Reviews of Three-Dot Po (1984)
Review by ravart73 (2013-05-21)
One of Paretzky's earliest stories, her signature character, V.I. Warshawski begins to show the promising career that will unfold. Paretzky strings together a series of action scenes creating a narrative that moves rapidly and sustains the reader's interest. The dialogue is sparse, only that required to advance the story. In spite of the minimal use of descriptive language, I found myself visualizing each scene even though I have never been to Chicago, the locale of story. Veteran readers of this genre will 'solve' the case before the end of the story since significant clues are revealed early. The real story is the interplay between Warshawski and the victim's dog, Three Dot Po, who becomes a character who, though mute in human terms, is hardly clueless. Though the story appeared in an anthology in 1984, it's selection for a collection of best American mystery stories of the century is well merited. Paretzky clearly has earned her place in the 'canon' of mystery writing and this early story demonstrates her mastery of the form.