Book Review: Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton

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It is bittersweet to draft this final review for the 25th book in the Kinsey Millhone / Alphabet series written by Sue Grafton, who passed away in December 2017 shortly after publishing this book, Y is for Yesterday. Unfortunately, there will be no final 26th book, as the author told her family before her death that she didn’t want anyone to ghost write the final one if she passed on… which I respect. After ~30 years of entertaining readers, this dynamic and wonderful woman deserves tons of praise for a beautiful career delivering countless thrilling reading moments for many of us.

In this latest edition, Kinsey closes the loop on a serial killer who had gotten away previously, but now he turned his sites on her as payback for helping one of his almost-victims escape with cherished mementos of previous kills. But that’s just one of the side stories, as the main focus is on a ten-year-old case where 4 teenagers participated in the killing of a friend who was blackmailing them. It all went too far, or did it? Kinsey is asked to help track a new blackmailer once one of the four kids is released from prison on his 25th birthday. But it seems more than 1 murder may have been committed ten years ago, and it’s far from over. Who’s behind it all?

If this were a standalone book, I’d really be thrilled with it. It had lots of great moments where I went back and forth on who the killer could really be. We know who killed the girl years ago, or at least we think we do from the statements all the teens gave, but something was definitely off. Grafton keeps us guessing and delivers a fun and dirty solution in the end. However, the book was told through the eyes of the teens for at least 50% of the pages. Normally Kinsey is the primary focus, and she discovers all the secrets, but in this one, it was essential to see / hear from the different kids’ points of views. While I liked the approach, it was disheartening given I knew this was the last Kinsey Millhone book in the series. I can’t fault the author with a harsh rating, as it was a good book — just not what I wanted or expected.

It’s sad that I won’t read any more, and I’m not up for re-reading a 25 books series when I have so many others on my TBR, but if you’ve never sampled a Grafton, you really must. If you can’t commit to all 25, pick one in the early middle and you’ll have quite a ride. Goodbye, Miss Grafton and Miss Millhone. You will be missed.


About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


29 thoughts on “Book Review: Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton

    shalini said:
    June 28, 2018 at 9:28 AM

    Beautifully said, Jay. I have a couple of her books somewhere will get to it some day. Your review felt as if you have said farewell to a loving friend. Very heart touching.

    Liked by 3 people

    Carrie Rubin said:
    June 28, 2018 at 9:34 AM

    I felt the same about this one. I wanted more time in Kinsey’s head. But I loved this series and am sad to see it come to an end.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 28, 2018 at 9:42 AM

      Exactly… ah, maybe it’s worth re-reading a good one later this year, just to have a fond memory.

      Liked by 1 person

    tahenryauthoress said:
    June 28, 2018 at 10:25 AM

    I just finished C is for Corpse. You got me hooked and now I’m slowly parsing them out so that the ride will last. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    tylerus said:
    June 28, 2018 at 1:39 PM

    I’ve enjoyed a good many of her books, but when she started getting into other folks’ heads, it wasn’t the same. While I still looked forward to reading about / following Kinsey’s P.I. adventures, the excitement and anticipation had dwindled.

    Liked by 1 person

    I have to echo what Shalini said Jay. Is.waysloveylur reviews but this was poignant and touching.

    Liked by 1 person

    Oy! I’m sorry for the typo. That was supposed to say: I always love reading your reviews. I’m not sure what happened there.🤷🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 29, 2018 at 7:10 AM

      I actually understood it. I had to read a second time, but then I got it. WP likes to have a little fun with us sometimes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    Aislynn d'Merricksson said:
    June 28, 2018 at 10:47 PM

    Such a sweet ending to your review. I’ve never read any of this series. I should, I think. I’d want to be able to read the whole series though, once started. :/ Special OCD

    Liked by 1 person

    Carrie said:
    June 29, 2018 at 6:52 AM

    Rather sad that we will never know her intended end to the series as you know she probably had something in mind for quite awhile but the illness just didn’t let her get it out. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 29, 2018 at 7:08 AM

      I think you are right. Kinsey would ride off into the sunset on her own, she’d close up a few ties from older books, she’d have a girls night party with some close friends over the years, and she’d solve that case that always got away!

      Liked by 1 person

        Carrie said:
        June 30, 2018 at 3:59 AM

        I suppose ending at Y leaves long time fans the opportunity to use their imagination on just what they think Z needed to be. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 30, 2018 at 7:54 AM

        True… and we could figure out that fine line of ‘fan fiction’ and write it together. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        Carrie said:
        July 1, 2018 at 4:05 AM

        Makes me wonder if anyone has done that yet.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        July 1, 2018 at 7:12 AM

        I am so not with it anymore, I wouldn’t know where to check!

        Liked by 1 person

    thebookwormdrinketh said:
    June 29, 2018 at 9:30 AM

    Passing away right before Z?? Ouch. That hurts my soul! Such a shame!! I’ve heard really good things about this series, but I don’t know how into starting it I am knowing there’s never going to be an ending! I mean, they are mystery books, so that shouldn’t be SUCH a big deal.. But, there’s still usually extra plotlines with the characters to get SOME growth out of them. I’ll have to think on it.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 29, 2018 at 5:38 PM

      The good thing is each book is standalone in the sense of the mystery. The only time it carried over with anything sort of connected was X and Y, but that story was definitely finished in Y. I think you’ll be okay to read and have an ending, just not a true total ending.

      Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    June 29, 2018 at 2:31 PM

    Wonderful review Jay. I too have enjoyed all the alphabet books and was saddened by her death and the news that the alphabet would end with Y. I have not read this one yet, but will probably do so this summer. I do hope we get one last visit with Henry and his family though, not just Kinsey and the children. Sue Grafton was a wonderful author and I certainly respect her decision not to have a ghost writer, especially as she had not even drafted an outline.

    Liked by 1 person

    sharonchyy said:
    September 27, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Lovely post

    Liked by 1 person

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