Guardian Angel by Sara Paretsky

‘Guardian Angel’ is the 7th V.I. Warshawski book by Sara Paretsky and once again has the female private detective fighting against greed to try to help those nearest to her. There are two main investigations in this book which eventually merge into one.

Racine Avenue, where V.I. has lived for the last 5 years, is moving up in the world. And, the wealthy crowd moving in are not very happy about some of the old-timers making the neighbourhood look scrappy. Todd and Chrissy Pichea have renovated their house beautifully and are offended by the presence of 80 year old Hattie Frizell with her garden returning to its wild state and her 5 noisy dogs who mean everything to her. So, when Mrs Frizell is rushed to hospital, they immediately have themselves declared her guardians and organise to have her dogs put down.

V.I., along with most of the neighbours, found Hattie abrasive and difficult to get on with, and one of her dogs has left V.I.’s dog Peppy with a litter of puppies. But, V.I. will do whatever it takes to get the Picheas removed as Hattie’s guardian and starts trying to dig up dirt on the Picheas.

Meanwhile, V.I.’s elderly neighbour, Mr Contreras, has an old friend to stay. Mr Contreras and Mitch Kreuger worked together at the Diamond Head Machine factory. Mitch is now a drunk but thinks he has some dirt on Diamond Head that will make his fortune. Then Mitch goes missing and Mr Contreras hires V.I. to find him.

As V.I. starts digging around at Diamond Head and with the Picheas, a few people start to get upset with her. In order to shake off the men tailing her, she swaps cars with her good friend Dr Lotty Hershel with disastrous consequences. Lotty is attacked and the friendship may never recover.

Trying to obtain information legally has never worked well for V.I., so she spends much of the book breaking into various premises, being chased, shot at, kidnapped, and generally living life on the edge.


Once again, V.I. spends most of the book working without pay. She destroys her clothes, loses her expensive lock-picks and damages her car. So, I guess she’ll be back earning money till the next book – ‘Tunnel Vision’. Some of the relationship situations in this book were much more meaningful than in past book and I hope to see this continue.


Book Published 1992


See a full list of books by Sara Paretsky

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