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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 connected.I 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 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 connected.I 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 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 records This was definitely a let down, and I will not be pursuing any further letters of the alphabet There are farinteresting books out there to fill my time It s interesting that Kinsey Millhone and Vic Warshawski both appeared for the first time in the same year I wonder why the market suddenly felt the need for two female P.I.s 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 everything was the 1980 s really that long ago and the writin It s interesting that Kinsey Millhone and Vic Warshawski both appeared for the first time in the same year I wonder why the market suddenly felt the need for two female P.I.s 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 everything was the 1980 s really that long ago and the writing was good The story built up quite slowly but picked up the pace at the end and it was easy to read the whole thing in a fairly short time.I will certainly move on to the next book and it is very likely that I will make my way through the whole series Review4 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 you when the narrator tells you that she killed a man You want to knowabout this situation Then you 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 you ask questions about her former life.In this one, iReview4 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 you when the narrator tells you that she killed a man You want to knowabout this situation Then you 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 you ask questions about her former life.In 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 gate, you 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, too.Kinsey is mostly a good character Her attitude is sometimes a little annoying She is still learning her job to some degree not quite 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 scenes.For an intro book, it s strong It was started back in the 1980s so if you re looking for somethingcurrent, this series isn t for youAbout MeFor 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 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 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 polldaddy poll 9729544 polldaddy poll 9719251 Wait, should I shelved this in Historical Fiction So, yeah, you can call me a trend setter I m up on the hip scene of today I know what is cool or as you kids might say, I m DTF That means Definitely Trendy and Fresh, right Oh, I m sure you are wrong Inigo Montoya I m very fleek and shit.Alright, so I ve had this book since childhood and decided now was the perfect time to read it Yes, my TBR pile is slightly unruly.I was okay with the idea that this was written in the 1980 s, so Wait, should I shelved this in Historical Fiction So, yeah, you can call me a trend setter I m up on the hip scene of today I know what is cool or as you kids might say, I m DTF That means Definitely Trendy and Fresh, right Oh, I m sure you are wrong Inigo Montoya I m very fleek and shit.Alright, so I ve had this book since childhood and decided now was the perfect time to read it Yes, my TBR pile is slightly unruly.I 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 payphones Yeah, 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 hairspray.A timely reminder Holy crap, is that guy s gold medallion necklace tangled in his chest hair gagging Didn t they have Crest White Strips yet Where 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 And, despite this reading a little bit like an old Murder She Wrote episode, I liked Kinsey She was very human and easy to understand She wasn t a special snowflake She wasn t so beautiful that every guy wanted her She wasn t even the smartest person in the room most of the time But, I found her likable because of all of that.As for the writing style well, it got a bit wordy in the descriptions A lot of skimming is necessary when reading about the characteristics of a rooftop or which streets she passed while jogging And, there s a lot of jogging in this book I mean, we actually go with her on her jogs I didn t quite get why we couldn t have just read the words, after her jog instead of reading about where she jogged, how long she jogged, and her after jog shower But, hey, maybe the author wanted to inspire us to get off our fat asses, put down the book, and run for no reason Whatever I read it with no guilt while eating cookie dough straight from the package like a banana.You aren t the boss of me I m going to keep reading this series, because, what the hell reasons.But, I m also curious if the books will morph through the years as the series was written to reflect the changes in the real world as they happened, or if it will stay set in the 1980 s ( FREE DOWNLOAD ) ⚑ A is for Alibi ⚕ A IS FOR AVENGERA tough talking former cop, private investigator Kinsey Millhone has set up a modest detective agency in a quiet corner of Santa Teresa, California A twice divorced loner with few personal possessions and fewer personal attachments, she s got a soft spot for underdogs and lost causesA IS FOR ACCUSEDThat s why she draws desperate clients like Nikki Fife Eight years ago, she was convicted of killing her philandering husband Now she s out on parole and needs Kinsey s help to find the real killer But after all this time, clearing Nikki s bad name won t be easy A IS FOR ALIBI If there s one thing that makes Kinsey Millhone feel alive, it s playing on the edge When her investigation turns up a second corpse, suspects, and a new reason to kill, Kinsey discovers that the edge is closer and sharper than she imagined A Is for Alibi B Is for Burglar C Is for Corpse D Is for Deadbeat E Is for Evidence F Is for Fugitive G Is for Gumshoe H Is for Homicide I Is for Innocent J Is for Judgment K Is for Killer L is for Lawless M Is for Malice N Is for Noose O Is for Outlaw P Is for Peril Q Is for Quarry R Is for Ricochet S Is for Silence T Is for Trespass U Is for Undertow V Is for Vengeance W Is for Wasted X Y Is for YesterdayThe letter Z was unfinished at the time of her death This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I read this book as part of an interdisciplinary course in law school entitled Law in Literature While the book was acceptable average 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 characte I read this book as part of an interdisciplinary course in law school entitled Law in Literature While the book was acceptable average 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 unique 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 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. 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 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 not yet read this book I decided that since so much time has gone by since the series started 37 years that I would make a kind of p 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 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 not yet read this book I decided that since so much time has gone by since the series started 37 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 them Upon 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, as you might expect, a story set in 1982 which was years 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 frequently 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 novel.The 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 years 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 year 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 promises.Kinsey 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 young 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 so 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 shoe 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 late I was happy and a little surprised at how much I enjoyed rereading A is for Alibi after so many years 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 I still really like her character I enjoy her independence and the fact that although she s tough 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 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 andthan hold their own with their male counterparts like Spenser, Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.Millhone has a modest solo practice as a P.I 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 q 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 andthan hold their own with their male counterparts like Spenser, Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.Millhone has a modest solo practice as a P.I 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 quiet, 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 year stint in prison for murdering her husband One might wonder why Nikki got only eight years for a premeditated murder, but this is never explained 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 s allergy capsules and she was thus convicted on this rather flimsy evidence.Kinsey takes the case and almost immediately discovers that there was a lotgoing 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 fire.This is a good introduction to a series that would develop very long legs and attract a huge fan base Thirty years after the publication ofA Is for Alibi, Kinsey Millhone still soldiers on and Grafton has nearly reached the end of the alphabet Some have questioned 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 acquainted with Kinsey Millhone A is for Aggravating, Anguish, Awful, Apathetictake your pickI had heard the name Sue Grafton bantered around After my aunt recommended it, I decided to check out her infamous alphabet series.Kinsey 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 A is for Aggravating, Anguish, Awful, Apathetictake your pickI had heard the name Sue Grafton bantered around After my aunt recommended it, I decided to check out her infamous alphabet series.Kinsey 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 eight years.Good No one can say that Sue Grafton skips over the description She details the surroundings, the people, Kinsey s thoughts, andvery much so that the setting and circumstances are real.Kinsey is a unique 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 doingthan one investigation All too often, in books, movies, and TV, we see investigators focusing solely on one mystery at a time This book portrays it in arealistic fashion.Lastly, the final few chapters rush together into intense, edge of your seat action And the ending is a surprise sort of.Bad First off, Kinsey Millhone comes off as less a person anda vehicle for telling the story Her personal feelings appear so infrequently that I began to feel that she was truly emotionless The narrative is delivered in a matter of fact manner, which is nice, but please, show some emotion Give an opinion Quit hiding behind descriptions Further, Kinsey frequently 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 alcoholic.Other characters are poor Arlette is treated like a stupid fat person Nikki is as unemotional and unreachable as Kinsey Charlotte is a drunk Gwen is a little better but not much Charlie drove me up the wall, and the others are just too minor.Another 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 his her 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 jogged run 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, really.As 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 guesses.Lastly, 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 out Dialogue Sexual Situations Violence Expect a lot of da , he , sh , and our favorite f word.Every situation that Sharon Napier is in requires several sexual comments that may or may not be explicit Charlie Scorsoni, Colin Fife a 12 year 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 relations.Violence is remarkably tame Three people are murdered one via hit and run , but the descriptions are vague A security locker is broken into.Overall The first few chapters were pretty good But I could never quite 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 readreviews 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