Tag Archives: Hardball

We have a winner!

Munchy the cat just finished administering another book giveway and the lucky winner of two books is…  My name is Will (drumroll, crowd tension) Tracey Dent!   Tracey has won a brand spanking new trade paperback copy of My Name is Will, a fun and unique comedy novel from Jess Winfield, and also an advance review copy of Hardball, the newest V.I. Warshawski novel – the 13th in fact – from Sarah Paretsky.   Tracey, we know you’re a book lover so we’ll be contacting you by e-mail to get your mailing address. 

Now Munchy says, “I want to do another contest!”   OK, so we’ll post some information on another book giveaway before this weekend is up.   Who knows, we may even have two book giveaways since we’ve stored up 6 books in ye olde contest bin.

Stay tuned!

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A new book giveaway!

My name is Will 2To celebrate the upcoming Wordstock book festival in Portland, Oregon – about which we’re more than a bit excited – we’re announcing our fourth book giveaway.   This time we’re giving two books away to one lucky reader.   The first is a new trade paperback copy of My Name is Will by Jess Winfield.   This book has received a 4.5 average star rating at Amazon and a 4 star average rating at Powells, so you know it has to be good!   “What a piece of work!” said the New York Times Book Review.   It’s a unique story about a University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) student, Willie Shakespeare Greenberg, whose life in 1986 shares some interesting parallels with an 18-year-old William Shakespeare circa 1582.   How’s that for a set-up?

The second book is an advance review copy (ARC) of Sara Paretsky’s mystery Hardball, which we just looked at.   Yes, this ARC is a bit used, but it is still in B+ condition.   Also, keep in mind that this 13th entry in the Detective V.I. Warshawski series will cost you $26.95 to purchase new.   This ARC is basically a trade paperback version that’s for your personal use only – it is clearly marked NOT FOR SALE.   

So, we’re offering a brand new book and a collector’s item ARC…   What do you need to do to enter?   Simple, just send your name and e-mail address to josephsreviews@gmail.com to enter this contest once.   To enter a second time, fill in the blank in this sentence, “Chicago is known as a ______ city.”   Anyone living in the continental U.S. is eligible to enter this contest, prior winners are eligible and in this instance we can and will mail to a P.O. box.     

This contest closes at midnight PDT on Wednesday, October 13, 2009.   Munchy the cat will pick the winner of the two books on October 14th and the winner will be announced here on the 15th.   That’s it, good luck and good reading!  

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Playing hardball with Detective Warshawski

Hardball 6

Hardball: A V. I. Warshawski Novel by Sara Paretsky (Putnam Adult, $26.95, 464 pages)

Author Sarah Paretsky has set her latest V.I. Warshawski mystery in familiar territory, Chicago.   It’s easy to feel the atmosphere of the gritty windy city, both present and past (circa 1967) as the characters move about and around in a complicated story.   This book carries the theme of family, warts and all, amid a class war, politics Chicago hardball style, and V.I.’s memories of her father who was a policeman.

The task at hand is finding a long lost son and nephew for two elderly African American ladies, one of whom is on the verge of passing on.   To complicate matters, Lamont Gadsen has been missing for forty years in a plot angle that calls to mind the TV show Cold Case.   He was known to be present during a 1967 Martin Luther King, Jr. rally in Chicago at which a young woman was killed.   To aid V.I. in her hunt for the missing man, Paretsky introduces a much younger cousin, Petra, who happens to be in Chicago working on a political campaign.

Cousin Petra gets in way over her head when she attempts to be a junior detective.   V.I. does not play favorites when she’s on a case as evidenced by her curt comments to Petra:   “You’re not a very convincing liar, Petra.   You don’t have the guts to come into a burned-out building on your own.   Who was with you?”

Reading this book – the 13th in the Detective Warshawski series – is like catching up with a long-time acquaintance.   Not a friend mind you, an acquaintance.   V.I. as she prefers – not Vicki or Victoria and only occasionally Vic – is portrayed once again as a brusque, nearly unisex character with conflicted identity issues.   Even at the age of 50, she’s far too tough on herself.   V.I. does some considerable soul searching while assuming the persona of a champion whose mission it is to right injustice.

The tale gets bogged down a bit with the intricacies of the multiple plot lines.   The reader may become a bit confused with the large cast of characters.   Yet halfway through the book Paretsky settles into her familiar and enjoyable rhythmic pace permitting V.I. to do what it is she does best – solve the mystery.

Well recommended.

Ruta Arellano

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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Coming Up Next…

Hardball 2A review of Hardball by Sarah Paretsky, a V.I. Warshawski mystery.

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