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Extended Audio Sample Fire Sale Audiobook, by Sara Paretsky Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.39 out of 53.39 out of 53.39 out of 53.39 out of 53.39 out of 5 3.39 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sara Paretsky Narrator: Sandra Burr Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The V. I. Warshawski Series Release Date: June 2005 ISBN: 9781597109192
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V. I. Warshawski may have left her old South Chicago neighborhood, but she learns that she cannot escape it. When V. I. takes over coaching duties of the girls’ basketball team at her former high school, she faces an ill-equipped, ragtag group of gangbangers, fundamentalists, and teenage moms, who inevitably draw the detective into their family woes.

Through young Josie Dorrado, V. I. meets the girl’s mother, who voices her worries about sabotage in the little flag manufacturing plant where she works. The biggest employer on the South Side, discount-store behemoth By-Smart, pays even less, and Ms. Dorrado doesn’t know how she’ll support her four children if the flag plant shuts down.

The elder Dorrado’s fears are realized when the plant explodes; V. I. is injured and the owner is killed. As V. I. begins to investigate, she finds herself confronting the Bysen family, who own the By-Smart company. Founder William “Buffalo Bill” Bysen, now in his eighties, has four sons who quarrel with each other and with him; the oldest, “Young Mr. William,” is close to sixty and furious that his father doesn’t cede more power to him. And then, there’s “Billy the Kid,” Young Mr. William’s nineteen-year-old son, whose Christian idealism puts him on a collision course with his father, his grandfather, and the company as a whole.

When Billy runs away with Josie Dorrado, V. I. is squeezed between the needs of two very different families. As she tries to find the errant teenagers, and to track down a particularly cruel murderer, her own life is almost forfeit in the swamps that lie under the city of Chicago.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “First-class entertainment.”

    Orlando Sentinel

  • “Packed with social themes and moral energy, held together by humor, compassion and sheer feistiness, this novel shows why Paretsky and her heroine are such enduring figures in American detective fiction.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Nothing seems forced as Paretsky plays socioeconomic realities against a universal story of passion and jealousy, building the plot from the marshy ground up and allowing Chicago to muscle its way into a costarring role.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie Stoll | 2/17/2014

    " I really enjoy the V.I. Warshawski series. I have not read many but plan to read more when I run out of books to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna-Lena | 2/12/2014

    " I didn't care for the writing style, but the plot was more than enough to make up for it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Novaria | 2/5/2014

    " I hadn't read one of these in ages and really enjoyed catching up with V.I. Warshovski as she takes on a WalMart-like family business on the south side of Chicago. At the same time, she is filling in as coach to an impoverished south side girls basketball team. Lots of action and quirky characters. A fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 1/29/2014

    " You are half way into the book before you ven know what the crime is. Written for screenplays. I like the VI Warshovski character, but the writing is a bore. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Syd Perry | 1/18/2014

    " I saw a V I Warshawski movie on TV once and thought I would enjoy reading the books. This was my first one, which is #12 in the series. I'm not sure if it was actually the book or the fact that I listened to it on playaway while exercising that I never really got into it. I'm just glad that it's over so I can move on to something else. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 1/9/2014

    " Very interesting paths this story took, with lots of action. It was, for me, one of the author's more interesting books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/7/2014

    " Good Warshawski story, as usual. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharron | 12/25/2013

    " Unabridged audio narrated by Sandra Burr "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 12/16/2013

    " Classic Paretsky tale of Vic's most recent investigation. This time, she's investigating a possible saboteur at a local factory who turns out to be quite the firebug. Great tale of religious and class differences in Chicago's South Side. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather Guerena | 12/11/2013

    " This book is about a strong woman. Though she is not quite as ridiculous as Stephanie Plum, she does do some crazy things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 11/20/2013

    " About 75% good Paretsky fun, this book suffers from a poor reader and too much verbiage. Truly, it takes more skill than Sandra Burr can summon (she sounds much too young for V.I.) to take the listener through all the stream-of-consciousness stuff that pads out this fine plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn | 11/7/2013

    " I have read several of Sara Paretsky's books. I particularly enjoy her Polish female detective V I Warshawski character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Coralie | 10/30/2013

    " As always, a fun easy read by Sara Peretsky. V.I Warshawsky, a female private detective, has a tough, sarcastic exterior with a heart of gold. I always love to read about her exploits. The bad guys always finish last, and the underdogs finish on top in these stories. Love them! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 5/25/2013

    " Paretsky continues to tell an intriguing story with plenty of social comment added. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne | 12/11/2012

    " Poor VI sure does get beat up a lot. Kudos for bringing the big guys down! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary B | 12/2/2012

    " This book moved too slowly and after about 50 pages I threw it down. I'm going to look for something more interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia Wasielewski | 11/6/2012

    " I also love all of the V.I. Warshawski novels--what's not to like about a Polish-Italian private detective with more bravado than precaution and a great dog. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lewis Weinstein | 11/5/2012

    " stopped reading after 50+ pages ... a mixed up mess of a story. It looks like I'm the odd one out on this one. Most GR reviews are positive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beverly | 2/22/2011

    " Sara Paretsky continues writing in her usual style and with her usual characters plus some. A good fast read, "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tarah | 12/11/2010

    " My first detective/mystery. Series based in Chicago. Was slow at the start, but picked up by the end. And I really did want to know whodunnit... that certainly counts for a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andra | 3/21/2009

    " this is the first one of her books I have read and I really enjoyed it. Could hardly put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 1/8/2009

    " I love VI Warshawski novels, as I really enjoy her sweep of large scale themes and their effects on ordinary folk. The set up of the scene is typical Paretsky and the pace of the tale is strong: I polished this one off really quickly! Only problem is that you have to wait a long time between books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly DeMark | 1/4/2009

    " I'd never read any of the VI Warshawski mysteries, and this one was enjoyable. The story drew me in, I liked the Chicago setting, but the author does have a few literary 'tics' that began to bother me. At book club, we questioned whether anyone could seriously refer to someone as their "lover." "

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About the Author
Author Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky is a modern American author of detective fiction. She is credited with transforming the role and image of women in the crime novel.

About the Narrator

Sandra Burr is an AudioFile Earphones Award–wining narrator. She has read more than one hundred books in her career, including the New York Times bestselling Cedar Cove romance series by Debbie Macomber.