What can I say? I’m a sucker for Sue Grafton. So what is the X for, you long-time fans may ask? Just about everything. Some major characters are named Xanakis. A business is named XLNT shipping. There’s a map with an X marked on it. Finding the X’s is just part of the fun the reader will have with this one.
In this one Henry, Kinsey’s heart-of-gold landlord, is being taken advantage of by a clingy and conniving new neighbor woman. She also find herself looking into the cases of a fellow private eye, a character killed off in the last book. Then there’s that snotty Kim Bass who deserves a comeuppance. Kinsey has her work cut out for her once again.
The mystery isn’t the the compelling element in this or any other Kinsey Millhone book. It’s all about her attitude. She’s one tough cookie, a dispenser of justice, a cynic with an independent streak a mile wide. She’s just the one to see that the softies like Henry aren’t taken advantage of. As always, she goes about it in a straightforward way, proceeding as a real detective would.
I always enjoy the geographical references, too. They remind me of when I used to live in “Colgate.” If you’re inclined to read this book and don’t already know the series, I would suggest going back and starting with A is for Alibi and reading through the series in order.