About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hardball by Sara Paretsky

49. – 512.) Hardball by Sara Paretsky – V.I. Warshawski is recovering from her breakup with the journalist, Morrell, when she allows herself to be talked into finding the nephew / son of a pair of elderly black women. He has been missing for 40 years having disappeared during a great blizzard in 1967. The search leads her to a black gang, the Anacondas, and the civil rights marches in Chicago during 1966. Those marches provoked white riots. Her investigation is aided and hampered by the exuberant presence of her Kansas City niece, Petra Warshawski who is in Chicago to work on the senatorial campaign of Brian Krumas. While Victoria often grumps along Petra is an enthusiastic joyful young woman. At the beginning we learn Petra has disappeared. Much of the book covers the time up to the disappearance. During the book Victoria is forced to confront possibly dishonourable actions by her beloved cop father during the time of the riots. Victoria continues in such traditions as Spenser and Travis McGee solving mysteries sometimes by cleverness, sometimes by blundering along but always maintaining a fiercely independent moral code. With Petra more the age of a daughter than a little sister another family relationship is begun. I did miss the mystery not being focused on finance. When coupled with Cooley’s book, When Corruption was King (5. - 468.), the book also helps understand why a recent Illinois governor commuted all state death sentences. Too often in Chicago the police, prosecutors, defence counsel and judiciary worked to convict a convenient accused. Excellent. Hardcover. (Dec. 18/09)


  1. Warshawski in a cold case? That sounds really good.

  2. Bill - I'm really very glad you liked this novel. I like the V.I. Warshawski character very much, and it's especially interesting to see her tackle a case where the trail's "gone cold," isn't it? Thanks for your fine review.

  3. Dorte: V.I. is a dogged investigator past and present. I think you would enjoy the book.

    Margot: I had not thought much about the cold case being a departure from the usual Warshawski mystery. Both you and Dorte picked up on its importance in the book.

    Thanks to each of you for a comment