Summary: The masterpiece
Review: Any Sue Grafton is 5 stars, but I think this is the best of the series. L is for Lawless was the funniest. B is for Burglar the most ingeniously plotted. Sometimes Grafton has a tendency to pick her culprit out of the hat with last-minute revelations just before the end. Here the plot builds up steadily to a logical climax and logical culprit.
This is the one about her her first husband, a cop falsely accused of killing. All the novels are self-contained but this is series that is well worth starting with A is for Alibi. It's kind of like reading Proust as characters reappear.
She likes to set every scene carefully. Buildings, weather, clothing, food and characters' physical appearance are all carefully described with details about how they look, how they sound and how they smell. Some readers may find this holds things up. Kinsey Milhone is put in peril at the end of each book and saved in the nick of time, and this sometimes gets implausible. The novels are all set within a fairly narrow times frame, in the 1980's (no cell phones or DNA evidence) and another implausibility is that of a private eye handling two or three murders a year, but if we worried about that we wouldn't be reading private eye stories anyway. Otherwise a perfect writer.
Summary: Lots of Heart
Review: Grafton put a lot of heart into this one. The beginning is a great hook. I like my PI's to break the law a little bit. I found some parts of the book a little bit too predictable, and a bit coincidental, and strange (contrived?). I don't know how to explain it without ruining an illogical but thrilling chase scene. I've read this whole series because my sister got me into it, and I realized that a female protagonist can exploit some plot potential that male a can't. For me, O is one of the best in the series because for a change there is something really at stake for Kinsey, something about her that had perhaps been there all along. I love all of her adventures, before and after, but this is the first time I cared about her as a person. Serious readers of the series will kow what I mean. I've read all in the series, but this is the only one I didn't pass on to a friend. This one is a keeper.
Summary: V is for Very Good!
Review: I really enjoyed this book. I've read other/most of the alphabet series by Sue Grafton and this is one of the best. Kinsey is such a realitic character and the humor wrapped in and around the mystery is a treat.
One criticism I have is that many of the characters are so similar, plus we have a lot of fathers and sons with the same last name, so it can be confusing to keep it all straight.
Summary: Kinsey is at it again!
Review: I wanted to write this review while it was still fresh on my mind. I just finished O is for Outlaw and as usual was entertained. I was angry I had to leave for work with three chapters left and rushed home to finish it. This is classic Kinsey and I should know; I've read them all beginning with A is for Alibi. I have actually had the book since January. But I always wait on these books and savor it for a time when I can devote my full attention to it. Thrifty Kinsey Millhone pays twenty bucks (having bartered down from thirty) for a locker of her past momentos left by her ex-husband Mickey Magruder. She walked out on him when she thought he asked her to be his alibi for a murder he was accused of. They were both cops at the time and in her mind he had asked her to do the unthinkable. A letter turns up that gives Kinsey cause to think maybe she made a mistake about Mickey. Then a visit from L.A. cops reveal that Mickey is laying in the UCLA hospital, the victim of a gunshot. The plot thickens. You bet it does. Sudenly there are a cast of suspicious acting characters and as the reader you are left with the thought. Now what is going on here? A blonde ponytailed bike rider, a former barmaid turned rich matron, bar owners who may be involved in illegal activies. All of this makes for a diverse cast and rich mix of possibilities. Leave it to Sue Grafton to weave the twists and turns into an ending that will make you sigh and say, Now why didn't I think of that? When is P coming out?
Summary: Good Read
Review: O is for Outlaw Sue Grafton Henry Holt and Co. 1999 ISBN 0805059555 H.C. Mystery/Slueth
This is the 15th installment of Kinsey Millhone, and this is the most personal case of all.
Kinsey is contacted by Teddy Rich a storage locker scavenger who's come up with a box of old documents about herself that he is willing to sell her for $30.00, she talks him down to $20.00. In this book we find out all about Kinsey's first marriage to Mickey Magruder a vice cop who lost everything when he was accused of a murder 15 years ago. I had not had the pleasure of reading all 15 novels by Sue Grafton but if they are all like this one they are wonderful and I'll get the others to read, she has made a fan out of me. This book held me in suspense from the very beginning to the very end,with lots of left turns and plot twists to keep it fast paced and exciting. Kinsey discovers that she may of been wrong about her ex-husband, so she decides to look into the case herself even though it will put her in danger. The events flowed through in a timely manner and the ending tied up all the loose strings.
Summary: Kinsey Never Gives Up
Review: Private Detective Kinsey Milhone gets a phone call from Teddy Rich, a scavenger who buys the contents of defaulted storage units and then resells them. He's found documents containing her name and she buys them.
The storage locker belonged to her first husband, a cop named Mickey Magruder. She'd left him fourteen years earlier, when he asked her to lie and alibi him. She did, even though it was a murder case and Mickey looked good for the crime. She always believed him guilty, but a letter she finds in the stuff she got from Rich proves he was with another woman at the time of the victim's death.
Now she wonders if she'd been a little more supportive, believed in Mickey, maybe things might have worked out differently. She also wonders why he couldn't pay for his storage locker and she sets out to find out.
By the time she finds him, he's been shot, is unconscious and under police protection in a Los Angeles hospital. She is initially eager to cooperate with the LAPD, but changes her mind when she finds out they're acting like she is the prime suspect.
So while Mickey remains unconscious, she eludes the LAPD and investigates her ex's life, uncovering evidence of multiple false identities and a strange alliance with the son of an old police buddy in Santa Teresa. She also makes some disturbing discoveries about her ex-husband's women, current and long past and she even learns a little something about herself.
As usual when Kinsey gets her teeth into a problem, she refuses to let go. Her bulldog-like pursuit takes her into ever increasing danger. The pacing increases exponentially, like a runaway train, and you find yourself reading well into the night. It's hard to believe how Sue Grafton can keep up the suspense after so many books, but somehow she does, somehow the stories just keep getting better.
Summary: I am still not tired of Kinsey
Review: It's pretty hard to keep a series going this long without readers saying yeah, yeah, yeah, enough already. Not so with Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone. She's got enough quirks, character flaws, secrets, and depth of character to probably keep me interested right up to Z is for Whatever Grafton comes up with.
In O Is for Outlaw, Kinsey gets re-involved with ex-spouse Mickey Magruder and exposes some details of her past marriage, which will delight regular readers who pant for the newest addition to the series. This one gets tricky, switching back and forth between past and present, as Kinsey stumbles on some memorabilia that provides him with an alibi for an incident that let to Kinsey leaving him in the first place. Then, bingo, Mickey gets shot and is lying in a coma, and Kinsey investigates the shooting, which leads to all sorts of complications.
I do believe this is my favorite so far.
Summary: This time it's personal.
Review: Grafton's writing just gets better and better! In O IS FOR OUTLAW, Kinsey Millhone has to deal with a violent assault on her ex-husband at the same time that she's a suspect in the attack. And an old mystery is revived and solved. Kinsey is already such a complete character, it's like having more icing on the cake to have even more personal insight into her character. I can't praise it highly enough. Simply the best. A symphony with never a note out of place.
Review: Grafton is now back in form after being in the dumps with "'M' is for Malice" and "'N' is for Noose". This one will endure as one of her better novels. It is also nice to finally find out about her first husband. Read it and enjoy.
Summary: C is for [Crud]
Review: The author was recommended to me by a voracious reader of mystery, a good friend whose opinion I respected. Unfortunately, the book was banal. Why doesn't she write "Z is for Zero", which clearly states the content of her whole alphabetical series, and be done with it- spare us the rest.