Killing Orders, Sara Paretsky, William Morrow and Company Inc, 1985, 288 pp
Sara Paretsky is as fearless as her private investigator V I Warshawski. In Killing Orders she takes on the Catholic Church in a story of financial corruption and Mafia connections. She also gets in some good digs against the church's anti-abortion views.
Like Harry Potter in The Order of the Phoenix, Warshawski gets deserted by her friends and is in a bad mood throughout most of the book. She is dealing with way too many factors which she doesn't fully understand, including the truth about her long dead mother. She loses most of her material possessions and does not know who she can trust. As usual, she comes to extreme physical harm.
But it is her heart that is in the most danger as she presses on toward the truth and while she solves the crime, she loses the better part of whatever moral innocence she might have had left. It was all oddly and deeply affecting for a mystery novel and I cried at the end.
(This book is available in mass market paperback by special order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)