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Wildcat: V. I. Warshawski's First Case    by Sara Paretsky order for
by Sara Paretsky
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2017 (2017)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

As a long time fan of Sara Paretsky's wonderful V. I. Warshawski PI series, I was delighted to have the chance to read Wildcat and get to know the ten-year-old tomboy Victoria, handling her very first case.

This particular Friday in 1966 Chicago, Victoria worries about her father's safety - police have been ordered to Marquette Park to help keep the peace at a Martin Luther King rally. Gabriella reminds her sister-in-law Marie (who calls the great man a Communist) of how it was to be Polish in the city in 1925, saying 'It is sad, but it is always the way, the ones that come first want to keep out the ones who come second.'

With this as a backdrop, Victoria overhears Marie's crooked brother Tomasz threatening that he'll teach Tony 'a lesson about loyalty' and decides she needs to get to Marquette Park to warn her father that he's in danger. Working her way through the mobs, she spots a murderer and his victim - she takes the former's photo, and gets herself in serious trouble. Which is when she recalls what her mother told her about how Gabriella survived, hiding as a teen in Mussolini's Italy.

Of course, Victoria solves this very first case, though Gabriella makes her promise never to rush headlong into danger again! I enjoyed Wildcat and, in particular, appreciated sharing V.I.'s relationships with her protective mother Gabriella, her policeman father Tony, and her cousin Bernard (Boom-Boom), with whom she ran wild.

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