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Avatar for KaliO KaliO said:
Today, author Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone books are guaranteed best-sellers. But back in 1982, Kinsey was just starting out. Eight years before the novel begins, divorce lawyer Laurence Fife is murdered and his attractive young second wife, Nikki, is convicted and sent to prison. When Nikki gets out on parole, she claims innocence and hires Kinsey, an ex-cop and private investigator, to find the real killer. Fife was a womanizer, a lousy husband who was having multiple affairs. He was killed in a rather unusual way—the allergy pills he took were actually poisoned oleander capsules. When Kinsey uncovers another death—also eight years old, also with oleander disguised as harmless medicine—she begins to suspect that this more than just a case of a philandering husband. Kinsey tracks down Fife’s business partners, his secretary, his grown children, his former mistresses and their friends, family, and lovers. The clues lead from Kinsey’s little corner office in Santa Teresa, California to the bright lights of Los Vegas, and readers peer over Kinsey’s shoulder every step of the way. Kinsey is a detective of the old-fashioned, hard-boiled school—a tough, twice-divorced loner who’s fully prepared to do things her way, especially when her way is the hard way. Taking risks is all part of the fun for Kinsey, and this case might just have enough menace and murder to satisfy. Grafton has a fine eye for people and places and uses it to create an intriguing set of suspects, but it’s the introduction of Kinsey as a fresh new face in the mystery genre that makes A is for Alibi memorable. Kinsey Millhone is, for all her hard-headed gruffness, a truly likeable heroine—smart and wry and an entirely engaging narrator. Grafton has a specific timeline set for Kinsey’s adventures; A is for Alibi is set in 1982 and the final mystery, already titled Z is for Zero, will coincide with Kinsey’s fortieth birthday in 1990, meaning the entire series takes place over eight years. With twenty-six books total (U is for Undertow is the most recent, published in 2009), the reader is guaranteed to know and love Kinsey, from A to Z, with all her quirks, foibles, and tough-exterior charm.
posted Jan 21, 2010 at 10:56PM
MysteryMan said:
I had a hard time getting into this one and once I did it just wasn’t that great. 3 of 10 for me.
posted May 24, 2010 at 2:28PM
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