Sue Grafton

Book Review: Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton

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Kinsey and Me: StoriesKinsey and Me: Stories by Sue Grafton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up from the library last week thinking I’d never read it. Two stories it, I realized I had. So I’ll review what I can from memory.

If you’ve never read a Grafton before, it’s a good one to cut your teeth on. If you love the detailed mystery it will fall short. If you just like the character you’ll love it. I’m in the middle. So it gets a 3 star rating from me.

Good characters. Interesting backstory. Fun to learn about the author. I like the interaction at different parts or ages in Kinsey’s life.

Too easy to solve. Not long enough to get vested.

It is supposed to be this way tho. So I get it.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where 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: 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.

Book Review: X by Sue Grafton

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After a ~4 year hiatus from reading the Kinsey Millhone Alphabet series, I got back to focusing on it late last year just before the author, Sue Grafton, passed away. In the second to last installment, X, Kinsey and the series become a bit more relaxed, but it also reminded me there’s only 1 book left as the final one (Z, 26) won’t be completed by a ghost writer.

grafton
There are three primary story lines in this novel, not the usual focus or style for Grafton: (1) Henry and Kinsey’s personal problems with their new neighbors, (2) Kinsey’s friendship with the wife of a late deceased colleague (who we learned a lot about in W is for Wasted) where peculiar people and letters start showing up, and (3) a mystery investigation Kinsey’s actually hired to solve by a real client. Each on their own wasn’t enough to carry a 400+ page novel, but by combining it together, readers were treated to a “week in the life” of a private eye who we’ve come to love.

One of the things that struck me the most was how Grafton only aged Kinsey by a few years over the course of ~35 years writing the novels. The setting still take place in the 1980s where there were no cell phones or usable personal computers, but there were major issues occurring in California, like a drought. Grafton uses the book to offer solutions on how to solve the water shortage, which actually applies today in many cases, too. Always keen to offer political or societal commentary through the characters, we don’t lack for an education in this one either: both treatment of the aging and conservation of water in and out of the home. At times, I thought… wait, did I start reading non-fiction again?

As for the 2 main mysteries, both ended with too many loose ends. While we know the criminal, it’s not your standard whodunit in the first one; and in the second one, Kinsey ends up playing matchmaker. While I enjoyed the book, it wasn’t a true mystery / thriller / suspense novel like most of the past. There were several high action moments, and one where I really worried Kinsey was going to die, but in the end, I was a little disappointed in the mismatch of how it all came together. That said, it’s still a strong book, just not what I was expecting or wanted. 3.5 stars and I’ll round up because I have a strong affinity for the series and author.

Writing is as good as always. Characters are clear, memorable, and understandable. A few things didn’t sit well, but for the most part, I cared what happened to everyone. I am both sad and excited to read the last one… probably later this month or the beginning of July.

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.

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…

W waste.jpg

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!

———-

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

Sue Grafton

***

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/

***

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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 295 – News (RYDER RANT)

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News: newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events

ews.jpg

Happy New Year! It’s Ryder and I wanted to start the new year off right by wishing everyone a wonderful 2018. I am excited about everything it could bring! I have a few things to rant about, but also a couple of exciting updates to reveal… so I thought I’d just share some random ‘news’ today as part of my first 2018 365 Daily Challenge post. We’ll start with something good.

  1. A few weeks ago, Atwood Cutting, also know as Kate Peters, was the Author Alert on Dad’s blog. She’s a very cool lady and always says hello to me, plus she tells Dad to give me hugs and treats! Atwood taped a radio interview on 12/15 through FM station KCME 88.7 in Colorado Springs. You can listen to the recording on 1/1/18 at 7:00 PM MST. Check out KCME 88.7 FM and kcme.org for further information, or contact Atwood to get a copy of the broadcast. Dad has a copy and can also share it via email — I can’t wait to listen to it this week with him, curled up on his lap.
  2. On a sadder note, one of Dad’s favorite authors passed away this week. He’s been a big fan of Sue Grafton, who wrote the Alphabet Series, over the last thirty years. She finished the 25th book, Y is for Yesterday, but will probably not posthumously publish the final one in the series. In honor of her, Dad will make her the focus on the Fri 1/5 Author Alert — even tho she’s not someone he has met. Stay tuned!
  3. Dad told me all about his trip to Louisiana last week for Christmas. It’s a bit concerning how poor the service was on Delta.
    • Dad 2 left on Christmas Eve, planning to arrive at 11pm in the Louisiana airport. When he arrived in Atlanta for the first connection, there was no one at the gate even though the plane was supposed to take off in 30 minutes. He found out they had issues with the tugs to deliver the plane, but there was no flight crew. It seemed suspiciously like they planned to cancel the flight and forgot to tell anyone. It finally showed up, but he arrived at 1:30am on Christmas Day. Not good holiday service!
    • Dad 1 left on the same flight Christmas Day. At the gate in NYC, he was put in Zone 3 (last zone). They asked for volunteers to check baggage at the gate since there would be no room, and offered to let you get on the plane in Zone 1. He did the right thing and checked his baggage at the gate, then had an issue trying to board in Zone 1. He received a text alert saying his baggage was put on the plane. When he landed at 11:15 in Louisiana, his bag was nowhere to be found! One person said it was in NY. The mobile app showed it in Atlanta. The alert said it was on a plane. Very confusing. He filed a claim to get it all sorted out, and it was… he had to drive back to the airport to get it, which was after there were no rental cars available.
    • Dads left together on a trip back to NYC later in the week. As they arrived at the Louisiana airport, a text noted there was a 1 hour delay (no reason ever provided), but they only had 1 hour in between flights for the Atlanta to NYC connection. I really wanted them to come home, but it looked like they’d not make it. Then their second flight was delayed, which made the connection time potentially do-able… they raced from one gate to another gate all the way at the other side of the terminal, arriving just in time to hear an announcement about another delay for unknown reasons. A lot of running for nothing. I felt bad for them. Delta should do something to say they’re sorry for 3 major issues on 3 flights — all with no real explanation or follow-up, especially when it was on Christmas. Just rude!
  4. Are dogs supposed to have new year’s resolutions? If so, here are mine:
    • Keep proper weight. I came back from Ella’s and Dads both told me I look a lot trimmer!
    • Kill 12 birds / squirrels / mice … real or toys… I don’t care. I must keep the population in check.
    • Nap at least 20 hours per day. Continue to push Dad 1 further off the bed each night. I think he might be on to me!
    • Beg for treats until I get them every day.

OK, this is way too long for a holiday post. I’m outta here. See ya next week.

 

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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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