Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Windy City Blues” as Want to Read:
Windy City Blues
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Windy City Blues (V.I. Warshawski)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,853 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
It's strictly Friends & Family as V.I. Warshawski, "the detective mystery fans have been waiting for" (Time), makes return appearances in a collection of stories that bring new meaning to "ties that bind."  Decked out in her silk shirts and no-nonsense Attitude, V.I. is out to make a living--by the skin of her teeth.

In "Grace Notes," V.I. has barely finished her mornin
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 2nd 1996 by Dell (first published 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sara Paretsky's famous private eye V.I. Warshawski has been my go to detective from the time I was in high school. Bleeding Chicago blue and loving the city and the Cubs as much as I do, I have read each of V.I.'s cases with enthusiasm. Needing a book of detective short stories as part of a mystery challenge, I came across Paretsky's Windy City Blues on a friend's feed last week. With nine stories featuring V.I. and friends, Windy City Blues adds depth to the detective's character in an early bo ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Book Review
3 out of 5 stars to Windy City Blues, a collection of short stories written in 1995 by Sara Paretsky. In the mid-1990s. Paretsky took a short break from writing the lengthy VI Warshawski mystery novels and worked on a few non-VI novels; however, knowing fans would miss their favorite detective, she published this short story collection, focusing entirely on VI Warshawski, her friends and her family. You learn a little more about her personal life, family and friends, and where she
I ended up borrowing this since the short stories go across different timelines. Once I found out that I didn't have to read this book in the order it appears in publication, I just scooped it up. I think that overall Sara Paretsky did a good job with these short stories starring VI Warshawski. There were two of them that I wish had been a bit longer and there was one that didn't work for me at all.

Introduction A Walk on the Wild Side: Touring Chicago with VI Warshawki-This was not a short story
Larry Bassett
The V.I. Warshawski series has reached its sixteenth book in 2013 and I have read all but this most recent book in the running series. It has not been out long enough to be on the ninety-nine cent list yet so I am waiting! And, while I wait, catching up on this 1995 book of short stories seems like one way to while away the time.

The Paretsky books have gotten progressively longer as the series has developed. This, in my opinion, has not lead to an improvement in the stories or the writing. It ju
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery

This collection of short stories of V.I Warshawski adventures was published in 1995 and written over the previous decade. A number of the stories appear to be sketches for later novels. My favorite was the first, ‘A Walk on the Wild Side’. in which V.I takes the reader on a tour of South Chicago. This story provides a lot of background and color to the background of the Warshawski stories.
Short stories involving V.I. Warshawski. The first one (the longest) was pretty good, but the shorter ones were unsatisfying overall. (Why, yes, I DO like big books, and I cannot lie... about it. Why do you ask?)
Kelly Hager
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Generally not a huge fan of short stories, but VI Warshawski stories? Yes please.
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Very few books of short stories make it to my list because I don’t read a lot of anthologies. I picked up Windy City Blues because I had enjoyed other books by Sara Paretsky and thought her female private eye and erstwhile attorney, V. I. Warshawski, made for good reading. These stories didn’t disappoint. At times, they felt too short and, at times, I could sense exactly why they made better stories than novels. I suppose the collection has the added advantage that I already know the protagonist ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
Lets just say as a fan of the character V. I. Warshawski it would be ok to not pick up this set of short stories about her. This book does not add anything to her storyline. These mysteries are a nice way to pass the time if you simply want a small quick read between doing things. However, they do not showcase Warshawski's customary wit, although she quickly solves nine crimes pissing off everyone as usual, including cranky clients, along with the friends we have become familiar with through Par ...more
M. Fadli
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Sebuah Antologi 10 kasus dari female P.I bernama V.I Warshaski. Karena ini antologi, maka ada beberapa cerita yang bagus dan ada beberapa yang biasa saja. tiga cerita favorit; At The Old Swimming Hole, The Maltese Cat, dan The Takamoku Joseki. Yang nggak banget The Piietro Andromache. emua kasus disini berhubungan dengan keluarga dan teman akrab sang detektif. Ada cerita yang berhubungan dengan ibunya, teman SMA, dan kasus adik kaka yang berantem sambil membawa kucing mahal, etc. Bila suka tipik ...more
Anna Hepworth
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-people-s
A pleasant enough read, some cute little mysteries, rather more murders than I wanted to read -- I kind of feel that there should be some stories that aren't gruesome, that don't end with the protagonist bruised/at gun point/shot at/beaten up. And a bit too much of the trope that the police arrest the first likely suspect, and then stop looking. It feels more like sloppy plotting the more I read it.

This book was acquired from a friend rehoming several Paretsky books. I didn't enjoy it enough to
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy VI private eye! I was surprised as I didn't realize that this was a collection of short stories. I enjoyed each and every one of the stories. VI gets her man and it never feels as though "I've read that before". Each story was interesting, fresh, and made you wonder who did it. Thanks for a fun summer read book!
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
As a Chicago native and avid mystery reader I always wanted to read Sara Paretsky. I don't know what took me so long! This is a collection of short stories about V.I Warshawski. I definitely will be reading many more.
L.D. Barnes
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed being on the south east side with V.I.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great overview of the Chicago Blues scene in the 50s and 60s via a fictional story using historical facts.
Tammy Downing
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
A collection of short stories featuring V.I. Warshawski. Very good stories that keep you interested.
Sep 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of V.I. Warshawski
Shelves: read-2010
I am a Sara Paretsky fan so I picked up this book both with excitement and concern. Excitement because I love the character of V.I. Warshawski. Concerned because it was a collection of short stories. I like my Warshawski in large doses. It is fun to be inside her mind and watch her as she solves the crime. What the crime is usually doesn't matter. It is the character and her opinions that I enjoy.

And I must say that most of these stories succeed. The least successful for me was The Pietro Androm
Margaret McCamant
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lovely to read a book of short stories about V.I. Warshawski. I've read all but the three most recent V.I. books (and two of them are Christmas gifts, waiting to be read), so it's fun to read these stories that were written at various points during the series. In the foreword, Sara Paretsky talks about why she writes short stories: "when I am trying to understand a question that doesn't seem to merit a whole novel." I'm intrigued by the idea that her writing a novel is a way of figuring somethin ...more
May 21, 2013 rated it liked it
1995. Good stories, Enjoyable to read. Seemed like most were plots that could potentially have been fleshed out to become full-size mysteries. But why not just keep them short, sure!
The best part was the introduction, "A Walk on the Wild Side"
telling about far-south and southeast Chicago where the [former] steel mills are, city dump and landfills and so on. Part of the landfills are on top of a [former] marsh, very little of which is still visible. Apparently the whole place is an armpit, terrib
Jan 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2009
This 10th V.I. Warshawski book is a collection of short stories. Some of the other characters and friends take more of a role in these stories.

In "Grace Notes", V.I. meets an Italian cousin that may want to meet family and may want something else. In "Pietro Andromache", Dr. Lotte Hershold, VI's old friend is accused of murder over an old, sentimental artifact. "At the Swimming Hole" has VI helping an old friend at a swim meet, where she witnesses a murder. In "The Takamoku Joseki" VI had to re
I enjoyed this collection of Sara Paretsky short mysteries from the first 12 years of her detective's career. If you've never read any V.I. Warshawski books, this is a good introduction to the tough private eye from the South Side of Chicago. I still enjoy Paretsky's books but some of her more recent novels are so political that it detracts from the story. In the earlier days, V.I. was smart and never pulled a punch, and these stories made me want to reread some of the earlier novels. Recommende ...more
to be reviewed

This set of short stories focuses on private investigator V.I. Warshawski's friends and family. While I'm just starting this series, I felt like this was a great introduction to the recurring characters who definitely seem like they'll be fun to get to know as I read more. Several of the stories in this collection blended the past and present into the cases that V.I. was working on, and also had an art angle, which I enjoyed. If I had to pick my favorites, I'd go with "The Maltese
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the first Sara Paretsky book that I have read. It is a collection of stories featuring V I Warshawski, a female private eye. Some of the stories were well-developed with multiple interesting characters and with a primary and secondary plot lines. Others were small vignettes that left me wishing for more. Overall, I liked this intro to V I Warshawski and will definitely read more books featuring her as a character.
Dec 04, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Liked it, but not as much as her full novels. The short story format isn't as interesting for me with V.I. Warshawski cases. I like the depth the novels go into the details, the motivations, the descriptiveness of Chicago, etc. There's just not enough room in a short for it, and the cases are a little too straightforward for me. Still, not bad and some of the stories do fill in a little bit around the edges for V.I. and some of the recurring cast.
Tay Hook
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
#2 Loved it and V.I.Warshawski...a tough as guts lawyer/private investigator...a female lead character written like a real person with no evil, Svengali male protagonist lurking in the wings! What a treat. Well written, you can almost smell the steel mills of Chicago and hear the industrial clatter...very vivid. Thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of the contemporary American writers work.
Jun 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Readers of detective novels may be familiar with Detective V.I. Warshawski, created by Sara Paretsky, the heroine of many novels, set in Chicago. This book was a collection of nine stories. Whereas some short story collections, usually by different authors, can disappoint, some good, some not so, this collection was delightfully diverse. Unusual stories, diverse characters, and an Italian-speaking detective all make for a good summer read.
Donna Davis
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
You know, this is a good selection of short stories. I think that I have gotten so hooked on the full length V.I. Warshawski novel, with its gritty urban setting and pulse-pounding plots, all the while managing to develop the protagonist w/o sacrificing pace or storyline, that this left me feeling...still hungry.

If this were a breakout artist, I'd think they were a phenomenon, but have read enough of Paretsky's work that I hold her to a higher standard.
Rog Harrison
This is the second time I have read this. This is a collection of nine short stories written between 1982 and 1995. I confess that I am not a fan of short stories featuring detectives (even Conan Doyle produced many unsatisfying short stories about Sherlock Holmes) but I do like VI. In this collection I enjoyed two of the stories but found the rest routine. Having said that, it is still worth a read and the final story "Grace notes" tells us more about VI's background.
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
A collection of V.I. Warshawski stories, set at various points in her history, but that's not too jarring since she's firmly Chicago-based at all times. In fact, that (rather than details of plot or character) is actually the main impression that lingers from this and other Paretsky books - her enormous love of Chicago as a place.

A good plane read.
Jun 16, 2008 rated it liked it
I picked this book up at a library sale. I had wanted to check out Sara Paretsky and didn't spend enough time to read the cover and realize it was a collection of short stories. That's generally not my favorite genre. However, having said that, I did enjoy them and should plan to read another Paretsky book in the future.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Short Stories 1 6 Nov 16, 2008 11:54AM  
  • Both Ends of the Night
  • Snapshot (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #5)
  • Alley Kat Blues (Kat Colorado, #6)
  • Motor City Blue (Amos Walker, #1)
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...

Other Books in the Series

V.I. Warshawski (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, #1)
  • Deadlock (V.I. Warshawski, #2)
  • Killing Orders (V.I. Warshawski, #3)
  • Bitter Medicine (V.I. Warshawski, #4)
  • Blood Shot (V.I. Warshawski, #5)
  • Burn Marks (V.I. Warshawski, #6)
  • Guardian Angel (V.I. Warshawski, #7)
  • Tunnel Vision (V.I. Warshawski, #8)
  • Hard Time (V.I. Warshawski, #9)
  • Total Recall (V.I. Warshawski, #10)

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • Fractured
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Never Smile at Strangers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Furious (Faith McMann Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • Where Eagles Dare
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Alone
    $17.99 $2.99
  • Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes, #2)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Period 8
    $6.74 $0.99
  • The Guns of Navarone
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Idaho
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Dead Letters
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Phantom (Alexander Hawke, #7)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Working Fire
    $3.99 $2.00
  • The Barkeep
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Blur  (Blur Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Her Last Day (Jessie Cole, #1)
    $3.99 $2.00
  • Moving Day
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Unrivaled (Beautiful Idols #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Secrets of Southern Girls: A Novel
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Dorchester Terrace (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #27)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Flower Net (Red Princess, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Grave Tender
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ugly Young Thing (Strangers #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Before I Go to Sleep
    $8.24 $2.99
  • When You Reach Me
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Pretty Little Things
    $4.49 $1.99