Burn Marks (V.I. Warshawski, #6)
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Burn Marks (V.I. Warshawski #6)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  2,161 ratings  ·  61 reviews
340 pp.
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 5th 1991 by Dell (first published February 1st 1990)
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Larry Bassett
I ran across the word “aeon” in a book I just finished and then again in a book that I just started. Both spelled in this British way rather than the more common “eon”. I considered that a sign. Both books were published in 1990 and I thought that cinched it. I should move into the current era and stop considering that 1990 represents “current” in any way.

Learned an important bit of information from our heroine, Ms. Warshawski , that expanded my horizons: In 1990 in Chicago you could get $90 fro...more
aPriL purrs 'n hisses
Ok, the truth is I gave this an extra star because V.I. Warshawski has a 'wacky' aunt and this book is all about her. I'm an aunt, and I'm getting wackier by the day, so I'm supporting the troops.

VI's aunt, Elena, is a drunk now, but before, when she was a teenager, Elena could not settle down into the path mapped out for her - high school graduation, marriage, kids and housework. Instead she runs away from home at age 16. Unlike myself, so far, she is a rebel without a cause, living off of an...more
The writing and the characters of this novel are decent, but I just couldn't get very excited over it. I don't know who is imitating who, and it doesn't matter, because it just seems like the same old stuff.

The plot is decent enough and offers some good suspense. V.I.'s alcoholic aunt shows up in the middle of the night declaring that her building has burned down. Soon, V.I. is in the middle of an arson investigation and it seems everyone wants her to butt out.

However, what annoys me is the sim...more
This is an older V. I. Warshawski novel (for reasons that I have yet to pin down, I tend to divide the V. I. books between pre- and post- Tunnel Vision). The mystery is not complex - V. I. is investigating whether a fire at an SRO hotel was arson, and she has to investigate and deal with very sleazy real estate speculators and developers.

Complicating the case is her alcoholic aunt Elena, who lived in the hotel, now has to stay with someone, and makes V. I. the obvious choice.

Much of the book is...more
This book centers around political and police corruption in Chicago. In that context, there is nothing particularly surprising or mysterious about the mystery. Still a routine story can be good if the characters are interesting and you care about them. I found I didn't much care about the detective, V. I. Warshawski. She seemed like a flake repeatedly putting going into obviously dangerous places alone and not checking for her messages. These lapses were need to move the plot along, but there we...more
Red Heaven
V.I.'s dentist's kids will never go hungry, what with all the teeth grinding she does in this book.

I struggle with this character. She's supposed to be a tough P.I. but she has a weakness for letting people, particularly relatives, walk all over her. Not only does she take in her hapless alcoholic aunt but her friend, who is a complete stranger to V.I.

Truth be told, after six books I'm tired of being told V.I. struggles to pay her bills, of the cutesy stuff with her downstairs neighbor, of her o...more
I enjoyed the book, and it was hard to put down. There are a couple of problems I had with the book that kept met from giving it higher marks. One, I found part of the solution to the mystery extremely obvious. It was so obvious that I felt as though V.I. was the worst detective on the planet for not putting the pieces together earlier. Two, I realize that V.I. is a strong feminist fighting to find a place in a role traditional occupied by a member of the all-boys club, but at times, her rhetori...more
Chris Gager
My edition is paperback but with the same cover... It's time for my periodic diversion into mystery-land after the emotional murk of Joyce Carol Oates. We'll see how this author compares with Sayers, Hillerman, Kellerman, Connelly, Parker and Wambaugh. I've read at least one of each of them within the past few years. One category of my guilty pleasures. This one's pretty good so far. No big deal and not that much different from the same thing with a male protagonist. The demands of the genre pre...more
Rugg Ruggedo
I really do love V.I. Warshawsky. I read these books pretty close to the time they were written, the first time. I cant remember if at that time I was so disturbed by the way, just about every male treats her. I can tell,however, it really makes me crazy here in 2013. Just 23 years ago, and the sensibility was so different. The plot of this one depends on the male population discounting every thing Victoria does or says just on the basis that she is a woman, and the closely knit fabric of the ol...more
Kathleen Dixon
These really are fun to read. I must find her other novels in the library.

When a seedy old SRO [I have no idea what that stands for – it’s what was once a fine old hotel but as the neighbourhood went down and down, so did the hotel until it has become a grotty low-cost boarding house] goes up in flames, V.I. finds herself saddled with a new roommate: her whacked-out, boozed-up Aunt Elena has no place to go. V.I. figures it’s got to be arson, just another insurance scam – until one of Aunt Elena’...more
I still find the surlyness of one and all grating but her ability to weave an engaging narrative without relying on formulaic plotholes makes for a good read.

Not getting tired of this series (my summer obsession?) but too many unpleasant characters in this one to really enjoy.
Mike Calhoon
VI#6: Aunt Elena homeless place where staying get burned down. VI finds out why
Feels remarkably fresh for having been published 21 years ago (which I didn't realized when I checked out the e-book - I must have read this before when it was newer, but didn't recall any of the plot). VI Warshawski goes about her business (using transparencies and filing cabinets and not owning a computer) and when trouble finds her, she faces it using her fierce intelligence and sticking to her principles. The supporting characters are vivid and entertaining, and the mystery is enjoyably knot...more
First time I have read Sara Paretsky. I obviously like the espionage, crime detective novels for diversion. Her V.I. Warshawski character is truly an interesting character. I very much enjoyed this. Very human, very human issues, very human problems (her car finally breaks downs after nursing it for a long time). A story that begins with her drunken aunt showing up at her door, a political campaign gathering, her aunt's hotel burning. How can these events possibly tie together other than complic...more
Katherine Clark
It is interesting to reread these. I do think she brings some of the problems on herself. She is so single-minded and pushy. On the other hand, that is why she is successful. I also found it irritating that she forgives her aunt Elena who nearly got her killed, and she is the same with Caroline in the previous book. I think my problem is that I have a similar trait. Anyway, it bugs me. These people don't really have consequences to their actions. But, all that aside, I love these books and dived...more
This book was okay, it is part of a series but the prof wanted these one to be read for my "Crime, Mystery and Detection" class. I can't tell you rather I like it or not. It did make me want to possibly one day go and locate the first one and work my way through them but I am not going to lose sleep over them. Good story, good red herrings, way too many charactors. I am not even sure I could name all of them and how they work into the plot.
The 6th installement of the V. I. Warshawski series. When Aunt Elena shows up on her doorstep in the middle of the night, Vic is reluctant to rescue her and curious about the fire that made her homeless. When Elena disappears with a prostitute friend along with Vic's wallet, Vic starts to pock around. When the wallet shows up on a dead body, it leads to construction fraud, arson and a corrupt political plan that someone will kill to keep quiet.
Kevin Beck
The best of this series up to this point. Sometimes plays up the feminist angle (I'm going to do this and not involve the cops just to show them a woman can do it) at the expense of the overall story. Many of the dangerous situations V.I. gets into are because she is trying to prove that a woman can do the job. Very dated to that time frame in my opinion. I'm old; but not old enough to have ever seen that kind of chauvinistic behavior.
An excellent entry in the series - Paretsky handles V.I.'s struggles to deal with the roadblocks put in her way by the people who care for her with great aplomb. And if I could, I would give Paretsky 500 bonus points for being the ONLY mystery writer I've yet found that acknowledges that repeated concussions incurred in the course of crimefighting might actually be detrimental to long-term mental acuity.
I liked this book. I'm enjoying the V.I. books and I could tell by V.I.'s relationship with Mr. Contreras, her neighbor, that this must be a somewhat early book in the series. I liked her very quirky, troublesome aunt and I liked the way that V.I. is dogged in her pursuit of the truth, no matter what her situation. Good story, good writing, fun read.
February Four
It's a sign of the times that the rabid gender inequality in these books drives me absolutely nuts. V.I. has a HUGE chip on her shoulder, but the way people treat her, it's hard to see who WOULDN'T get a chip that size. All the same, I could use a little less drama (the books are really tense and I find myself needing a massage more often.)
Sara Paretsky never disappoints, and Burn Marks is another great read. V.I. Warshawski's friend asks for her support as she runs for office in Chicago, while at the same time her alcoholic aunt shows up at her doorstep asking for help. Somehow both stories intertwine and V.I. is almost killed, again. Very gripping.
VI Warshawski's investigations take her into local politics, land deals and construction. She faces life-threatening situations with bold, unflinching courage proving once again her worth as an excellent PI. VI's Aunt Elena features in the cast of characters - a welcome addition to the family. An engrossing read.
V. I. may be one of the most annoying private eyes ever written, but the book are fun to read. She is strong, smart, unafraid, but brusque, obstinate, and incapable of truly opening up herself. Yet she manages to be empathetic to those she finds worthy no matter their circumstances.
The most jarring theme in the book is the interactions between the sexes and expections. Were Men in general such bigoted jerks? No wonder we women wanted equal rights. Other than that, it was a formulaic mystery that tied up most loose ends.
Angry VI gets things done but she annoys everyone she meets even those who love her. A good case for her though, chasing down the people preying on the disenfranchised poor and avoiding having to take in her very eccentric aunt
Leigh Ann
so ready to be done!! this book was too long! it had a great story line but was not exciting enough! could have been wonderful but way too many details about stupid things like her relationship with a dog!
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Sara Paretsky is a modern American author of detective fiction. Paretsky was raised in Kansas, and graduated from the state university with a degree in political science. She did community service work on the south side of Chicago in 1966 and returned in 1968 to work there. She ultimately completed a Ph.D. in history at the University of Chicago, entitled The Breakdown of Moral Philosophy in New E...more
More about Sara Paretsky...
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