🎧 Pay Dirt by Sara Paretsky @SaraParetsky #SusanEriksen @WmMorrowBooks @HarperAudio ‏#LoveAudiobooks

Posted April 16, 2024 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 18 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

🎧 Pay Dirt by Sara Paretsky @SaraParetsky #SusanEriksen @WmMorrowBooks @HarperAudio ‏#LoveAudiobooks Pay Dirt by Sara Paretsky
Narrator: Susan Ericksen
Series: V.I. Warshawski #22
Published by HarperAudio, William Morrow on April 16, 2024
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 304
Length: 15 hours, 52 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

V.I. Warshawski is famous for her cool under fire, her sardonic humor, and her unflinching courage. All that changes when a case ends with a father killing the child she’d been hired to find. She’s second-guessing herself, forgetting to eat, forgetting her workout. Her worried friends send her down to Kansas for a weekend of college basketball; Angela, one of her protégées, is a Northwestern star. And that’s when V.I.’s troubles really begin. Sabrina, one of Angela’s roommates, disappears and V.I. agrees to stay behind to try to find her.

Finding a missing person in a town where she doesn’t know anyone and has no snitches is hard, but not as hard as the local reaction to the detective. When V.I. finds Sabrina close to death in a drug house, the mother’s gratitude quickly turns to suspicion. V.I. finds herself in the FBI’s crosshairs, and the young men running the county’s opioid distribution are not happy.

When V.I. discovers a local troublemaker’s dead body in the drug house a few days later, she is pitched headlong into a local land-use battle with roots going back to the Civil War. Today’s combatants are just as willing as opponents in the 1860s to kill to settle their differences. V.I.’s survival depends on keeping one step ahead of players in a game she doesn’t even know she’s playing.

I have read and loved the V.I. Warshawski series for a looooong time, since it started in 1982! Each book is another case, so you could read them out of order but I wouldn’t.  I enjoy the progression of the characters and they are all great to read.

Vic is back in Lawrence, Kansas for Bernie’s soccer game and gets convinced to stay when one of her roommates goes missing.  Vic is  emotionally fragile since the last missing person case she handled ended up in the death of the missing person after she was found.  Still, she looks for the missing girl.

Vic finds out the girl had an injury and took painkillers during her recovery.  Remembering how she looked at the bar where they all last saw her, Vic looks in to drug dealers.  She follows all leads which are very few.

For the entirety of Pay Dirt, Vic is following the slimmest of leads while under the most pressure with the opposite of help.  When crimes are uncovered, the guilty try to frame her for them.  She is away from home without more clothes or her things. And she’s not allowed to leave town as a suspect.

Vic is smart and has tenacity plus she has some luck.  Otherwise, she never could have solved this one.  As usual, she needs to get injured and beat up when she doesn’t submit to the bad guys demands.  They only allow her to live because she may find the evidence they have searched for unsuccessfully.

I enjoy this series.  This was an interesting read with its look at historical events. I find it easier in Chicago where she has some allies and support plus I know all the regular characters well.  Pay Dirt was exciting though.



Vic is our point of view and the story is in her stream of consciousness.  Susan Ericksen is an excellent narrator and the voice of the V.I. Warshawski for me.     The dialogue is handled well for both male and female voices, including for different ages and ethnic varieties. I easily recognize voices for some of the regular characters of Vic’s circle.  I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.

Listen to a clip:  HERE

About Susan Ericksen

Susan Ericksen is a Renaissance woman. In addition to being an Earphones-winning audiobook narrator and director–she’s a writer, an amateur linguist, an actress, a mother, and a wife. In the 1980s she joined former classmate David Colacci in western Michigan, where he was artistic director for the Hope Summer Repertory Theater. Twenty miles away, a fledgling audiobook publisher called Brilliance was looking for narrators.

Susan has recorded around two hundred audiobooks for Brilliance, BBC Audiobooks, Tantor, and Hachette. “It was a natural step. As repertory theater actors, the whole point is to be able to do Shakespeare one night, a musical the next night, and Noel Coward the next. So you have multiple personalities and multiple character voices and physicalities. These are such valuable skills for doing audiobooks.”

About Sara Paretsky

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 England Before the Civil War, and finally earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Married to a professor of physics at the University of Chicago, she has lived in Chicago since 1968.

Rating Breakdown
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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Posted April 16, 2024 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 18 Comments

18 responses to “🎧 Pay Dirt by Sara Paretsky

  1. Over 40 years! That’s crazy. SO much has changed – technology, geography, fashion, politics… Does the MC ever grow older? Do the settings reflect contemporary (to the writing) times?

  2. This was one of the first grown up mystery series I ever read years and years ago but I only read a few of them. I loved them and really should go back and read the whole series.

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