W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton

W is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone #23)W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a huge Sue Grafton fan; I’ve read the entire alphabet series in order. W did not disappoint. It’s nice to be able to give five stars to something, since the last few mysteries (by other authors) I’ve reviewed were . . . well, less than five stars.

All the books star Kinsey Millhone, a tough cookie of a private eye characterized by a skeptical attitude and a raft of snappy comebacks. Three story lines emerge early on in this book, and as any Millhone fan knows, they will eventually merge, always in a creative, if implausible way. Kinsey is named as the sole beneficiary in the will of a distant relative she’d never met or heard of. A private eye she once worked with is found murdered. Some homeless people get involved in a deadly dispute with a camp of panhandlers. And that doesn’t count the cat.

As always, the charm of the books is Kinsey’s irascible personality combined with her low-key investigative style. I love the realism with which the life of a private investigator is portrayed, although, in deference to the demands of the genre, you can be sure she somehow ends up amid murder and danger. The realism is in the straightforward and simple way she approaches the rather mundane tasks that face her, not in the believability of the deaths. If you ever thought it would be fun to be a private eye, read Grafton first.

If you’re interested in the series, start with with the first one: A is for Alibi. That book was published in 1982 and the technology and pop culture has only progressed a few years throughout the entire series, so be prepared for a rather nostalgia-inducing storyline.
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