Wildcat: V. I. Warshawski's First Case
HarperCollins, 2017 (2017)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
s a long time fan of Sara Paretsky's wonderful V. I. Warshawski PI series, I was delighted to have the chance to read
and get to know the ten-year-old tomboy Victoria, handling her very first case.
his 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.
ith 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.
f course, Victoria solves this very first case, though Gabriella makes her promise never to rush headlong into danger again! I enjoyed
and, in particular, appreciated sharing V.I.'s relationships with her protective mother Gabriella, her policeman father Tony, and her cousin Bernard (
), with whom she ran wild.
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