What a lifesaver Sara Paretsky has been! No surprises there, really.
I have been having some trouble with an anthology. I usually love them, but one recent evening, I almost didn’t want to go to bed with the last two stories I had just read on my mind. I didn’t like them. At all. I know this level of effect, even a bad one, is an indication of a story well written. But not for me, and not at bedtime.
I realised that’s actually a problem with any short story collection written by a number of different authors. You might like one or several, but even with a reliable editor putting it together, there’s no guarantee for every story.
The anthology has not yet been finished. By me. Possibly not even by the Resident IT Consultant, towards whom I kept pushing this particular volume of crime. Now I understand his reluctance. Have not made my mind up whether or not to continue. Not sure if one can decide what a story is like before it comes to an end.
Anyway. Back to Sara and her VI. I had her Windy City Blues standing by, and I grabbed it like someone drowning. It’s a collection of stories, but thankfully they were all written by Sara and are all about VI. In other words, safe. It’s quite an old collection, from 1995, and some of the stories are older still, from the early 1980s.
Characters die. People are evil. Murderers get caught. There is sadness. VI dusts herself off again and again, and keeps going.
And I swear that man she walks off with in the last story is ‘Mr Paretsky’.
I have persevered, a little. The next few stories were much more cheerful, if one can say that about people being killed, however fictionally.