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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.

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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.

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365 Challenge: Day 263 – Xenophile

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Xenophile: A person attracted to that which is foreign, especially to foreign peoples, manners or cultures

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I looked through the last 260+ words (yes, I’ve been at this for a while!) and found nothing that started with the letter ‘x’ in the list. Today’s word needed to start with an ‘x’ not because I missed using that letter or because I brilliantly discovered that I missed using it. I’m not that smart, but someone else is… and she happened to realize it a few weeks ago. So today’s post is dedicated to this brilliant woman — who also happens to be the same person I spoke about providing the word ‘dawdle’ a few days ago. She’s suggested a few more words, so keep your seat belts buckled, as it’s gonna be a few weeks of very cool choices. There were two other ‘x’ words I thought about using, but I admit I searched an online dictionary to verify I hadn’t missing anything obvious. There were about 50 words to choose from, mostly in the medical field. That wouldn’t work — no offense, but I’m not sure I’d do them justice. The other two options were ‘xerox’ and ‘xenophobia.’

If you’ve read a few past posts, you’ll know I love to travel and learn about other countries. It makes more sense for me to go with ‘xenophile’ as the 365 Daily Challenge word for today. I’ve always felt a strong connection to other countries, mostly from my heritage, but also the Latin American ones. I took Spanish as my second language in middle and high school, as well as 8 Spanish writing and literature courses in college. I could speak in fluently for many years, but not using it everyday has limited my proficiency. I adore culture and learning about different peoples and histories from all over the world. I celebrate the unique or distinct qualities we all share, and I’d rather experience the upside of knowing culture than the downside of being a xenophobe.

Life’s short, even if you life an entire century. The world changes so fast each day, there will always be something new and different. I choose to explore it, rather than run from it. What I know is clearly NOT the only acceptable way of existing or doing something; therefore, it’s my responsibility to learn as much as I can about everything around me. No, I’m not on a soapbox! I’m just expressing how I live my day. I won’t ever know it all, but if I’m lucky enough to be exposed to a few wonderful pieces of the world throughout my life, then it’s something too celebrate. I am a xenophile and I admit it!

What are you favorite words with an ‘x’ ?

What are you favorite parts of the world to visit ?

What culture do you come from ?

 

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 221 – Zero

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Zero: the amount of time and words available to spend anywhere but editing today

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There are moments in life when you are scrambling to get something done and have zero capacity to focus on anything else. Today is one of those days. I have edits due before midnight to the publisher to re-format Watching Glass Shatter so that it includes all the small issues we’ve collected in the last few weeks. Bad news:  I’ve been editing for 10 hours and have at least 4 more to go. Good news: The final product will be updated and will contain so many great fixes before the printed version. So all my words and attention are focused on that task, leaving me zero seconds for the 365 post. Since I’m dedicated to this blog and won’t fail to post, today, my message is simple:

It’s more than acceptable to just show up sometimes — without anything of value to share or give. A friend may just be happy to see your face and know they have your support.

XOXOXO

 

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