Author Talk: Sara Paretsky in Conversation with Amy Pease

1863 Monroe St
Madison, WI 53711

About the book

The latest V. I. Warshawski novel from New York Times bestselling author Sara Paretsky, PAY DIRT, is a white-knuckle detective story of the caliber we'd expect from one of our greatest crime writers. But Paretsky's brilliance shines far beyond her mastery of the beats and twists of detective fiction: PAY DIRT examines an overlooked episode in Kansas's post-Civil War history, where Black settlers seeking prosperity and freedom were systematically deprived of their lands by white landowners. Paretsky skillfully illustrates the systemic oppression and racial prejudice that tainted this era and how these forces have reverberated through modern American life.

By delving into the heart of Kansas and pitting V. I. against a town grappling with its past, Paretsky confronts an issue dividing contemporary schools, libraries, and legislatures: how to handle the history of race in the United States. Through PAY DIRT, readers are promised not only a thrilling page-turner but also an exploration into America's historical narrative, offering a nuanced view of the nation's past and its resonating effects on the present.

About Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky revolutionized the mystery world in 1982 when she introduced V.I. Warshawski in Indemnity Only. Paretsky challenged a genre where women typically were vamps or victims. Hailed by critics and readers, Indemnity Only was followed by twenty more best-selling Warshawski novels published in 30 countries.

V.I. reflects Paretsky's passion for social justice, with strong advocacy for literacy and reproductive rights. In 1986 she created Sisters in Crime, earning her Ms. Magazine's Woman of the Year award. Other awards include the British Crime Writers Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement; the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master; and several honorary doctorates.

About Amy Pease

Amy Pease is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin and the Madison Writer’s Studio, and works as a nurse practitioner, where she is a nationally recognized HIV specialist. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. Northwoods is her first novel.