Sara Paretsky has written "Indemnity Only," "Bitter Medicine," "Blood Shot" and "Critical Mass," all of which feature Paretsky's popular private-investigator character, V.I. Warshawski. Other titles in the V.I. Warshawski series include "Killing Orders," "Burn Marks" and "Brush Back." Outside of the Warshawski series, Paretsky has published "Ghost Country" and "Bleeding Kansas."
Paretsky introduced the Warshawski character in "Indemnity Only" in 1982. As of 2015, the Warshawski series includes 17 novels. The best-selling series follows Warshawski as she investigates various crimes in the Chicago area, and the stories also often involve Warshawski's various family members. Warshawski also appears in Paretsky's short-story collection, "Windy City Blues." Paretsky created the Warshawski character to combat the often-negative portrayal of women in traditional detective novels.
"Ghost Country," which Paretsky published in 1998, was the author's first departure from the Warshawski series. Paretsky cites Mozart's "The Magic Flute" as inspiration for the story, which follows two upper-class sisters whose lives change when they encounter a homeless woman who seems able to grant miracles.
Paretsky again departed from her Warshawski books when she published "Bleeding Kansas" in 2008. The novel centers on two families and the differences that divide them when a new character moves to the area and challenges some long-standing religious and political beliefs.