My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm a private investigator, licensed, bonded, insured; white, female, age thirty-two, unmarried, and physically fit. That Monday morning, I was sitting in my office with my feet up, wondering what life would bring, when a woman walked in and tossed a photograph on my desk. 'Somebody killed my husband.' Thirty one years ...Read MoreMy name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm a private investigator, licensed, bonded, insured; white, female, age thirty-two, unmarried, and physically fit. That Monday morning, I was sitting in my office with my feet up, wondering what life would bring, when a woman walked in and tossed a photograph on my desk. 'Somebody killed my husband.' Thirty one years since A is for Alibi was first published, Sue Grafton presents Kinsey and Me, her first compendium of short stories. It features nine Kinsey Millhone short stories, each a gem of detection, as well as autobiographical pieces written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. Together, they show just how much Kinsey Millhone is a distillation of her creator's past, even as they reveal a child who, free of parental discipline, read everything and roamed everywhere. But the dark side of such freedom was that very parental distance ...Kit walked through the empty house, listening to her footsteps resounding against the pale dead floors ...the windows stood open to the summer heat and a wind that smelled of lilacs touched at the screens. From her bedroom, she could look out into the side yard where the cherry tree had blossomed every April since time began ...And now the house was being sold and the land, their mother was dead, their father remarried: all of life, everything was breaking apart, breaking down, being levelled, destroyed, razed, rendered obsolete, that childhood, that life, that family as odd and unhappy as it had been ...Published in the UK for the first time, this dazzling and often moving collection displays the depth and range of Grafton's writing and reminds us of her unique talent as a storyteller.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2013-03-25 The larger "Kinsey" part of this collection consists of nine stories that feature Grafton's durable private detective Kinsey Millhone doing what she does best: solving crimes and delighting readers, albeit in an abbreviated format that relies more on quick twists of plot than depth of character. Judy Kaye, who has been narrating the series from the start, does her usual, spot-on job of capturing the sharply observant sleuth in all her moods-from snarky and suspicious to wistful. It's the "Me" section of the collection that presents a surprise: 13 linked semi-autobiographical stories, written after the death of Grafton's mother that follow the life of a woman named Kit Blue, from her youth as the resentful, guilt-ridden child of alcoholic parents to her late 20s, when she receives a letter from her father that helps her make peace with the past. Kaye's rendition of these stories is flawless. Her Kit even sounds like a young Kinsey Millhone, sharing the same suspicious outlook, the same reaction to disappointment and-on rare occasions-to happiness. A Marian Wood Book/Putnam hardcover. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-11-26 This short story collection from Grafton (V Is for Vengeance) combines glimpses of her series detective, Kinsey Milhone, with a revealing self-portrait, separating the two with a thoughtful essay on the evolution of the private eye. The volume opens with nine crisply plotted Milhone tales, each with a clever hook: a woman's book club that does more than read about alibis, a twist on the classic "poison that leaves no trace." The second, shorter section contains 13 pieces written after the death of the author's mother. Featuring "a younger version" of Grafton called Kit Blue and a moody, atmospheric style, they searingly evoke the author's alcoholic parents as she struggles to make peace with her troubled childhood. These provide moving and surprising insights into the woman behind the bestsellers. Though the two sections of the book feel strikingly different, fans will admire Grafton's impressive output and feisty fictional detective all the more knowing the challenging beginnings from which both grew. Agent: Molly Friedrich, the Friedrich Agency. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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