Valor Seguro (V.I. Warshawski, #1)
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Valor Seguro (V.I. Warshawski #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  8,258 ratings  ·  216 reviews
Another V.I. Warshawski novel. Meeting an anonymous client late on a sizzling summer night is asking for trouble. But trouble is Chicago private eye V.I. Warshawski's specialty. Her client says he is the prominent banker, John Thayer. Turns out he is not. He says his son's girlfriend, Anita Hill, is missing. Turns out that is not her real name. V.I.'s search turns up someo...more
Hardcover, 317 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Alfaguara (first published 1982)
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Oddly, even though I've read many of the V.I. Warshawski novels, I'd yet to read the first one until; now.

I have certain expectations of one of Vic Warshawski's exploits: well-written; tightly plotted; intricately bound up with Chicago culturally, politically. and topographically; gritty, and, of course, depressing as all get-out.

That Vic is always always under the hammer isn’t surprising; most detectives are. That she faces tall odds is also expected. However, she's the only detective I’ve read...more
Totally within the (small, exclusive) pantheon of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone and Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone. Can a pantheon be small and exclusive? Sure it can. I just said so.

Chicago, big unions, big banks along-side small inner city clinics and a public defender turn PI. And V.I. Warshawski drives a Monza... that's a Chevy that they don't make anymore for good reason. It's what my father bought used for my oldest sister with the plan that all five of his daughters would drive it in their...more
Jane Stewart
3 ½ stars. Typical PI mystery series told in first person. Slightly above average.

VI is a female private investigator. She is often short on money to pay her bills. A few times I thought I have no idea what I would do if I were the investigator. Then VI did something, and I was impressed. She is tough physically. For example, a bad guy has a gun, she jumps him, breaks his arm, rolls to the floor, and grabs the gun. The result is some good investigating ideas and some pretty good action scenes.

aPriL meows 'n growls TLDR
V. I. Warshawski is a Chicago private investigator, and this is the first in her series. I can't quite put my finger on it, but she is strikingly masculine, the most male-like of the women P.I.s I enjoy reading about. She is also the most alone, no living mother or father or siblings. She started out being a lawyer, but switched careers after helping a friend with a problem that required detective work.

Vic (don't call her Vickie!) has a late night visitor, who hires her to find a girl. But every...more
Kathleen Dixon
This is the first of “three complete novel” in one volume that Rupert lent to me some several months ago. I wanted a bit of light reading so I took it off the wait-shelf. V.I. Warshawski (Victoria Iphigenia, which is why she avoids telling anybody her middle name! – and she always introduces herself as V.I. because otherwise the men take the liberty of calling her by her first name and talking down to her) is a private detective in Chicago in the 1980s. She’s got a real smart mouth, which makes...more
Geoffrey Feller
This is one of those series of mystery books I'd heard about for ages but never read until now. So I started with the first novel in the series, "Indemnity Only". I had seen the one movie based on the V. I. Warshawski character back when it was released more than 20 years ago. I barely remember anything about that film except that I hated it and the experience probably had something to do with no longer being a Kathleen Turner fan after the 80s. As for the real Vic Warshawski, Sara Paretsky's cr...more
It was good to see the early V.I. in her introductory book. I have enjoyed later books and always meant to go back and catch up with the back list. Recalling the times of 1979-1982 from Vic's perspective then, and from my perspective now some thirty years later, stirred up a lot of memories, not all good, not all bad. The times then were different, and progress has improved some things, while some remain the same.
V.I. starts out with the kind of case she always seems to pick up, one that turns...more
At a recent book signing hosted by the delightful mystery book store Murder by the Book, I mentioned to the clerk that I thought Sue Grafton’s twice-divorced, no make-up-wearing, junk food-loving sleuth Kinsey Millhone had influenced my becoming a feminist. In response, he recommended that I read Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski novels, saying that if Grafton was “there” on the spectrum of feminist writers then Paretsky was way over “here.”

I’m not sure by what scale he was measuring because I did...more
Paretsky's writing style is just really comfortable. You slip into the narrative instead of falling and it all just seems like you are catching up with an old friend...except you've never met this character before, probably. One of the best first books for a series that I've read.

Vic is a perfect mix of rough and feminine. She does the nicely dressed woman thing and is kind and empathetic, but then turns around and puts up a great fight against some mobster's muscle. She's got way more curiosity...more
This was my first venture into Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski world. It was interesting. I can't say I loved it but I didn't hate it. It wasn't bad, the mystery was interesting and so were the characters. Considering this was written in 1982 (or at least published then) it's a bit dated (in terms of some of the lingo, terminology, etc. i.e. Broad and Kelly Girl - I mean I could guess what a Kelly Girl was but I looked it up just to be sure). I probably would've liked this more if I liked V.I. m...more
If you're a big fan of mysteries, then Sara Paretsky's debut, Indemnity Only, is the one for you. This one started the ongoing series from start to finish. V.I. Warshawski's a private investigator, when her first case was more complicated and perplexed than before. It all started with the hunt of two missing people and spread out to there with other discoveries. Other than being roughed up and threatened, nothing stopped V.I. from getting down to the answers and the truth right down to the heart...more
I find Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski Series very readable. The first Indemnity Only makes it clear that this is an homage to Film Noir and hardboiled detectives with V.I. Warshawski meeting her client in a darkened office (the fuses have blown)Lite only by the neon of a nearby bar.[return][return]In her subesquent adventures V I is beaten up. shoot at and refuses to given in with a tenacity Marlow would admire. I like the slow march of technology through the series in the first book she has a...more
Reading this book again over twenty years later has been a revelation. At the time of the first reading it was a contemporary crime novel (published in the UK in 1982) unusual mostly for the fact that the detective was a woman. Reading it now the protagonist's gender seems unremarkable but the striking thing is that it feels much closer to Chandler in literary style than anything written in the last ten years, and VI, the hero, is closest as a character to Marlowe, linked not least by the wisecr...more
V. I. Warshawski is hired to find the missing daughter of a big time labor boss, but when she goes to the address where the girl was living, she finds the body of the girls boyfriend. This is the start of a twisted case that finds V. I. assaulted and left with bruises and black eyes as she works the case even though her client fires her after a couple of days. Some high level miscreants and low level thugs make the case interesting and deadly, but V. I. soldiers on to finally close down some nas...more
Gary Sedivy
Female detective: nothing wrong with that. Tough, okay. Set in Chicago, which is
kind of intriguing since our son had lived there for a few years. It is kind of fun to visualize parts of the city as described in the book. Of course the story has Chicago mobsters and union thugs (sometimes one and the same). Pretty good pacing of the plot, and enough hints to be able to make a few guesses whodunit. May read at least one more in the series.
I have read many other Paretsky books because I just love the Chicago connection. I had never before read this, the first book in the V.I.Warchoski series.
I liked it, and it did fill in some background that leads to the other books in the series.
Without trying to spoil anyone's interest, I do find the books 'predictable', but, still, I read them because of the totally accurate descriptions of the Chicago neighborhoods.
2012 marks the 30 year anniversary of the first publication of Sara Paretsky's debut novel and after listening to the BBC World Book Club program where she was the guest I decided to pick it up.
You can definitely see that Indemnity Only is a debut novel. There is the minute detail often present in authors' first works, from what exactly their characters wore to what they ate. There are inconsistencies in quantities of family heirlooms and thorough accounts of habits and routines. Things like th...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Dec 02, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This introduces the series with V.I. Warshawski, a female PI. Paretsky does at least give us sketch in more of a background then I've read in a host of private detective fiction. Vic's Italian/Jewish mother and Polish cop father certainly left their mark on her, and she's actually shown to have a friend. The plot, full of shady businessmen, even shadier labor leaders, mobsters and corrupt cops in Chicago is fairly intricate yet hangs together nicely. I think the "rich people" are rather stereoty...more
Larry Bassett
This is the first book in the long running V.I. Warshawski , private investigator, series. It was published in 1982, thirty years ago!
Sara Paretsky is up to the fifteenth book in the series in 2012.

Her office in the South Loop of Chicago is on the fourth floor of a building where the elevator is often out of order and with fuses that blow when you turn on the AC. Yes, a woman private investigator. She charges $125 per day plus expenses. A salesman is trying to sell her a very early version of a...more
INDEMNITY ONLY by Sara Paretsky is 244 pages in paperback form. This is #1 in V I Warshawski Mystery Series.

Brief Description:


Start with a missing co-ed sought by a mysterious client who won't reveal his true identity. Mix in a dead boyfriend whose body you're unlucky enough to find. Then for good measure throw in the local cops who simply want you out of the way.

Combine the explosively revealing records of a major insurance company and the murderous goons of the city's m...more
I really enjoyed this book, though I felt the plot had a couple of holes and confusing elements (perhaps that is what Paretsky meant when she said she herself would change a few things, though not many). I do want to read more of the V.I. Warshawski novels at some point. I read one years and years ago and remember liking it, but this first does a great job of characterizing her and getting you into her corner. The pseudonym 'Anita Hill' obviously would have been changed had the book been written...more
I thought the story was "ok", but perhaps I'm jaded by mystery writers of today. This book, the first of Sara Paretsky's that I've read, was written in the early 1980s and so much in crime fighting has changed since then. The story is written in old school mystery writing - picture a black and white movie, dark scenes, the PI hunched over a typewriter (not keyboard), no cell phones, calls are made from pay phones. In this story, the PI is a female who goes by Vic because using Victoria results i...more
Nicole Green
This book was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I tried reading Deadlock, the second book in the V.I. Warshawski Mysteries, when I was younger but I couldn't really get the hang of it. It wasn't until I read this one that I really got a sense of who V.I. Warshawski was, her personality, how her brain worked, etc. This only further grounded my belief in reading a series from book number one, not halfway through, or even starting with number two. The first book in a series is always...more
This was a fun read, even if it didn't introduce much new to the genre. I think it did what it set out to do, however. The main character, Private Investigator V.I. Warshawski, is a strong character and I will be interested to see how she develops over the next few books. I found myself not too impressed with the plot - but again, there was a lot of promise & I think it's possible the later books will improve on this issue.
This one I read for my mystery fiction class, and despite the fact that I generally liked the main character and liked the fact it was set in Chicago (my home town), I didn't really like the book. Sure, it is a mystery and has a lot of action and a "who-done-it" plot that makes you want to keep reading to figure out what happened.

However, I felt like the book moved unnecessarily slowly. There was a lot of "activity" that didn't really result in much resolution, or wasn't really critical to the d...more
An accomplished work of detective fiction in the tradition of the American hard-boiled. V. I. Warshawski is a first-rate heroine, and the novel plays on her female qualities without being overbearing. The novel suffers slightly from too great an attention to detail, and starts to become the "gastronomic adventures of Vic in Chicago" in places where I would rather have known more about the case. But the case is enough to draw us in and keep us following the detective as she navigates a shady affa...more
Even tho' this was my first (and long overdue) exposure to V.I. and Paretsky, it felt very familiar. And I think that's a good thing. It had the same feel as early Parker, and even some of Gregory MacDonald's Flynn. As a quick aside, speaking of Parker, I think Sunny Randall owes a more than a debt of gratitude to V.I.

A good deal of the "you're just a woman, you should leave this stuff to men" got old quick. But I get it--esp. as both the author and character were blazing a trail or three here....more
This spunky mystery, the first in the V.I. Warshowski series by Paretsky, is the predecessor of books like the Stephanie Plum series and for that it deserves respect. Indemnity Only was written in 1990 though, and it does feel pretty dated at this point. I admired V.I.'s spirit and detemination, but her abrasive nature and her continual fight to prove herself in a man's world became overwhelming at times. I felt the second half of the book, with the introduction of Jill- a teen character who bri...more
This is the first installment in Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski series. It had been a really long time since I read this series, so I decided back at the beginning. It's very similar to other female detective novels of the time (1980). Vic is probably a little too wise-cracking for my taste, but maybe that's the Chicago way? Also, the theme of chauvinism is not something that I get really worked up over. Those things aside, it's a well-written book. There is a lot of action (although I did have susp...more
I've always wanted to read a Sara Paretsky book, so I decided to start with book 1. But I just couldn't get into it! I'm not sure if I'm just not that into insurance business or knife grinders....I just didn't like it. I hate it when writers want their female characters to be a bad ass, and I don't mind them having a sarcastic attitude or even being able to hold their own in a fight. But I felt like she was a guy in a woman's clothes. Women can be women and still kick butt and still tell you the...more
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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
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