that, by now, I feel I know rather well. Paretsky writes more than crime fiction, she captures the current social and political waters of the US, as can be seen here where the horror of the repercussions of the Trump presidency is laid bare with its impact on the poor, the migrants and refugees, living in fear, and the draconian and hostile environment they face on a daily basis. Thi I was utterly thrilled to be reading the latest in Sara Paretsky's iconic V.I. Warshawski series set in a Chicago that, by now, I feel I know rather well. Paretsky writes more than crime fiction, she captures the current social and political waters of the US, as can be seen here where the horror of the repercussions of the Trump presidency is laid bare with its impact on the poor, the migrants and refugees, living in fear, and the draconian and hostile environment they face on a daily basis. This is in stark contrast to the world of the hyperwealthy, and their inherent perception that the law does not apply to them and the unabashed, shameful corporate debauchery that takes place, powerful men preying on young and vulnerable women, mirroring the contemporary#MeToo era. The indomitable Vic has come to the aid of Felix Herschel, grandson of Lotty's brother, Hugo. In the forests of Cap Sauers Holding, the beaten to death body of a man is found stuffed into a tree. The man has a torn scrap of paper with Felix's name and phone number on his person, and the local sheriff is hellbent on arresting and charging Felix with murder on this basis.Vic's niece, Harmony Seale has arrived in Chicago looking for her sister, Reno, who has disappeared. The good looking Reno had obtained work for a payday loan company charging astronomical interest rates of the struggling poor, doing well, she was invited to a corporate shindig in the Caribbean which turned out to be a nightmare. Harmony and Reno had a troubled upbringing with their drug addict mother, Peggy, and placed with foster parents that were the making of them, but they both remain emotionally fragile and vulnerable. The overworked and exhausted Vic finds leads which reveal stolen artefacts from war torn Syria, connections to the Oriental Institute and a cleaning company, Force 5, employing migrant labour. Felix is being distinctly unhelpful and Vic's ex-husband, the ambitious Dick, shows just how few scruples he has and just how much of a nasty piece of work he is. Homeland Security and ICE agents are muscling in on other people's turf with no compunction. In the face of being assaulted, shot at, the menacing presence of the Russian Mob and with her clients in desperate danger, Vic finds surprising links with Reno's disappearance with that of the murder in the woods of Cap Sauer.A host of characters reappear that will be familiar to fans of series, such as the over protective elderly Mr Contreras, the wintry yet helpful client Darraugh Graham, reporter Murray Ryerson, computer genius Niko Cruickshank, not to mention the heroic dogs, Peppy and Mitch. Paretsky's Vic is a phenomenon, fighting tirelessly for justice in a world where the odds are stacked against her, in a political climate that has become increasingly surreal and unbearably dangerous to those at the bottom of the ladder, powerless and living precarious lives. We are given a picture of the US with its recent history of ill advised foreign ventures and their impact. Always a joy to reacquaint myself with the force of nature that is Vic and know that she continues to survive, holding on to her principles and values, loyal to those close to her, even when they not always appreciative of her help. Love this series with a passion, and this marvellous addition comes highly recommended. Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC.
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  • Brina
    January 1, 1970
    Earlier this year I found out that Sara Paretsky would be publishing a new V.I. Warshawski mystery later in the year. I was giddy. I have read every book in the series starting with Indemnity Only. V.I has been around for over thirty years. She is a Chicago institution and my go to detective series as I know the locales where V.I. fights for justice as well as the important landmarks. After a lackluster previous case that took V.I. to the Kansas heartland, I was jumping to read this new case tha Earlier this year I found out that Sara Paretsky would be publishing a new V.I. Warshawski mystery later in the year. I was giddy. I have read every book in the series starting with Indemnity Only. V.I has been around for over thirty years. She is a Chicago institution and my go to detective series as I know the locales where V.I. fights for justice as well as the important landmarks. After a lackluster previous case that took V.I. to the Kansas heartland, I was jumping to read this new case that has V.I. prowling the streets of Chicago once again. The nephew of V.I.’s friend and mentor Lotty Herschel has been falsely accused of murdering an archeological student over a stolen sculpture. Lotty turns to V.I. to clear his name. What unfolds is a case that takes V.I. to the underbelly of Chicago’s white corporate crime where billionaires believe they are one step above the law. The Russian mob, housing moguls, and V.I.’s ex husband are front and center and all accuse Vic of meddling in their rich and famous lifestyle before she uncovers things that aren’t meant for her eyes. Meanwhile, Vic’s nieces turn up asking for her help as well, and the same group of billionaires look to be the culprits. Ensuing is a fast paced crime book through the streets of Chicago. Paretsky includes her comical cast of characters including Lotty, Murray Ryerson, and Mr Contreras, and a new love interest of V.I’s to boot. They have been in every mystery for the last thirty years and the movie and listening to their conversations with V.I. made me laugh hysterically. Vic and Ryerson’s love hate relationship of reporter and detective has not changed in thirty years, and this book was like a throw back to some of Vic’s earlier cases when Murray was front and center researching Vic’s dirty work. Mr Contreras appears ninety five years young and ready to lay his life on the line as well. The one thing I did not appreciate was Paretsky’s politics but I overlooked them because this mystery reminded why I have stuck with this series for so long. In the end, V.I. brings the bad guys to justice, making the streets of Chicago safe again. Stolen goods have been returned and white collar crime has been uncovered. Because Paretsky takes her time researching every facet of her mysteries, I know that I should savor this one. V.I. isn’t getting any younger and Paretsky has noted that in each of the last five or so cases. Each time, however, it seems like Paretsky has brought about a protégée for V.I., they only last one or two books at the most. This insures that V.I. will be back and when she is, I know that I will be ready to follow her through the streets of Chicago. 4 stars
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    The City with Broad Shoulders......ChicagoAnd it takes one heck of a detective to lean hard on those ol' muscular shoulders throughout the years. Yep, V.I. Warshawski is back in this big city mix with another adventure that's sure to please in the hands of the extremely talented Sara Paretsky. Paretsky takes the wheel and we're toolin' down the Dan Ryan toward the shirt tails of Chicago. It's the middle of the night and Vic (V.I.) has received a desperate call from her long-time friend, Lotty. H The City with Broad Shoulders......ChicagoAnd it takes one heck of a detective to lean hard on those ol' muscular shoulders throughout the years. Yep, V.I. Warshawski is back in this big city mix with another adventure that's sure to please in the hands of the extremely talented Sara Paretsky. Paretsky takes the wheel and we're toolin' down the Dan Ryan toward the shirt tails of Chicago. It's the middle of the night and Vic (V.I.) has received a desperate call from her long-time friend, Lotty. Her brother Hugo's grandson looks to be somehow connected to a blungeoned corpse found stuffed in a tree in the forest preserves. How so? A torn scrap of paper has been pulled from the dead man's pocket with Felix's name and phone number on it. Dead men tell no lies and they can't quite make phone calls after the fact. Felix denies ever having met the unfortunate corpse as he and Vic make their way through the crime scene on this frigid night. Vic still maintains her law credentials, but this one is gonna take some high leverage. Her connections with the police force have been pushed to the fringes over the years. All she has to go on is Felix's word and Lotty's wringing hands. Vic heads back to her apartment and to her two beloved dogs that she shares with Mr. Contreras, her long-time neighbor. Contreras has hovered over Vic for years and he gladly steps in when needed even though old age is creeping in. Sleep is a blessing not doled out too often in regard to Vic. She's awakened by Harmony Seale her niece through marriage. Harmony has flown in from Portland frantic because she can't get ahold of her sister, Reno, who is now living in Chicago. Vic hasn't seen the girls in years as she and her ex-husband, Richard, have never seen eye-to-eye on much of anything. The girls, now young adults, had suffered at the hands of their flagrant mother since they were born. Vic promises to check out Reno's apartment for answers. And this will be one bottomless rabbit hole for Vic.Paretsky serves up a giant sliced beef sandwich with plenty of spicy gravy on the side......Chicago style. Shell Game is gonna live up to its name as clues and identities will be well-hidden and moved constantly around the game board. With not much to go on in regard to both cases, Vic will be forced to turn over deadly rocks with a long stick. Shell Game turns out to be a multi-tiered, mind-blowing trek through the dark alleys of payday loan businesses, the Russian mob, corporate voodoo, trails to the Middle East, and questionable artifacts from archeological digs. Whew! Paretsky takes on fire-breathing topics of social justice and heated political arenas. Believe me, bring plenty of extra napkins for that juicy sandwich......gonna get messy real fast.
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars.Sara Paretsky has long been one of my “must read” authors and “Shell Game” is a fine follow up to her previous novel, the brilliant “Fallout.” All of the books in this nineteen book series are well worth reading. They don’t have to be read in order, but I would encourage readers to do so, beginning with book #1 “Indemnity Only.”
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    Always good to catch up with V.I. Warshawski. Definitely one of my favourite series. This one had some good contemporary political themes running through the plot. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
  • Jeanette
    January 1, 1970
    Having read half of this slowly and then the other half sped read- here is my take. And truly too, I am sorry that I tried one more time to accommodate a Chicago placed book with a return to a long ago "read" series (those two aspects combined). That disclaimer must be made first, that I was trying to kill two birds with one stone. But V.I. Warshawski- what has HAPPENED to you? There's little remnant of the woman she was in the first 5 or 6 books. And the fiction is beyond make believe for the p Having read half of this slowly and then the other half sped read- here is my take. And truly too, I am sorry that I tried one more time to accommodate a Chicago placed book with a return to a long ago "read" series (those two aspects combined). That disclaimer must be made first, that I was trying to kill two birds with one stone. But V.I. Warshawski- what has HAPPENED to you? There's little remnant of the woman she was in the first 5 or 6 books. And the fiction is beyond make believe for the placements.She's even distorting CPD allowances, departmental reality, case hours etc. Fiction indeed. This has about as much in reality with ICE, Chicago itself, action of law enforcement work on state and federal levels, courts too- as do Wonder Woman comics. Ridiculous as having a "force field" in which bullets cannot penetrate. Or having a magic "sled" to ride down an icy river or treacherous lake. (Water temperature gives you mere minutes.) This was absurd.No more Sara Paretsky for me. She's left the serve and protect universe of my world and gone into Kingsolver thesis territory.Oh give me an Italian beef in natural dipped with hot giardiniera and hold the preachy, arrogant, Paretsky side of know better superiority. Please.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    This was another great outing with Sara Paretsky and her almost, but too human to be, wonder woman, V.I.Warshawski. Set in her familiar surroundings of Chicago, it is very current, featuring the more recent predations of ICE on even legal immigrants, the ways the lives of the extremely wealthy can intersect with people much lower on the socioeconomic ladder and how V.I. manages to interact with both while doing favors for “almost” family members who she cares about deeply.The action level is hig This was another great outing with Sara Paretsky and her almost, but too human to be, wonder woman, V.I.Warshawski. Set in her familiar surroundings of Chicago, it is very current, featuring the more recent predations of ICE on even legal immigrants, the ways the lives of the extremely wealthy can intersect with people much lower on the socioeconomic ladder and how V.I. manages to interact with both while doing favors for “almost” family members who she cares about deeply.The action level is high. Occasional coincidences are well explained through the plot. V.I. both takes and gives lumps while also meeting some interesting new people. All in all, another book that any follower of the series definitely should read. Anyone not reading this series really should seriously consider it. The plots are well constructed, the characters well developed and the writing is excellent. The stories frequently tie in a contemporaneous event or social or political issue which broadens their scope. This may be local to Chicago or national or possibly more far-reaching. Highly recommended. 4.5* rounded to 5
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  • Linda Strong
    January 1, 1970
    V. I. Warshawski is back for her 19th adventure. A Private Investigator with a license to practice law, she's been asked by her best friend and mentor to help keep her nephew out of jail. A man found murdered had the nephew's name and address on his person. But Felix swears he has never seen the man, and the police don' quite believe his story.While trying to help Felix, and knowing that he's keeping something secret, V.I. also gets involved in a missing person case .. a young woman who just hap V. I. Warshawski is back for her 19th adventure. A Private Investigator with a license to practice law, she's been asked by her best friend and mentor to help keep her nephew out of jail. A man found murdered had the nephew's name and address on his person. But Felix swears he has never seen the man, and the police don' quite believe his story.While trying to help Felix, and knowing that he's keeping something secret, V.I. also gets involved in a missing person case .. a young woman who just happens to be her ex-husband's niece.As V. I. gets entangled in these cases, she has to deal with possible terrorist groups, the Russian mob, stock scams and stolen works of art.It seems like everyone is keeping secrets .. some of which could be the end of V.I..This is easily read as a stand alone. There's lots of suspense, plenty of suspects to keep the reader engaged, and a volatile ending.Many thanks to the author / HarperCollins - William Morrow / Edelweiss for the advanced digital copy of this crime fiction. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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  • L.A. Starks
    January 1, 1970
    I like everything about this book that I like about Paretsky's previous books: the main character's fearlessness, drive, and -yes, attention to running her business--her willingness to challenge anyone and everyone in seeking answers. The plotting is terrific and the settings in Chicago, including UChicago's Oriental Institute are spot-on.However, Paretsky has a political point to make about immigration/open borders/ICE, and some readers may feel, as I did, hit over the head as hard as by one of I like everything about this book that I like about Paretsky's previous books: the main character's fearlessness, drive, and -yes, attention to running her business--her willingness to challenge anyone and everyone in seeking answers. The plotting is terrific and the settings in Chicago, including UChicago's Oriental Institute are spot-on.However, Paretsky has a political point to make about immigration/open borders/ICE, and some readers may feel, as I did, hit over the head as hard as by one of the book's Russian thugs, without any chance to respond.Honestly, I would challenge Paretsky to spend a year in Laredo or McAllen or Tucson where, for instance, journalists who report the truth about the drug trade are routinely murdered or, like Alfredo Corchado "merely" live in fear of being murdered. After such an experience Paretsky would ideally revisit the issue of illegal immigration from a southern border perspective.I can unfortunately only recommend this book in Paretsky's mystery series to those who are already fully on board with her immigration politics because everything else is secondary to the point she wishes to make. This is a shame since the writing, plot, and characterization are great.
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  • Dorothy
    January 1, 1970
    Sara Paretsky is one of my long-time literary crushes. I've been reading her V.I. Warshawski novels since almost their beginning back in the 1980s. She has never let me down. Oh, sure, I have enjoyed some of the books more than others, but there is not a stinker among them.One of the things that I enjoy about V.I. is that she has been allowed to age, more or less in real time. By now (and the present book takes place in the present time - the Trump era) she's getting a bit long in the tooth, not Sara Paretsky is one of my long-time literary crushes. I've been reading her V.I. Warshawski novels since almost their beginning back in the 1980s. She has never let me down. Oh, sure, I have enjoyed some of the books more than others, but there is not a stinker among them.One of the things that I enjoy about V.I. is that she has been allowed to age, more or less in real time. By now (and the present book takes place in the present time - the Trump era) she's getting a bit long in the tooth, not unlike many of us, but her passion for justice and for serving her clients with honor remains undimmed.Her latest case involves a heady mix of stock scams and painstakingly detailed insurance fraud by high rollers, the scapegoating and demonizing of immigrants (particularly Middle Eastern immigrants), an out-of-control ICE, theft of archaeological treasures, Russian mobsters, kidnapping and sexual abuse of young girls, and, of course, murder.It's the murder that initially gets V.I. involved in all the rest of this muck. The body of a murdered man with no identification on him has been found in a nature preserve area outside of Chicago. The Cook County Sheriff's Office has jurisdiction over the investigation. The only clue they find on the body is a scrap of paper bearing the name and phone number of Felix Herschel. Felix is the grand-nephew of Lotty Herschel, V.I.'s friend, doctor, and mother-figure. Sheriff's deputies take Felix to look at the body to see if he can identify it and Lotty contacts V.I. to go along.Felix denies knowing the dead person, but he seems to be hiding something and V.I. follows him and sees him meet a young woman of Middle Eastern appearance. She turns out to be Syrian, a recent refugee from the civil war there and she is the daughter of an honored poet who is in the country illegally. Felix seems to be trying to protect them.The dead man is eventually identified as Leroy (or Lawrence) Fausson, an archaeology student who had worked at digs in the Middle East and was captivated by the culture of that area. He often dressed as an Arab and wanted to be called Lawrence, or Elorenze, as in Lawrence of Arabia. It develops that he had probably stolen a priceless antiquity.Meantime, in a parallel plot, V.I. is contacted by Harmony Seale, whose late mother was the sister of Warshawski's long-ago husband, Richard Yarborough. V.I. had not seen the girl since she was 5 or 6 years old, but now she is grown up and needs help. Her older sister, Reno, had recently moved to Chicago from Portland and found a job, but now she has disappeared. Harmony refuses to go to the police because she doesn't trust them. She wants V.I. to find her.V.I. looks for clues and tries to work both the cases and at some point they begin to grow together in an intricately woven pattern. She has a problem following or developing the clues that she finds because she keeps getting attacked by two monstrously large and implacable Slavic thugs. Of course, V.I. is pretty implacable herself and we know she's not going to give up.It's fairly obvious pretty early on who the prime villain is here, but that knowledge does not in any way detract from the pleasure of reading this story. The plot is meticulously worked out in the most minute detail including a lot of information about insurance and stocks that frankly goes over my head, but I'm able to follow along and get the gist and, as usual, it is the characters and their relationships that keep me turning the pages. Particularly the new and intriguing relationship between V.I. and a certain archaeologist from the Oriental Institute.What can I say? V.I. just gets better and better. This one was definitely one of my favorites in the series.
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    I have been doing a fairly good job of reading the current Paretsky books. I keep telling myself to read some of the older ones but somehow a new book is out before I can do it.I enjoy the tough smart mouthed V. I Warshawski, attorney turned private investigator. Paretsky usually provides a great sight seeing trip around Chicago also. Each book is an action-packed story with lots of humor and a social issue that leads to a suspenseful story. In this story Paretsky adds current affairs as V. I. d I have been doing a fairly good job of reading the current Paretsky books. I keep telling myself to read some of the older ones but somehow a new book is out before I can do it.I enjoy the tough smart mouthed V. I Warshawski, attorney turned private investigator. Paretsky usually provides a great sight seeing trip around Chicago also. Each book is an action-packed story with lots of humor and a social issue that leads to a suspenseful story. In this story Paretsky adds current affairs as V. I. deals with Middle East immigrates. V. I. has several cases going at the same time so the story weaves back and forth between the cases. I thoroughly enjoyed the nail-biting story.I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is fifteen hours and 2 minutes. Susan Ericksen does an excellent job narrating the book. Ericksen is an actress and has won all the awards available for an audiobook narrator. Ericksen has narrated nine of the nineteen books in the series.
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  • Obsidian
    January 1, 1970
    I don't even know what to say about this one. It was so far fetched that two of VI's investigations would even link up. I still love this series though because it's great to read about a strong female character who chose to remain single and not have children. That's not to say that VI does not enjoy gentlemen companions, she's okay without them though."Shell Game" has her investigating a police matter involving Lottie's nephew. She also gets a call from a niece by her first and only marriage. S I don't even know what to say about this one. It was so far fetched that two of VI's investigations would even link up. I still love this series though because it's great to read about a strong female character who chose to remain single and not have children. That's not to say that VI does not enjoy gentlemen companions, she's okay without them though."Shell Game" has her investigating a police matter involving Lottie's nephew. She also gets a call from a niece by her first and only marriage. She hasn't seen either nieces in more than a decade, but one of them is missing and the other one is asking for VI's help. We get some familiar characters, Mr. Contreras, Lottie, Lottie's long time boyfriend, and some of the women that VI has met over the years through her advocacy work. We also get the return of her ex Dick and you definitely get why it didn't work out between them. I liked VI in this one. She's tough and is still the same liberal feminist she has been throughout this series. Paretsky throws in some comments about Trump and how the news media has become fake news. VI is feeling her age a bit though. She still throws punches, but her ability to shake things off is long gone. She gets hurt and it's mentioned throughout the story how she's not at 100 percent. Though she's exhausted she does what she can for Lottie's nephew and her niece that is missing. Since these books are told in VI's POV, there's not much character development with other characters in this one. Lottie is still Lottie. Mr. Contreras still drives me up the wall with his scorned lover routine which I am shocked that VI has not addressed before now. We do get a new love interest in this one who seems more aligned with VI. It would be nice if she could date someone that just supports her. None of her other exes did IMHO. You see that through VI there is an underlying criticism of the rich and also ICE in this one. You don't see how those two things marry up, but Paretsky tries to carry it off. I think it would have worked better if this story had been split into two separate books. There are huge problems with ICE that can fill its own book. I don't like to imagine the filthy rich getting away with murder, but then I think about Ed Buck and swear a lot so that part is definitely realistic. The writing works, but got to say that the flow was all over the place until the two plots came together towards the end.Chicago always reads as gritty and full of dark places in this book. I have to say that the ending was a bit much. It didn't even read as remotely realistic with what befalls everyone.
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  • Anne - Books of My Heart
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart   Read It, Rate It and Record    A short review to update challenges  I have read and loved the V.I. Warshawski  series for a looooong time, since it started in 1982!  I've read and loved them all and Shell Game is number 19.  I was happy to get this on audio from the library.The social issues were on display in this complex, layered mystery. Vic ends up in two personal, i.e. non-paying cases, which show the utter lack of compassion an This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart   Read It, Rate It and Record    A short review to update challenges  I have read and loved the V.I. Warshawski  series for a looooong time, since it started in 1982!  I've read and loved them all and Shell Game is number 19.  I was happy to get this on audio from the library.The social issues were on display in this complex, layered mystery. Vic ends up in two personal, i.e. non-paying cases, which show the utter lack of compassion and total greed of the wealthy.   Characters, including Vic herself, are not all black and white. There are rich, old men using women, without consent.  There are also racists happy to abuse those from other cultures. Of course, there are the greedy who will use anyone for their own profit.Vic is hunting for her niece who is missing. She is also working on finding out who killed an Arabic-speaking young man, to prevent Lotty's nephew from being charged with his murder due to circumstantial evidence.  There are some times Vic really puts herself into too much danger.As per usual, after a few injuries Vic brings the wrongdoers to light, to their dismay and downfall. lucky for her Lotty is always there to patch her up.   She also has a bit of unbelievable help sometimes from rich clients.  It's a fun series encompassing current topics.  I recommend it. Narration: Susan Ericksen is the voice of the series for me.  It is a stream of consciousness in Shell Game particularly.  I felt it was more Vic with her inner thoughts and feelings and very few voices of any others. I was able to listen at 1.5x speed and enjoyed the performance.Listen to a clip:https://soundcloud.com/harperaudio_us... 
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  • Roman Clodia
    January 1, 1970
    "It is true that many worries remain, but they are easier to bear when a stranger steps forward out of nowhere and becomes a friend."Oh Vic, how we need you in today's world! With her usual tough-girl-with-a-big-heart way, Vic negotiates two cases involving a missing young woman, and a trade in looted Syrian artefacts. All the standard characters of Lottie, Mr Carreras and the dogs are present and correct, and Vic never lets up till she reaches the end. With a courageous, wholly admirable yet ne "It is true that many worries remain, but they are easier to bear when a stranger steps forward out of nowhere and becomes a friend."Oh Vic, how we need you in today's world! With her usual tough-girl-with-a-big-heart way, Vic negotiates two cases involving a missing young woman, and a trade in looted Syrian artefacts. All the standard characters of Lottie, Mr Carreras and the dogs are present and correct, and Vic never lets up till she reaches the end. With a courageous, wholly admirable yet never clichéd central character and a fluent just-one-more-chapter style, this is a winner.
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  • Leonard Weiser
    January 1, 1970
    Confusing and not fun to readToo many characters; not well introduced. Poorly written. Too much liberal political agenda and Trump administration bashing. Stay away from this book.
  • Jerry B
    January 1, 1970
    We’ve read Paretsky’s entire V.I. Warshawski bibliography, of which “Shell” is the 19th. While we enjoyed the first dozen or so for the adventures of this strong and able female protagonist, a Chicago-based PI, we have soured on the last few novels as especially detailed in our review of #18, “Fallout”. Those items of which we complained were again all too prevalent in this latest tale.Particularly incredulous were the many times herein V.I. survived a hail of bullets and muggings – but the fina We’ve read Paretsky’s entire V.I. Warshawski bibliography, of which “Shell” is the 19th. While we enjoyed the first dozen or so for the adventures of this strong and able female protagonist, a Chicago-based PI, we have soured on the last few novels as especially detailed in our review of #18, “Fallout”. Those items of which we complained were again all too prevalent in this latest tale.Particularly incredulous were the many times herein V.I. survived a hail of bullets and muggings – but the final scenes surviving adrift in an icy river were just too absurd to even imagine. We suspect part of the author’s following reflects the relative lack of such great female stars as Kinsey Millhone or Sheriff Joanna Brady. While we’re open to suggestion, we said last time we might be done with V.I. – now we mean it.
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  • Rita Hardy
    January 1, 1970
    3 with a big minus behind it. The plot was a thinly disguised political rant which, simplified, was rich people, trump, law enforcement, American laws equals bad. Illegal aliens and poor people equal good. The storyline was so jumbled that you needed a map to keep up. Not what I was expecting. Sorry, but I expected better from Sara Paretsky. Can’t recommend.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I would have given more stars; however, I believe authors should keep their political comments out of their books!
  • Sue Em
    January 1, 1970
    Another amazing thriller from Sara Parestsky who just keeps getting better. Immersed in today's critical social issues of immigration, social equality, offshore companies, a wealthy upper class that has lost its understanding the poor are flesh and blood people with rights and the looting of historical treasures, Paretsky manages to illuminate the issues while telling a crackling good and page-turning tale. Her friend Lotty's nephew and ex-husband's nieces are the fulcrum of the story and protec Another amazing thriller from Sara Parestsky who just keeps getting better. Immersed in today's critical social issues of immigration, social equality, offshore companies, a wealthy upper class that has lost its understanding the poor are flesh and blood people with rights and the looting of historical treasures, Paretsky manages to illuminate the issues while telling a crackling good and page-turning tale. Her friend Lotty's nephew and ex-husband's nieces are the fulcrum of the story and protecting them is tantamount. Well researched and full of adrenaline and humanity. Can't recommend highly enough!
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  • Elaine Tomasso
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for an advance copy of Shell Game, the nineteenth novel to feature Chicago based PI V.I. Warshawski.Vic's friend, Lottie Herschel, asks her to accompany her great nephew, Felix, to identify a dead body whom the police are certain he will know. Felix doesn't recognise the body but is so secretive the police line him up as the prime suspect. Preoccupied as she is with Felix and his problems she can't help but say yes when Harmony, her niece I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for an advance copy of Shell Game, the nineteenth novel to feature Chicago based PI V.I. Warshawski.Vic's friend, Lottie Herschel, asks her to accompany her great nephew, Felix, to identify a dead body whom the police are certain he will know. Felix doesn't recognise the body but is so secretive the police line him up as the prime suspect. Preoccupied as she is with Felix and his problems she can't help but say yes when Harmony, her niece by marriage asks for help in finding her sister, Reno, who has disappeared. Both cases eventually end up intertwined.I thoroughly enjoyed Shell Game. It is a while since I spent time with Vic (after so many novels she's like a friend and that's what friends call her) but she seems undimmed. With a straightforward first person narrative it is easy to get to know her as she is free with her thoughts, deductions and emotions. She's not always likeable, being self righteous at times and very sure of herself, but she's honest, principled and unafraid to put herself in danger if the cause is just. Would that we could all measure up to her standards. Nevertheless she is a hero for our times.The plot is excellent and I couldn't read fast enough to see what was coming next. It is quite complicated in parts and I freely admit that some of the financial fraud detail went right over my head, but the gist is clear and while it's shocking to see it laid bare it's actually unsurprising as it seems a way of life in some circles. Ms Paretsky is never one to shy away from current social problems so immigration, financial fraud, payday loans and artefact smuggling all get a reference. Again, her bald delivery makes it shocking but unsurprising reading. While these issues are at the root of the novel they are not the be all and end all as there is a great story in there as well. There is action, danger, thrills, betrayal, lies and tension as Vic navigates her way towards the truth. Shell Game is a great read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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  • Sid Nuncius
    January 1, 1970
    I thought Shell Game was very good. I enjoyed Sara Paretsky’s early books but I haven’t read one for many years. I’m pleased to say that she’s still as good as ever.Here, Vic is drawn into two apparently separate investigations involving friends and family as a young great-nephew of a close friend is suspected of murder while a niece (sort of – it’s complicated) comes to her because her sister has vanished. A complex plot develops involving stolen Middle Eastern artefacts, corporate malfeasance, I thought Shell Game was very good. I enjoyed Sara Paretsky’s early books but I haven’t read one for many years. I’m pleased to say that she’s still as good as ever.Here, Vic is drawn into two apparently separate investigations involving friends and family as a young great-nephew of a close friend is suspected of murder while a niece (sort of – it’s complicated) comes to her because her sister has vanished. A complex plot develops involving stolen Middle Eastern artefacts, corporate malfeasance, Russian mobsters, Vic getting knocked about...well, it’s classic Paretsky. There is a monumental coincidence at its heart, but it hangs together well and makes an exciting and involving read.Paretsky uses her very well-drawn characters to cast light on the present-day USA, with a convincing picture of the increasing, mindless conflation of “muslim” and even “immigrant” with “terroroist,” and some sharp stabs at the current political situation in general. Some are a little crude, but for the most part she gives an intelligent critique and creates a very convincing atmosphere. Shell Game shows that Sara Paretsky deserves her place in the pantheon of great contemporary crime writers and that she is writing as well as ever. I enjoyed it very much and I can recommend it warmly.(My thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC via NetGalley.)
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  • Karen Bellmer
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a Sara Paretsky fan for a long time, and this is the first book of hers I didn't like at all. The book had no redeeming qualities, and it was a struggle to get through it. Every chapter contained a lecture on how evil ICE and United States immigration laws are, and how noble illegal aliens and their underground community are as they hide in the shadows, waiting for deportation and the bootstraps of the American government. The book would've worked w/out all the social justice lectures, I've been a Sara Paretsky fan for a long time, and this is the first book of hers I didn't like at all. The book had no redeeming qualities, and it was a struggle to get through it. Every chapter contained a lecture on how evil ICE and United States immigration laws are, and how noble illegal aliens and their underground community are as they hide in the shadows, waiting for deportation and the bootstraps of the American government. The book would've worked w/out all the social justice lectures, although the plot was pretty twisted and unbelievable. I truly didn't like this book, or find the characters sypmathetic, even Lotty. If I want to hear the lectures on American immigration laws, I can turn on CNN. Hated this book, do not recommend.
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  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    I have been reading Warshawski books for over 15 years now and number #19 does not disappoint. Paretsky has always been able to keep the story lines up to date and fresh and this one certainly is. V.I.'s friend, Lottie, has a nephew, Felix, that is a suspect in a vicious murder. V.I> accompanies him during questioning as an attorney and a friend. Felix is tight lipped and uncooperative with the police and V. I. As her investigation into his possible involvement, a niece of hers makes a sudde I have been reading Warshawski books for over 15 years now and number #19 does not disappoint. Paretsky has always been able to keep the story lines up to date and fresh and this one certainly is. V.I.'s friend, Lottie, has a nephew, Felix, that is a suspect in a vicious murder. V.I> accompanies him during questioning as an attorney and a friend. Felix is tight lipped and uncooperative with the police and V. I. As her investigation into his possible involvement, a niece of hers makes a sudden appearance looking for her missing sister. The nieces of her ex-husband, Richard, have not been in touch in over 15 years and lived a horrific life. As she investigates the sister's whereabouts, V.I. is drawn back into Richard's orbit with his rich and powerful friends. As she investigates the two cases, V. I. has run ins with ISIS, Syrian refugees, stolen artifacts from the Middle East and Russian mobsters. She is shot at, beaten and bitten no less. And as she turns every leaf over something more horrible is uncovered. This is a true nail biter with more action than you can shake a stick out. Another winner with V.I. that has more than a satisfactory ending. It can be read as a stand alone but long time fans will enjoy the appearances from people in her past. I recommend it highly.
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  • Maxine
    January 1, 1970
    V. I Warshawski gets a phone call from Felix, the nephew of her long-time friend, Lotty. He had been called in to identify a murder victim and is now the main suspect. Felix is a Canadian studying engineering in the US and his girlfriend is from the Middle East and both of them are on an ICE watch list. And it all seems to be linked to the theft of an important ancient and invaluable Sumerian artifact. After checking out the murder scene, Vic returns home to find her own niece, Harmony, waiting V. I Warshawski gets a phone call from Felix, the nephew of her long-time friend, Lotty. He had been called in to identify a murder victim and is now the main suspect. Felix is a Canadian studying engineering in the US and his girlfriend is from the Middle East and both of them are on an ICE watch list. And it all seems to be linked to the theft of an important ancient and invaluable Sumerian artifact. After checking out the murder scene, Vic returns home to find her own niece, Harmony, waiting for her. Her sister, Reno, has disappeared and she asks Vic to find her. The sisters had had a very troubled past but Reno had been trying to turn her life around and had got a job at a money-lending corporation thanks to Vic's ex. Although the two incidents seem to have nothing in common, the more she investigates, the more Vic begins to suspect they are somehow linked and the more danger she finds herself and Harmony in. Sara Paretsky is one of the true masters of the intelligent thriller and her latest, Shell Game, is no exception to this. Like many of her other books, underneath the murders and the disappearances is a financial scam and, at times, this slowed the story down as Warshawski explains eg. the risk and often downright fraud of 'pink' or penny stocks. The story revolves less around action until near the end and more about following the money trail. That Paretsky manages to keep the reader's attention without constant shoot 'em ups says much about her writing ability - she appeals to the reader's intelligence more than their emotions and provides a cracking good story while doing it. Thanks to Edelweiss+ and William Morrow Publishers for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    Another wonderful V.I. Warshawski thriller from Sara Parestsky...Vick's mentor Lottie Herschel asks her to provide counsel for her grandnephew & one of her twin nieces pleads with her to find her missing sister...these 2 seemingly unrelated events will pull Warshawski into intrigue involving immigration, Homeland Security & offshore corporations...Parestsky let's her Cook County "Leftism," "open borders" & anti-business slant infuse the story, but none put a damper on a very good eff Another wonderful V.I. Warshawski thriller from Sara Parestsky...Vick's mentor Lottie Herschel asks her to provide counsel for her grandnephew & one of her twin nieces pleads with her to find her missing sister...these 2 seemingly unrelated events will pull Warshawski into intrigue involving immigration, Homeland Security & offshore corporations...Parestsky let's her Cook County "Leftism," "open borders" & anti-business slant infuse the story, but none put a damper on a very good effort in the series!
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Sara Paretsky knocks another one out of the park in her latest novel, Shell Game. She takes on ICE, art fraud, and missing persons. At first the two people missing seem unrelated to each other. V I Warshawski has been implored by her tried and true friend Dr Lottie Hershel to find her missing nephew. The young Canadian archeologist, working at a Chicago museum, is a main suspect in a murder case. Meanwhile his girlfriend has been rounded up and put into detention by ICE for being an illegal ali Sara Paretsky knocks another one out of the park in her latest novel, Shell Game. She takes on ICE, art fraud, and missing persons. At first the two people missing seem unrelated to each other. V I Warshawski has been implored by her tried and true friend Dr Lottie Hershel to find her missing nephew. The young Canadian archeologist, working at a Chicago museum, is a main suspect in a murder case. Meanwhile his girlfriend has been rounded up and put into detention by ICE for being an illegal alien.Within a day V I gets a desperate call from her own young niece who has come to Chicago looking for her missing twin sister. The twins are V I's nieces by marriage, being the daughters of her ex-husband's deceased sister.As is usual in a Sara Paretsky book, the tale is twisted, full of old axes to grind and as confusing to V I Warshawski as it is to the reader. I have read all of her books so I am used to this state of affairs and have complete faith in the author and her intrepid P I.Eventually the twin plots become entwined. Everyone gets what they deserve but only after V I goes through her share of harrowing danger. Lee Child has a blurb on the front cover: "Sara Paretsky is a genius." She must be. How else does she remain sane while constructing such intricate plots and delving in to so much evil?Also, in another case of reading synchronicity, Russian poets Anna Akmatova and Marina Tsvetaeva, whom I read just the other day, are mentioned by one of the characters!
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  • Louise
    January 1, 1970
    I have been reading Paretsky since she first started writing and have always really enjoyed her books. This one, however, is a slog. It's a bit preachy and so so unbelievable. If anyone had gone through half the stuff VI does in the first half of the book they would be in hospital or dead. If anyone had a "friend" like Lotty in this episode, they would drop her like a hot potato.It was not good....at all.
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  • Susanne Gulde
    January 1, 1970
    I received this digital review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss.Sara Paretsky never lets me down. I entered the world of V.I. Warshawski and enjoyed every minute of it.Ms. Paretsky manages to include current global and US political/cultural events without detracting from her ongoing characters and writing style. I don't think these events will be dated or seem out of place for readers in the future. We learn a lot more about V.I.'s past personal life and there's an interesting character I received this digital review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss.Sara Paretsky never lets me down. I entered the world of V.I. Warshawski and enjoyed every minute of it.Ms. Paretsky manages to include current global and US political/cultural events without detracting from her ongoing characters and writing style. I don't think these events will be dated or seem out of place for readers in the future. We learn a lot more about V.I.'s past personal life and there's an interesting character introduced, who I hope we will see in future V.I. books.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    The first chapter finds V.I. Warshawski in the woods in the dead of night with her mentor Lotty's nephew Felix viewing a dead body. Felix claims not to know the man but his phone number was found in the man's pocket. Also, Vic's niece Harmony has arrived in Chicago looking for her sister Reno who has disappeared. Vic begins tracking her through work at a payday loan company. Reno went on a business trip to the Caribbean and was withdrawn and upset when she returned. Then she disappeared.I've bee The first chapter finds V.I. Warshawski in the woods in the dead of night with her mentor Lotty's nephew Felix viewing a dead body. Felix claims not to know the man but his phone number was found in the man's pocket. Also, Vic's niece Harmony has arrived in Chicago looking for her sister Reno who has disappeared. Vic begins tracking her through work at a payday loan company. Reno went on a business trip to the Caribbean and was withdrawn and upset when she returned. Then she disappeared.I've been reading books by Sara Paretsky for about 30 years and I always enjoy character Vic Warshawski. Even though she works as a private investigator, Vic has a law degree and I noticed many of her answers to the police questions and even her lawyer ex-husband's queries seemed ambiguous as I would expect from a lawyer. While the Middle Eastern antiquities storyline didn't fascinate me, I enjoyed the interactions with her friends and family. Glad Mr Contreras played a role in this book, as well as Lotty. And I always like to see dogs Peppy and Mitch.
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  • Don Gorman
    January 1, 1970
    (2 1/2). This was my first venture into this series and probably my last. Victoria Warshawski is a fun protagonist, but this books moves at such a slow pace it did not keep me engaged. There are three or four sub plots going on here that all wind together at the end, it is just the process of making that happen that wears you down. Some fun, some fast, but mostly slow. I am sure many will think this is good stuff.
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