|Publisher:||Penguin Group USA|
|Publish Date:||Dec 2009|
|Number of Pages:||400|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.5|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||8.1 x 1.41 x 8.89|
Sue Grafton was born in Louisville, Kentucky on April 24, 1940. She received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Louisville in 1961. While working days as a medical secretary, she spent her nights, after her children went to sleep, writing her first novels Keziah Dane, which was published in 1967 and The Lolly-Madona War, which was published in 1969. Her career took off when A Is for Alibi was published in 1982 and received the Mysterious Stranger Award.
This was the beginning of the Kinsey Millhone Mystery series. B Is for Burglar won the Shamus and Anthony Awards and C Is for Corpse won the Anthony Award. She has also spent over 15 years writing television and movie screenplays and has collaborated with her third husband, Steven F. Humphrey, on such works as the Agatha Christie adaptations: A Caribbean Mystery and Sparkling Cyanide.
With each book, Grafton is only getting better. Her Kinsey Millhone series is now in its 21st installment but is nowhere near past its prime. A young man named Michael Sutton shows up at Kinsey's office one afternoon, claiming to have suddenly recalled details from his childhood concerning an unsolved kidnapping of a little girl 20 years ago. Kinsey is skeptical but agrees to work for one day on the cold case. And so it begins. Weaving the narrative and point of view between events and characters in the 1980s and the 1960's, it is not until the breathless final pages that everything connects.
Verdict: Readers will not abandon Kinsey Millhone as the series winds down (only five left, VWXYZ!). Her latest is fresh, complex, fast-paced, and immensely enjoyable. Kinsey's sharp 1980s research skills might even leave a few readers nostalgic for a pre-Google world.
[See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/09.] - Andrea Y. Griffith, Loma Linda Univ. Libs., CA
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It’s April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone’s thirty-eighth birthday, and she’s alone in her office doing paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he’d be carded if he tried to buy booze, but Michael Sutton is twenty-seven, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared. A recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial when he was six years old. He wants Kinsey’s help in locating the child’s remains and finding the men who killed her. It’s a long shot but he’s willing to pay cash up front, and Kinsey agrees to give him one day. As her investigation unfolds, she discovers Michael Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he’s the boy who cried wolf. Is his current story true or simply one more in a long line of fabrications?
Grafton moves the narrative between the eighties and the sixties, changing points of view, building multiple subplots, and creating memorable characters. Gradually, we see how they all connect. But at the beating center of the novel is Kinsey Millhone, sharp- tongued, observant, a loner—“a heroine,” said The New York Times Book Review, “with foibles you can laugh at and faults you can forgive.”
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