Kinsey Millhone

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.

yesterday

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 https://thisismytruthnow.com, 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.

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Book Review: W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton

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When Sue Grafton passed away about 3 months ago, and her family said they wouldn’t be publishing the final 26th book of the Alphabet series, I was very disappointed. The world lost a fantastic writer, creator and author, not to mention human being and literary supporter. Grafton’s books kept me sane for a decade… I immersed myself in the world of Kinsey Millhone and Santa Teresa, California. It’s one of the most vividly drawn series of books I have ever found. I hadn’t finished the last few books in the previous five years, so I bought the remaining three and started W is for Wasted last week. It was like coming home again… I really missed the characters and found the book quite good. It wasn’t her best, certainly not the worst, but somewhere in that middle comfort zone. I can’t wait to read X and Y, but I know they’ll be the end. All good things have to embrace it sometimes…

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In this story, we see the perspective of the dead investigator for whom Kinsey needs to re-trace some steps. How did he get himself killed? Throw in a great plot (and sense of humanity) in talking about the life of the homeless in a balanced way (not just throwing shade at them)… Grafton provides keen insight into the minds and thoughts of people stuck in a situation with nowhere to turn. I enjoyed this style, found myself with eyes opening wider, and laughed out loud way too many times.

It’s a strong book in the series, and I think it shows a lot of the early reasons why I feel in love with the stories and characters. The only thing that pushed my buttons a little bit was an excessive amount of sideline backstories that really had nothing to do with the main stories… meaning 3 or 4 pages would be devoted to the history of some building that had little to do with the plot. Solid writing, interesting, but not connected. Not enough to be painful, but it crossed the line a few times where I found myself taking breaks at times I would normally just plow right through the story.

Kudos to another solid plot and re-introduction of past characters we hadn’t seen in a long time. Thx!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. 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 https://thisismytruthnow.com, 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.

365 Challenge: Day 299 – Alphabet (Author Alert: Sue Grafton)

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Alphabet: (a) standard set of letters that is used to write one or more languages based upon the general principle that the letters represent phonemes (basic significant sounds) of the spoken language, or (b) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Sue Grafton

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If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who (s)he is, what she’s writing and how to buy her work. 

I am pleased to present the very talented Sue Grafton chosen because she is one of my top 10 favorite authors, and the unfortunate news of her death last week. Let’s do her justice in today’s special edition author spotlight!

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Sue Grafton (1940 – 2017) wrote suspense, thriller and mystery fiction.

Sue Grafton

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Writing this post was difficult, as this wonderful author passed away last week — it felt eerie to change the date on her dedicated page on my blog from “Present” to “2017.” Rather than focus on the loss, I choose to celebrate the great talent and human being she was. I’d just graduated from college when I began reading cozy mystery novels, stumbling upon this series shortly after picking up Sara Paretsky’s VI Warshawski series. I was enamored with the idea of an author committing to writing 26 books in the Alphabet Series, but astounded when I learned she’d been writing already for over a decade… and that the first book took place in 1982. I was a tad concerned whether or not I could last in a series that would stay firmly put in the 1980s, as the character couldn’t possibly age 40 years as the author finished writing the series. But I almost never felt that way once I dived in to the books… it was a world I loved to be part of.

Santa Teresa, the small California town where it takes place reminded me of so many of the villages I visited when I lived in San Francisco. Grafton’s words and imagery bring you to the setting more than most other authors — it felt entirely too real, as did the heroine, Kinsey Millhone. Kinsey was an older sister to me, someone I could call up when I needed a few hours away from my life. She always delivered. She always made my day brighter. She always left me happier. I finished reading 22 of her books, and by 2005, I’d caught up where I was one of the first people at the bookstore to buy the new release. In time, I picked up too many other series and fell a bit behind, but I’ve purchased W, X and Y, the only 3 left I haven’t read. Unfortunately, I don’t believe Z will be published, but time will tell.

Grafton was at the head of the curve when it came to the development of the mystery series novels. Sure, there was the Golden Age in the early 20th century with Christie and the rest of the gang, but when it was re-invigorated in the 1980s with authors like Lilian Jackson Braun, Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton, the world of literature took a great leap forward again. Thousands of authors have used her style, pattern and themes over the years to find a cohesive book series, but few have found the truly intimate yet traditional approach that Grafton found. I will always appreciate her voice, not only in her books, but in the way she carried herself and interacted with the public. I admire her and would love to have met this fine writer.

If you’ve never read one of her books, and you’re willing to commit to read the whole series, start with A is for Alibi. If not, message me and we’ll figure out the best one for you to take on, if you just want a sample. In her honor, Fri 1/5’s Author Alert is dedicated to Sue Grafton.

To read any book reviews I’ve written on her work, click the link below. To learn more about this author, you can visit her website @ http://www.suegrafton.com/

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Book Series – Kinsey Millhone Mysteries

  1. A is for Alibi (1982)
  2. B is for Burglar (1985)
  3. C is for Corpse (1986)
  4. D is for Deadbeat (1987)
  5. E is for Evidence (1988)
  6. F is for Fugitive (1988)
  7. G is for Gumshoe (1990)
  8. H is for Homicide (1991)
  9. I is for Innocent (1992)
  10. J is for Judgment (1993)
  11. K is for Killer (1994)
  12. L is for Lawless (1994)
  13. M is for Malice (1996)
  14. N is for Noose (1998)
  15. O is for Outlaw (1999)
  16. P is for Peril (2000)
  17. Q is for Quarry (2002)
  18. R is for Ricochet (2004)
  19. S is for Silence (2005)
  20. T is for Trespass (2007)
  21. U is for Undertow (2009)
  22. V is for Vengeance (2011) — last one I read
  23. W is for Wasted (2013)
  24. X (2015)
  25. Y is for Yesterday (2017)
  26. Z is for Zero (May not be published posthumously)

Note: If there is an active link, I’ve completed a review.

 

To see more about Sue Grafton on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out his/her dedicated author page where future content and book reviews will added.

Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. 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.

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Review: P is for Peril

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P is for Peril Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to P is for Peril, the 16th book in the “Kinsey Millhone” mystery series, written in 2000 by Sue Grafton. What’s Kinsey to do when she has the possibility of taking a case for a recently missing doctor who has two wives? OK, well, he did divorce the first wife. But she desperately wants to find him. His second wife, a former stripper, doesn’t seem to think he’s still alive. Kinsey takes the case, deals with both of them, and tries to find a way to stay out of the middle of it. Except, Tommy, a hot younger guy is chasing after Kinsey, wanting to get much closer to her. Does she want to? He is her junior by close to a decade. She also doesn’t date much. A treat for fans as we don’t often see her in romantic situations. As usual, all is not what it seems. Grafton adds on a few humorous layers in this one, and it’s always a strong mystery when there are two wives involved in the investigation — should you really trust what’s on the surface or does Kinsey need to dig much deeper to solve this one? Spoiler Alert – she solves the case… haha, I’m sure you knew that… and she’s still alive at the end to move on to Q is for Quarry, one of the strongest in the series.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write 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 https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: N is for Noose

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N is for Noose Book Review
3.5 out of 5 stars to N is for Noose, the 14th book in the “Kinsey Millhone” cozy mystery series, written in 1998 by Sue Grafton. When one of your own dies, it’s hard enough. But when his widow begs for you to help solve the case, as she doesn’t think her husband died of natural causes, you’re in a tough spot. Especially when you have a feeling something dangerous is going on, your first instincts are always right. But Kinsey takes the case and soon finds herself embroiled in a very scary investigation. A noose is not a good way to die, and as much as she doesn’t want to find out, she will come awfully close in this one. The series is still going strong. Kinsey learns a lot along this path, as well as how to hide from the rest of the town when you are trying to help them out… they don’t seem to like her, even though she was on the same side as the poor detective who just bit the dust. But she always makes it thru, as we wouldn’t have an “O” is for Outlaw if she didn’t, right? Another good one to read in the series.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write 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 https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: O is for Outlaw

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O is for OutlawBook Review
4 out of 5 stars for O is for Outlaw, the 15th book in the “Kinsey Millhone” mystery series, written in 1999 by Sue Grafton. What an amazing treat for longtime fans of this series with the “O” alphabet book. We’ve known Kinsey for a long time, but very little about her life before the books began. We met the ex-husband(s), heard a snippet here and there, but we never actually got a lot of details about this wonderful heroine. Well now we do… and more than we’d hoped. When she buys a box of belongings, she finds a letter that she should have received years ago, completely changing (possibly) her relationship with her first ex-husband. Well… how often do you get a chance to explore the past again. Kinsey’s core is certainly shocked, but she is a trooper and does what she needs to figure out exactly what happened and what she needs to do now. A rare and introspective look at her past is what she needs, and as a reader, I’m glad to have the opportunity to learn more.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write 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 https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Q is for Quarry

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Q is for QuarryBook Review


4 out of 5 stars to Q is for Quarry, the 17th book in the “Kinsey Millhone” mystery series, written in 2002 by Sue Grafton. An interesting fact about this books: it’s based on a real-life case and discovery. A body was discovered on the road side. Police couldn’t figure out who the woman was. No leads on the case. It sat dormant for nearly 20 years. Grafton hoped to shed some light on the case, as it happened in the 1960s. (Remember, her books take place in the 1980s). In Q is for Quarry, the cops who worked the case are older and unable to do any legwork, but they want to solve it before they die. They hire Kinsey to do the work. She needs money and it sounds intriguing. So she goes for it. In real-life, Grafton worked with artists on facial re-construction surgery and helped move the case forward. In the book, Kinsey always gets her (wo)man. Another fun ride along a murder case, readers are in for a treat when they see some of the ways Kinsey goes about solving this case, as well as her relationship with the cops. I enjoyed this one and would recommend it to series fans and as a new read for someone interested in this type of mystery.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write 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 https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews