Sue Grafton Ý 4 SummaryReview 4 stars to A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton the first book in the Kinsey Millhone private investigator cozy mystery series It s the book that started it all for meThe opening lines of the book grab ou when the narrator tells A Bush Calendar you that she killed a man You want to know about this situation Thenou get to know a little bit about Kinsey Twice divorced 32 New to PI work You already start to root for her as much as The Burial at Thebes you ask uestions about her former lifeIn this one it s all about divorce and a cheating ex husband Nikki not very likable is released from prison and goes straight to Kinsey for help She served time for killing her husband but she claims she didn t do it Years later she wants answers so she can move on with her life And she gets them Kinsey finds a second body and actually has to protect herself Right out of the gateou know this series won t be a traditional cozy But at the same time it s a very formulaic story And that s OK I like those tooKinsey is mostly a good character Her attitude is sometimes a little annoying She is still learning her job to some degree not uite as good as VI Warshawski but not as silly as Stephanie Plum Lots to like about her too except no real family to speak of She eventually has Henry but not enough for me The setting is Santa Teresa California a beautiful place among the vineyards and not too far from the ocean Makes a good backdrop and some pretty scenesFor an intro book it s strong It was started back in the 1980s so if 50 Years of Silence you re looking for something current this series isn t forou 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 where Vide et plein 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 Andou can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the whowhatwhenwhere and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what ou think Vote in the poll and ratings 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 creatorspolldaddy poll9729544 polldaddy poll9719251 I read this book as part of an interdisciplinary course in law school entitled Law in Literature While the book was acceptableaverage in terms of its overall plot development and color my enjoyment of the novel came from the fact that until the last half of the book when the protagonist a female detective sleeps with a man she is investigating I hadn t realized that the main character was a woman I thought of myself as suitably progressive when the novel described the main character wanting to date a guy and putting on pantyhose Wow A gay cross dressing detective That s uniue Nope Novel is totally about a woman instead Don t know how I managed to make it halfway through the book before that lightbulb clicked on but the absolutely hilarious part is that most of the men in the class apparently hadn t figured it out until the middle of the book either This is the book that introduced Kinsey Millhone and helped inaugurate a new era in crime fiction when female investigators like Millhone and Sara Paretsky s V I Warshawski could go toe to toe with the bad guys and than hold their own with their male counterparts like Spenser Sam Spade and Philip MarloweMillhone has a modest solo practice as a PI that she runs out of a small office in the fictional town of Santa Teresa California Orphaned as a child and twice divorced she lives a uiet solitary life eschewing the kinds of possessions and personal connections that most people take for granted But this is her life and she s perfectly happy with it Certainly she would never be mistaken for Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher And unlike any number of other female sleuths she is perfectly capable of solving difficult mysteries without the assistance of a cat Enter Nikki Fife recently released after an eight ear stint in prison for murdering her husband One might wonder why Nikki got only eight ears for a premeditated
Murder But This Is Neverbut this is never Nikki continues to insist that she was innocent and she hires Kinsey to find the Real Killer The husband Laurence Fife was a philandering attorney with a loose moral code who had antagonized *any number of potential suspects But the police and prosecutors argued that only Nikki could have poisoned one of Laurence *number of potential suspects But the police and prosecutors argued that only Nikki could have poisoned one of Laurence allergy capsules and she was thus convicted on this rather flimsy evidenceKinsey takes the case and almost immediately discovers that there was a lot going on in the case than the police and prosecutors revealed at the time of the trial To make matters worse as soon as Millhone begins poking around people with ties to the case start turning up dead and before long Kinsey may find herself in the line of fireThis is a good introduction to a series that would develop very long legs and attract a huge fan base Thirty ears after the publication of A Is for Alibi Kinsey Millhone still soldiers on and Grafton has nearly reached the end of the alphabet Some have uestioned Grafton s decision to leave her protagonist and these stories glued to the 1980s and the books have become as a practical matter historical crime novels in which there are still no personal computers cell phones or Internet and where the heroine remains perpetually in her middle thirties But Grafton has attracted legions of fans to the series so she must be doing something right And certainly any fan of crime fiction should be at least marginally acuainted with Kinsey Millhone Kinsey Millhone is a single female working as a private investigator in Santa Theresa California She is hired by Nikki Fife the convicted murdered of Lawrence Fife her husband to find out who really killed him Her investigation leads her into a series of other murders that seem to be connectedI don t know if I can even justify one star on this book I was at no point able to connect with Kinsey I love a strong female character but she does not fit that bill She is crass which makes her seem uneducated and low class Attempts at presenting emotion from her were not believable she simply came across as apathetic the entire novel And how she could solve any crime with the amount of alcohol she consumed in this book is beyond me Aside from the lack of dimension in her character I am also not a fan of Grafton s writing style This is the first book I ve read of hers and from the get go I was not impressed At first I thought maybe I would try reading a couple of her books before I made a decision but I don t think I could make it through another book of this caliber The book was completely predictable The outcome was obvious before Make You Mine you even hit the midpoint Grafton tends to include pointless detail that does nothing to further the plot And there are so many problems with the logic throughout the novel For example she says that Kinsey wipes down her Las Vegas hotel room to get rid of prints Yet she paid her bill SIGNED the bill and both owners of the hotel saw and talked to her If she s trying to get rid of her presence in the hotel she left an awfully bright trailafterall if someone were trying to establish she was there wouldn t fingerprinting be further down the road from eyewitness accounts and paper recordsThis was definitely a let down and I will not be pursuing any further letters of the alphabet There are far interesting books out there to fill my time It s interesting that Kinsey Millhone and Vic Warshawski both appeared for the first time in the sameear I wonder why the market suddenly felt the need for two female PIs It was a very good thing anyway Vic has been a favourite of mine for some time now but this is the first time I have tried this series by Sue Grafton and I did enjoy it Kinsey s approach to detecting was reasonably realistic I liked the old style feel to everythingwas the 1980 s really that long ago and the writing was good The story built up uite slowly Paziente metodica sensibile e decisamente simpatica Kinsey Millhone «investigatrice privata con regolare licenza dello stato della California» fa parte della ristrettissima schiera dei grandi protagonisti della narrativa gialla In uesto romanzo che ha segnato il. Ut picked up the pace at the end and it was easy to read the whole thing in a fairly short timeI will certainly move on to the next book and it is very likely that I will make my way through the whole series I began reading the alphabet series written by Sue Grafton when the first book A is for Alibi featuring private detective Kinsey Millhone was published in 1982 Over the More Than a Princess (The Montevaro Monarchy years I continued to read each new offering in the series with the exception of the last book written Y is for Yesterday At the time of Sue Grafton s death in December 2017 I had notet read this book I decided that since so much time has gone by since the series started 37 The Courage to Stand Alone Letters from Prison and Other Writings years that I would make a kind of project out of rereading the series I decided to start at the beginning but this time I would listen to the audiobook of each novel I m curious to discover how these novels have held up to the passage of time Will they feel dated and unreliable Or will I love them as much as the first time I read themUpon finishing A is for Alibi narrated on audiobook by Mary Peiffer I m happy to say that I enjoyed this first book in the series as much as when I read it in 1982 Certainly asou might expect a story set in 1982 which was ears before the explosion of the technological advances we now enjoy DOES feel dated in some ways There are no cell phones in this story instead Kinsey Millhone is always on the hunt for a public pay phone Since the internet hadn t been created Kinsey must conduct her research and background checks on individuals at the public library where she freuently uses microfiche or through public records available at the county courthouse And of course instead of organizing the data she collects on a computer she assembles a collection of 3 x 5 index cards on a bulletin board and she produces her finished case reports for clients on her Smith Corona typewriter Oddly enough I didn t find any of these aspects of the story annoying Perhaps it s because I didn t grow up with the current available technologies Regardless the absence of cell phones and computers didn t lessen my enjoyment of this novel In fact this absence of technology leant a sort of classic detective noir feeling to the novelThe book is narrated by Kinsey Millhone herself and opens with a perfect intrpoduction of who she is My name is Kinsey Millhone I m a private investigator licensed by the state of California I m thirty two ears old twice divorced no kids I m a nice person and I have a lot of friends My apartment is small but I like living in a cramped space I ve lived in trailers most of my life but lately they ve been getting too elaborate for my taste so now I live in one room a bachelorette I don t have pets I don t have houseplants I spend a lot of time on the road and I don t like leaving things behind Aside from the hazards of my profession my life has always been ordinary uneventful and good In this Kinsey Millhone s first case she is visited at her office by a woman named Nikki Fife who has just been paroled after serving an 8 ear prison sentence for the murder of her divorce attorney husband Laurence Fife Nikki insists that she is innocent and she wants to hire Kinsey to reinvestigate the murder Although Kinsey is skeptical she admits to herself that it makes no sense for a guilty woman who has just been released from prison to want to dredge up old controversies and scandals So she agrees that she will see what she can find but makes no promisesKinsey begins her reinvestigation into Laurence Fife s murder with a visit to the Santa Teresa Police Department where she asked Lieutenant Con Dolan for a look at the Fife case files Because Nikki had been convicted by a jury who purportedly weighed the evidence presented by both the prosecuting and defense attorneys she wasn t expecting to discover any new evidence But she was startled to find that just 4 days after Laurence Fife died after ingesting allergy medication laced with oleander a oung woman named Libby Glass who had been an accountant in Fife s law firm had also died from oleander poisoning The police had been aware of Libby Glass s death but hadn t been able to connect her death to Nikki Fife Con Dolan was certain that Nikki HAD ALSO MURDERED LIBBY GLASS BUT KINSEY WASN T also murdered Libby Glass but Kinsey wasn t sure Kinsey believed Nikki had been telling her the truth and she was determined to follow the new clues to get to the bottom of the mystery of just who *murdered Laurence Fife and Libby Glass and why Kinsey started her investigation the old fashioned way using plenty of *Laurence Fife and Libby Glass and why Kinsey started her investigation the old fashioned way using plenty of leather and interviewing all of the people in Laurence Fife and Libby Glass s life at the time of their murders Her potential suspect list was long She interviewed and reinterviewed Laurence s ex wife Gwen and their two grown children Greg and Diane Laurence s former business partner and colleague Charlie Scorsoni Laurence s former secretary Sharon Rapier and of course she also tracked down and interviewed Libby Glass s family and colleagues including her emotionally devastated parents and her rude and bad tempered ex boyfriend Lyle These interviews keep Kinsey on the road traveling from Santa Teresa to Los Angeles and finally to Las Vegas and with each of these interviews she began to form a mental picture of what had been happening in the victims lives right before the murder Kinsey realized she was getting closer to the murderer and who one of her interviewees is murdered Kinsey also realizes that the murderer is getting closer to HER and her life is in danger Can she wrap up this case before it s too lateI was happy and a little surprised at how much I enjoyed rereading A is for Alibi after so many ears Although the plot was vaguely familiar to me I had no memory of how the case was ultimately resolved And despite the fact that Kinsey drives around in her 68 VW Bug and has terrible dietary habits or maybe BECAUSE of those things I find that still really like her character I enjoy her independence and the fact that although she s on the outside she isn t all that tough on the inside and can empathize with her clients regardless of how unsavory some of them may seem I look forward to making my way through the alphabet series once again Find all of my reviews at reviews in the same morning I guess it s our lucky day ha ha NOT And just look at that bright and shiny 1 Star rating That should be a sure fire way to earn me some new friends If ou re not interested in reading through my reasons behind not liking this book here s the Cliff s Notes version of my reaction upon finishing So the long story of how I began my relationship with Kinsey Millhone at this late date is as follows In general I am not a fan of books in a series Added on to that fact I already sold my soul broke my own rule for Janet Evanovich and her eleventy billion Plum stories Friends were constantly telling me if I liked Stephanie Plum I was sure to simply looooove Kinsey basically because Kinsey supposedly had her shit together and wouldn t get kidnapped every 42 seconds I kept fighting the good fight and said I wouldn t begin reading these books until I found A in hardback for wicked cheap Well I found A F for a buck eachMy rating started out at a solid 3 Stars which is about as good as it gets from me when it comes to a light mystery like this The premise was familiar but still A Okay in my book Nikki is a recently released from prison convicted murderer who shows up seeking Kinsey s help in order to find the true killer of her philandering husband Kinsey takes the case and starts tracking down the various ex Mrs Fife s in order to piece part the crime together It was all very and I was digging it He was like some old tomcat always sniffin around the same back porch By the halfway point though I was really starting to struggle There was just SO MUCH FILLER This book could have easily been cut in half Here are some examples nickel s worth of free advice drink a 5 Hour Energy before reading these uotes The interior was done with polished uneven red tile flooring mirrors floor to ceiling and panels of raw gray wood hung here and there with clusters of dried cor. Suo sorprendente esordio è alle prese con un caso che tutti vorrebbero dimenticare l’assassinio di Laurence Fife Un caso «vecchio» di otto anni un omicidio passionale una brutta faccenda chiusa per tutti Per tutti tranne che per la moglie della vittima Nikki. .
N The roof was nearly flat peppered with rocks the iron railings sending streaks of rust down the sides of the building The landscaping was rock and ucca and cactus plants Oh and I can t forget all of the jogging I jogged south on Wilshire just for variety cutting across to San Vicente at Twenty sixth Street And if Kinsey is supposed to have her shit together then why is she the dumbest bitch EVER I mean do Unstuck y all remember what happens in this book I had been sitting at 2 Stars but that ending HELL NAH 1 Star it is I mean I thought I had the whodunit it figured out right away but I kept trying to convince myself I was wrong I just had to be wrong Sadly I wasn t As for the rest of this series Well it can Men authors get grief all the time for not writing uality women characters Ms Grafton should be forced to wear the cone of shame for eternity for writing someone as stupid as Kinsey Give me back my Plum novels At least she knows she s an idiot Throw in some Hiassen for guffaws some Leonard in order to obtain some cool points and some Lehane when I need some grit and I think I can easily live without ever taking another gander at Kinsey Millhone Wait should I shelved this in Historical Fiction Soeah Adam in Ochre: Inside Aboriginal Australia you can call me a trend setter I m up on the hip scene of today I know what is cool or asou kids might say I m DTF That means Definitely Trendy and Fresh rightOh I m sure The Storytellers Muse you are wrong Inigo Montoya I m very fleek and shitAlright so I ve had this book since childhood and decided now was the perfect time to read it Yes my TBR pile is slightly unrulyI was okay with the idea that this was written in the 1980 s so I expected all of the lack of civilization that I have no idea how we lived without I mean people drove around in cars without texting and walked through the grocery store without talking on the phone How did they kill time while waiting for a restaurant table or a doctor s appointment Did they actually touch those nasty old magazines at the doctor s office with the germs of a billion sick people writhing like a primordial bacteria soup just waiting for the next victim And there wasn t even Purell back then It s like we lived like filthy animals or something They used payphones payphonesYeah so that s the world this is set in Just think no technology lots of germs and giant hairdos held up with cans and cans of ozone killing hairsprayA timely reminder Holy crap is that guy s gold medallion necklace tangled in his chest hair gagging Didn t they have Crest White StripsetWhere s my Purell Okay So Kinsey is a private investigator who is looking into an old murder after the person who was wrongfully convicted gets out of prison This story is completely procedural as she goes through her steps of solving the crime Did I solve it before her Yes Of course I did But there was one little detail that surprised me so that was fun view spoiler I didn t expect two different killers hide spoiler For some dumb reason I ve been reading Sue Grafton s wonderful alphabet mystery series out of order At any rate A is what got them all started and it s a corker of a story I like Kinsey tough relentless and empathetic Hopefully I ll return to the series very soon They re addictive in a marvelous way A is for Aggravating Anguish Awful Apathetictake Breve diccionario artúrico your pickI had heard the name Sue Grafton bantered around After my aunt recommended it I decided to check out her infamous alphabet seriesKinsey Millhone is a former cop a twice divorcee and a private investigator Nikki Fife a woman accused convicted and imprisoned for murdering her philandering husband Laurence Fife has just been released on parole and wants her name cleared She comes to Kinsey who takes the case and begins the slow process of unraveling the truth hidden by eightearsGoodNo one can say that Sue Grafton skips over the description She details the surroundings the people Kinsey s thoughts and very much so that the setting and circumstances are realKinsey is a uniue protagonist and the first person point of view is perfect for her We get an intimate look into her mind as she interviews the suspects and slowly unravels the mystery Also I enjoyed seeing Kinsey doing than one investigation All too often in books movies and TV we see investigators focusing solely on One Mystery At A Time This Book mystery at a time This book it in a realistic fashionLastly the final few chapters rush together into intense edge of our seat action And the ending is a surprise sort ofBadFirst off Kinsey Millhone comes off as less a person and a vehicle for telling the story Her personal feelings appear so infreuently that I began to feel that she was
TRULY EMOTIONLESS THE NARRATIVE IS DELIVEREDemotionless The narrative is delivered a matter of fact manner which is nice but please show some emotion Give an opinion uit hiding behind descriptions Further Kinsey freuently acts very masculine I had to remind myself on numerous occasions that she was a woman And since the author is obviously a woman this is rather sad I have read better female perspectives from men Add to that how often the woman drinks three glasses of wine at least in one day see pages 227 244 248 and I wonder how she s not an alcoholicOther characters are poor Arlette *is treated like a stupid fat person Nikki is as unemotional and unreachable as Kinsey *treated like a stupid fat person Nikki is as unemotional and unreachable as Kinsey is a drunk Gwen is a little better but not much Charlie drove me up the wall and the others are just too minorAnother bothersome aspect is that the story really doesn t kick in until 130 pages into the book The first 130 pages detail lots of backstory interviewing everyone and hisher mother and pretty much anything that had nothing to do with the mystery All this could have easily taken half that time In the about 200 pages Kinsey has joggedrun at least 4 times slept about as many times has drunk many times that many glasses of alcohol as I mentioned previously has flirted three times with Charlie has called Charlie at least that many has driven all over southern California and Nevada has gotten sick in Las Vegas has checked into three motels and has stumbled upon a murder Yes she has interviewed almost a dozen people but has she really learned anything in that time Not much reallyAs if this wasn t bad enough the mystery is really not all that spectacular It had the potential of being interesting but Grafton failed to take the opportunity to bring it to the next level mostly because she writes it so that Kinsey doesn t really do anything until the last 20 pages Most of Kinsey s investigating involves convenient guessing Kinsey doesn t really surface any evidence nor does she glean anything really important from all her interviews She just happens to make very good guessesLastly Kinsey s relationship with Charlie is absolutely insane I mean it is so completely obvious from the first introduction how sexual Charlie was that Grafton planned on throwing these two together Grafton does a poor job of giving the couple chemistry other than a few obligatory sex scenes If Kinsey is supposed to be such a professional why does she completely forget conflict of interests and sleep with a suspect And why does it take her almost 250 pages to figure this outDialogueSexual SituationsViolenceExpect a lot of da he sh and our favorite f wordEvery situation that Sharon Napier is in reuires several sexual comments that may or may not be explicit Charlie Scorsoni Colin Fife a 12 ear old child and numerous other people Henry etc are said to exude sexuality another aggravating part Laurence Fife had committed adultery several times before his death Several others have extra marital relationsViolence is remarkably tame Three people are murdered one via hit and run but the descriptions are vague A security locker is broken intoOverallThe first few chapters were pretty good But I could never uite get into the book I really couldn t associate with Kinsey the mystery was ho hum straight out of an 80 s TV series and the other characters were unremarkable If I ever do read any of these books I will definitely read reviews to get a better idea of what I am in store for And I will definitely take my aunt s recommendation with a grain of salt. Fife Per la giuria non c’erano stati dubbi Nikki aveva il movente la possibilità e l’occasione e la condannò Ora Nikki è fuori sulla parola e ha un solo pensiero in mente dimostrare la sua innocenza e scoprire la verità E incarica Kinsey Millhone di farlo. ,