V is for Vengeance (A Kinsey Millhone Novel) Info

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Reviews for V is for Vengeance (A Kinsey Millhone Novel):

4

Jan 07, 2012

The Alphabet Series is usually pretty strong.... we're now in our 22nd book and it's still good but getting a little bored with the series :( Perhaps 20 is the max! :)

Kinsey is 38. And she's hit on her birthday. Deals with a case about suicide and/or murder.
Normal shenanigans.


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 The Alphabet Series is usually pretty strong.... we're now in our 22nd book and it's still good but getting a little bored with the series :( Perhaps 20 is the max! :)

Kinsey is 38. And she's hit on her birthday. Deals with a case about suicide and/or murder.
Normal shenanigans.


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 https://thisismytruthnow.com, 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. ...more
2

Apr 27, 2019

Oh yeah. V is for Victory baby. I'm almost done!!

So, Kinsey sees someone shoplifting when she is at the store to buy new underpants. As we all know by now, Kinsey is obsessed with underpants. And, she calls them underpants as if she is a grandma in a nursing home instead of a young woman in California. She talks about underpants almost as often as she talks about going to the bathroom. In every book, you can be assured that she will tell you every single time she pees. I really have to wonder if Oh yeah. V is for Victory baby. I'm almost done!!

So, Kinsey sees someone shoplifting when she is at the store to buy new underpants. As we all know by now, Kinsey is obsessed with underpants. And, she calls them underpants as if she is a grandma in a nursing home instead of a young woman in California. She talks about underpants almost as often as she talks about going to the bathroom. In every book, you can be assured that she will tell you every single time she pees. I really have to wonder if the author had some sort of urinary infection or overactive bladder syndrome. The amount of peeing going on in this series is bizarre.


Then, you are totally in the right place!

Of course, she gives mind-numbing details about everything she does, so I guess it shouldn't be a surprise. I still hate it.

So, Kinsey sees the shoplifter and tells the sales clerk about it. That should be it, right? Wrong, because Kinsey sees the shoplifter's friend and decides to follow her. Now, for some reason the woman freaks out when Kinsey follows her into a secluded parking garage. Maybe it was an over-reaction for the woman to try to hit Kinsey with her car, but I was a fan of this lady. You follow a woman to her car and anything she does to you is fair game in my book. Put me on her jury.



Next thing you know, Kinsey is underpants-deep looking into a shoplifting ring.

There are two other POV's going on, and I found them way more interesting than Kinsey's. The different POV's are what has made the final stretch of this series bearable. Anyone other than Kinsey? I'm clean-underpant happy!



Okay, I have nothing further to say this time. This whole series sucks, but I'm almost done. I will find something new to bitch about write about for the next review. ...more
3

May 25, 2013

P.I. Kinsey Millhone is taking a break and reluctantly catching up on some shopping in a Nordstrom's department store, when she sees a pair of shoplifters helping themselves to the store's merchandise. Kinsey alerts a clerk who in turn calls security. One of the shoplifters, a middle-aged woman named Audrey Vance, is caught and arrested. Her younger companion escapes, but not before attempting to run over Kinsey in the parking garage.

Vance is released on bail and shortly thereafter is found P.I. Kinsey Millhone is taking a break and reluctantly catching up on some shopping in a Nordstrom's department store, when she sees a pair of shoplifters helping themselves to the store's merchandise. Kinsey alerts a clerk who in turn calls security. One of the shoplifters, a middle-aged woman named Audrey Vance, is caught and arrested. Her younger companion escapes, but not before attempting to run over Kinsey in the parking garage.

Vance is released on bail and shortly thereafter is found under a bridge, apparently having committed suicide--perhaps because of the shame? Kinsey feels a bit guilty for her role in all of this, even though the woman was clearly wrong and deserved to be arrested. But in spite of the evidence suggesting otherwise, Vance's fiancé refuses to believe that the love of his life could have been a career criminal. He thinks the whole thing was a minor mistake that got blown way out of proportion and he hires Kinsey to investigate. As always happens in these cases, Kinsey is soon up to her neck in trouble.

Meanwhile, a wealthy society woman grows suspicious of her husband while a young man with a gambling jones foolishly borrows ten grand from a loan shark and heads off to Vegas. The loan shark has family, romantic and legal problems of his own, and all of them are on a collision course with Kinsey Millhone at the center of the impact.

The early books in this series were comparatively brief and were all narrated by Millhone in her first-person voice. This book, the twenty-second in the series, is longer and more complex than the earlier entries. Much of the story is still narrated by our intrepid heroine, but much of it is also told from the third-person POV of several other characters.

It's a fun read, but the problem with the book, at least for me, is that the other characters are a lot more interesting than Millhone. And the tone of the book suggests that, subconsciously at least, the author may feel the same way. The book really comes to life when the story focuses on the other characters. Grafton has created some very complex and interesting roles here and it's fun to watch their stories unfold.

When Kinsey takes over the story, though, things seem to drag a bit. Perhaps this is because over the course of the earlier twenty-one books in the series, we've seen Kinsey go though her routine over and over again. A long-time reader of the series can pretty much predict every move she's going to make and the character no longer seems to contain any surprises. This is perhaps inevitable when the series has been as long and as successful as this one, but it's probably a bad sign when the reader sighs every time the main protagonist takes over the story again.

My other concern about the series as a whole is that Grafton decided early on that Kinsey Millhone would not age in any practical sense and that the stories would stay rooted in the 1980s. Kinsey does celebrate her 38th birthday in this book, but that's not bad for a character who first appeared in 1982. (This book is set in 1988.)

While this spares Grafton from having to deal with all of the changes that have occurred over the last thirty years, it does limit her as well. Kinsey Millhone is essentially stuck in a time warp. She hasn't grown or changed very much since A is for Alibi and neither has the world around her. For a long-time reader, this means that the character and her surroundings have become awfully static and predictable and thus, perhaps, somewhat less interesting.

Still, it's hard to argue with success, and Grafton has created here one of the most enduring characters and one of the most successful crime fiction franchises in this history of the genre. She still spins a fun tale but one wonders how much better these books might have been had she brought the character forward into the modern era. ...more
1

Feb 25, 2012

I'm so disappointed. One of my reliable sources of relaxation has been wrested from me. Or it could be that I am just tired of the formula. As I read the 22nd book in this series, I was aware of every little plot contrivance. The prose was creaky and almost staccato (and then I got in the car...and then I put my keys in the ignition...and then I turned the key...). The whole by-play of horrible food at Rosie's wasn't cute; it was boring. The whole shabbiness of her turtleneck and jeans; ouch. I'm so disappointed. One of my reliable sources of relaxation has been wrested from me. Or it could be that I am just tired of the formula. As I read the 22nd book in this series, I was aware of every little plot contrivance. The prose was creaky and almost staccato (and then I got in the car...and then I put my keys in the ignition...and then I turned the key...). The whole by-play of horrible food at Rosie's wasn't cute; it was boring. The whole shabbiness of her turtleneck and jeans; ouch. And if she trotted one more place, I was going to have to toss the book. The character of Marvin was uneven and illogical - at one moment he comes across as a patient mediator foil to Kinsey's bad temper and the next he's a sleazy 50's style man about the skids. Then he vanishes without a trace. Just dumb! Grafton has four more chances to redeem her name and recover her fun Kinsey. I hope she manages it. ...more
4

Oct 08, 2011

YAY! I love these books..but I hate how it takes FOREVER for the next book to come out. I should probably stop reading the books so quickly.
4

Mar 29, 2018

A 4.5 star book!

I am a big Sue Grafton fan since the onset of her alphabet series; I thoroughly enjoy her main character, Kinsey Millhone as well as her band of neighbors, acquaintances, and tactics, and I was very saddened to hear of her passing.

I adored grabbing an alphabet book in between heavy literary books, Tudor non-fiction, or psychological thrillers that had become too graphic and disturbing, and I would kick back and relax with a Grafton book. I felt nice and comfy; however, over time A 4.5 star book!

I am a big Sue Grafton fan since the onset of her alphabet series; I thoroughly enjoy her main character, Kinsey Millhone as well as her band of neighbors, acquaintances, and tactics, and I was very saddened to hear of her passing.

I adored grabbing an alphabet book in between heavy literary books, Tudor non-fiction, or psychological thrillers that had become too graphic and disturbing, and I would kick back and relax with a Grafton book. I felt nice and comfy; however, over time the tone, timbre and style of Grafton's books suddenly took a deft turn; they become less humorous and more involved with a specific case or group of characters.

V is for Vengeance proved to be even more complex and convoluted with multiple points of view, several narratives and a very complicated plot; some of the writing is truly excellent--descriptive, and very symbolic---there were moments when I actually shrugged and wondered if this had been written by Grafton or by a ghost writer. However, Grafton pulls it all together at the conclusion, and I can honestly say it was a good read that begins in Las Vegas and ends in Las Vegas ( more or less).

Enjoy! ...more
4

Feb 21, 2018

This is the first book Ive read by this author. I enjoyed it! The writing style is a little old fashioned somehow which was nice for a change. Im having a little trouble settling to the thought of Dante, but thats okgives me something to think about. This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I enjoyed it! The writing style is a little old fashioned somehow which was nice for a change. I’m having a little trouble settling to the thought of Dante, but that’s ok—gives me something to think about. ...more
5

Nov 23, 2011

Sue Grafton is amazingly keeping this series at a level of excellence in this her 22nd novel of the Kinsey Millhone thrillers. The story had great rhythm, moving the story along without any lag. The characters were exciting and well-developed, new ones and old ones. The different characters' storylines came together beautifully. The only complaint I have is that Henry is away looking after his 99-yr-old sister for the duration of the book. A very satisfying read.
3

Apr 08, 2018

Truth be told, V for Vengeance was a mixed bag for me. Sometimes I felt intrigued with the mystery; other times, not so much.

I guess I have a somewhat different perspective in that this is the only one in the alphabet series that Ive read (as it was chosen for a book club read). Maybe this is part of the reason that I had a difficult time getting into V is for Vengeance.

I think the initial set up in the first few chapters was engaging, but there were portions of the novel that were rather Truth be told, V for Vengeance was a mixed bag for me. Sometimes I felt intrigued with the mystery; other times, not so much.

I guess I have a somewhat different perspective in that this is the only one in the alphabet series that I’ve read (as it was chosen for a book club read). Maybe this is part of the reason that I had a difficult time getting into V is for Vengeance.

I think the initial set up in the first few chapters was engaging, but there were portions of the novel that were rather so-so.

I really couldn’t get into most of the secondary characters at all. I thought they were somewhat underwhelming and mediocre. Even Millhone seemed to make perplexing decisions and judgments when it comes to solving the case. There were some points I had a hard time understanding her motivation (especially near the end of the novel).

Also, there seemed to be too much inconsequential detail that stalled the plot. Oftentimes, there were trivial details (especially from Millhone’s point of view) that went on too long (something about what she ate, taking a jog, going to the store to pick something up, etc.). Additionally, I also didn’t really care for many of the subplots, such as Dante’s love interest. While some of this moved the plot forwards, other parts weren’t of much consequence.

Maybe I was missing a good deal of context from the series and this effected how I viewed the novel. I have heard that this one isn’t quite as good as others in the series.

I still think it fascinating and amazing how Grafton had crafted and put this entire series together with her main protagonist, all the while managing to keep her mysteries within the confines of the 1980s. I’m still definitely interested in checking out the first couple ones in Grafton’s series, especially A is for Alibi and B is for Burglar.





...more
4

Feb 09, 2017

In 'V is for Vengeance', #22 in this series, Kinsey Millhone, private detective, gets in a lot of trouble after her new grieving client gets her involved with the mafia! She could have quit when the case began to spin out of control - after all, accepting a fee for solving mysteries does not normally include getting herself killed - but she is unable to walk away when friends put themselves in the line of fire! Besides, in a way, it was her own pigheaded police instincts which led her into this In 'V is for Vengeance', #22 in this series, Kinsey Millhone, private detective, gets in a lot of trouble after her new grieving client gets her involved with the mafia! She could have quit when the case began to spin out of control - after all, accepting a fee for solving mysteries does not normally include getting herself killed - but she is unable to walk away when friends put themselves in the line of fire! Besides, in a way, it was her own pigheaded police instincts which led her into this hornets' nest.

There she was, checking out a sale at Nordstroms for clothes, when she spotted a pair of women who were shoplifting. Did she mind her own business? NO. After notifying a Nordstrom clerk about what she saw, and security employees catch one of the women, Kinsey chases the other, younger, woman, who gets away. Later, down in a parking garage, the same young woman tries to hit Kinsey with a car! Well. Kinsey did not get the license plate, so she lets it go. Until the fiancé of the woman who was caught drops into Kinsey's office to hire her! He is convinced there has been a mistake because the woman he knew would NEVER shoplift! Can Kinsey help him get to the bottom of this? YES! However, it might cost her a friend's life...

The series as a whole is a very satisfying escapist entertainment for mystery fans. The author Sue Grafton wrote A is for Alibi in 1982 and 'V is for Vengeance' in 2011, with books from B to U in between, but only five years has passed for the character of Kinsey, who is now 38 years old living in 1988. I strongly suggest starting with the first book, as I think the fun of this series is lost if the books are read out of order. Although each book reflects past and current front-page news stories that were ongoing during the actual year when the author wrote her latest fictional Kinsey novel, Grafton sticks to the 1980's context overall for Kinsey's life. The character was married in her past and she has had love affairs during the series, but the ups and downs of her life, including in earlier novels where Kinsey, an orphan, learned about her mother and father, has not changed her much as a person. She is a feisty talented woman who despite being a bit of a loner and a maverick, never allows the blindness of the law or the evil of bad guys get in the way of her finding justice for the people who hire her. ...more
5

Jun 07, 2011

I love Sue Grafton, and "V" may be one of her best. I couldn't put it down and Kinsey was just as relatable and real as we've all come to expect. I still smile every time she visits the microfiche machine in the library to do research - the lack of technology is quaint while the story is quick moving and contemporary.
4

Oct 07, 2011

This book started out relatively slowly, at least for me, with Kinsey on the outskirts of the story, at least for the first 100 pages or so. Many different threads of the story than began to come together with Kinsey taking a more active role. Considering Grafton is now on "V" she manages to keep her story lines interesting and well written, and her characters fresh. Entertaining and well written, dreading the thought that she will soon be on "Z'.
3

Apr 08, 2019

I finished this book last night. It's the April pick for my Mystery book club which meets tomorrow night. I must say this was a very trying read and I have loved all Sue Grafton's novels. I love all the characters she has followed through her books and may she rest in peace. We won't be getting any more of the books. This one was a little bit of a trial for me. Lots going on. I knew she would tie everything up and bring it together but it took a while. I will certainly read the rest of the I finished this book last night. It's the April pick for my Mystery book club which meets tomorrow night. I must say this was a very trying read and I have loved all Sue Grafton's novels. I love all the characters she has followed through her books and may she rest in peace. We won't be getting any more of the books. This one was a little bit of a trial for me. Lots going on. I knew she would tie everything up and bring it together but it took a while. I will certainly read the rest of the alphabet but this one was a lot for me. ...more
1

May 28, 2013

I'm not sure if this is the worst in the series or if it's barely edged out by R is for Ricochet. Both were so bad that it's hard to split hairs on them.
3

Jan 13, 2012

This book was OK, I don't think its even close to the best in the series. I'm disappointed because I thought very highly of "U is for Undertow" and in this one, I think most of the characters were shallow, one dimensional, particularly Nora. Most of Nora's actions were borderline unbelievable. Even Dante, who was better fleshed out than the rest, wasn't developed well enough to support some of his behavior- particularly in relation to Nora. I think a few more chapters dedicated to character This book was OK, I don't think its even close to the best in the series. I'm disappointed because I thought very highly of "U is for Undertow" and in this one, I think most of the characters were shallow, one dimensional, particularly Nora. Most of Nora's actions were borderline unbelievable. Even Dante, who was better fleshed out than the rest, wasn't developed well enough to support some of his behavior- particularly in relation to Nora. I think a few more chapters dedicated to character development would have made the story a lot more real.

Oh and finally, I wanted to know more about how they make so much money on underwear theft- electronics, or baby formula, or medication would be believable- but the explanation that they make the money selling underwear, stripped of its name brand at flea markets doesn't work for me. Expensive underwear NEEDS the name brand to be expensive, once the labels are stripped, it would be worth like a dollar at a flea market- and then only to people who are willing to buy questionable possibly used underwear. Why send important cogs in your theft machine out to steal something so trivial and risk getting caught (as Audrey did??) ...more
2

Sep 24, 2012

Probably my least favorite of the series. Some of my reasons are endemic to the series and some are specific to this letter.

To start, I get it that the food is awful at Rosie's. This was obvious from, oh, about the eighth book. It is just getting annoying to have to read the details all over again, and, frankly, it leads one to question Kinsey's judgment that she continues to eat there. Is there no other cheap restaurant in all of Santa Teresa?! This is a common problem to the series - we have Probably my least favorite of the series. Some of my reasons are endemic to the series and some are specific to this letter.

To start, I get it that the food is awful at Rosie's. This was obvious from, oh, about the eighth book. It is just getting annoying to have to read the details all over again, and, frankly, it leads one to question Kinsey's judgment that she continues to eat there. Is there no other cheap restaurant in all of Santa Teresa?! This is a common problem to the series - we have to hear all over again about how robust Henry's family health is, his cinnamon-scented kitchen, Kinsey's limited wardrobe choices, etc. Actually in this volume, the rest is toned down, except for Rosie's cooking.

Of course, Kinsey's judgment is usually questionable, but especially so in this book - she fails to notice she is being tailed, runs after a shoplifter with no means of stopping her, falls asleep on a stake-out, doesn't pick up the suspicious packages being dropped into the charity bins, marches into a loan shark's office without knowing what she will do or say, and inserts herself, unarmed, into several gun fights. It's like she forgot how to be a PI.

I also had trouble with the character of Dante. It is clear that Grafton wants the reader to like Dante. We read all about how handsome he is, how fit, how faithful to family and employees, how generous - what a great guy. But the fact is that he is a criminal. He tells a story about how when some Columbians came to Santa Teresa (his 'turf'), the gas heater blew up in their motel room, killing them, and then later, he tells Nora, "I have never killed anyone or ordered anyone to be killed." OK, so he is a murderer AND a liar. Look, Grafton is no Jonathan Franzen with his complicated anti-heroes. In her series, she has always provided the reader with good guys and bad guys - sometimes a cop (Len) is a bad guy - and sometimes a criminal (Pinky)is a good guy - but you can always tell who is who, so giving the reader a good guy who is clearly a bad guy, albeit with mommy issues, is a misstep, and leaves me confused.

But nowhere near as confused as I was about Nora... SPOILER AHEAD....Look, I am a mother with a teen age son, and no matter what a loser my son might turn out to be, I would never even consider running off with a man who played a part in my son's death. That is a promise you can hold me to. I doubt any mother would. Well, except the character of Nora, who seems charming and lost in her life, but ends up seeming to be merely self-involved, and able to overlook the fact that this man is a criminal who set up her son just because the guy is rich, sexy and infatuated with her. I end up with nothing but contempt for this character - why did Grafton do this?

Finally, I think Grafton was planning to surprise me, the reader, with some thrilling plot twists, but really, if you don't see them coming a mile a way, you are just not paying attention. Did you really not know the blond at the poker table was a plant? The identity of Nora's son? What happened to Dante's mother who goes missing the same night that her violent husband drains the pool? None of these are so surprising when they are finally revealed - so why the big build-ups?

Anyway, I have stuck with Grafton from A to V so I am in it for the final four. I just hope they are better than V. ...more
3

Aug 23, 2011

I'll probably write a more fleshed out version of this mini review when the book comes out publicly. For now let me just say this while
it's fresh in my mind:
Sue Grafton books are always interesting - having worked her way from A to, now, V, she has done a great job of developing her protagonist,
Kinsey Millhone.
The plots - well, some grab me more than others. But I have to say having read some but not all of this series that she's definitely
gotten better as an author fleshing our characters more, I'll probably write a more fleshed out version of this mini review when the book comes out publicly. For now let me just say this while
it's fresh in my mind:
Sue Grafton books are always interesting - having worked her way from A to, now, V, she has done a great job of developing her protagonist,
Kinsey Millhone.
The plots - well, some grab me more than others. But I have to say having read some but not all of this series that she's definitely
gotten better as an author fleshing our characters more, having plots that are full of more depth and interesting details.
There's at least two types of the vengence from the title going on, possibly more.

As the book starts Kinsey catches a lady shoplifting fancy clothing. She realizes there'a second person involved but the second person
gets away. The first is arrested and then either is killed or kills herself depending on who you believe. What transpires is the two are
part of a much larger scheme and are affiliated with a shady character named Dante. This book becomes more of a thriller than I remember
some of Grafton's books being, or at least it is for the last 100 pages or so. The first half is more of what I remember - lots of talking
and frustration from Kinsey as, for example, she is hired by the boyfriend of the woman who died who is convinced she is innocent of
doing anything more than maybe a small shoplifting incident, certainly not part of a larger criminal enterprises. But Kinsey's investigations
overturn other rocks and you know what happens then? That's right - mayhem ensues.
While Grafton's books sometimes disappoint me in not having the depth of, say, Laura Lippman's recent books maybe it's unfair to complain
about what they are not and I should instead just focus on what they are - interesting books that entertain and intrigue and at times fun.



(While I entertained hopes of interviewing Grafton it's unlikely to happen for this book - here's an index of my interviews with other authors including
many of her contemporaries and colleagues including Lippman.)

http://sbutki.newsvine.com/_news/2011... ...more
2

Apr 02, 2012

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the first time that I can honestly say that I wish Sue Grafton had stopped a few letters short. I have read her books since I was in my 20s and I turned 40 on my last birthday; in other words, you could say that Kinsey has "seen" me through law school, law jobs, grad school, teacher school, teaching jobs, marriage, divorce, new relationship, and the purchase of three houses. She has been with me longer than just about any of my friends, and so I appreciate Kinsey, Ms. Grafton and these This is the first time that I can honestly say that I wish Sue Grafton had stopped a few letters short. I have read her books since I was in my 20s and I turned 40 on my last birthday; in other words, you could say that Kinsey has "seen" me through law school, law jobs, grad school, teacher school, teaching jobs, marriage, divorce, new relationship, and the purchase of three houses. She has been with me longer than just about any of my friends, and so I appreciate Kinsey, Ms. Grafton and these book. Therefore, I write this review wearing a big sad face.

On the positive side, I do like the way that Grafton has started branching off and letting other characters narrate. I especially liked the Dante character in this book. He was (or at least seemed) faithful, mildly bothered by his line of work and cursed (or blessed) with a conscious. What could have been a one-note "gangster" in other authors' hands became someone much more complex and ultimately likeable.

The story itself failed to grab me. I'm not sure who wrote the summary for the book, but I found it odd. For instance, of the people who are supposedly connected by this web, one is dead, another's malfeasance doesn't come out until near the end (although I guessed it early on), the "wandering husband" is completely ancillary, the "sinister gangster" is likewise rarely seen and I wouldn't really describe Nora as a "lovely woman"...I don't know. I expected to get to know these people better, given that they were highlighted in the book jacket. That summary just really struck me as bizarre.

Next, I found the Nora character irritating. I have often wondered about women who have no talent, no skills...nothing but a hot ass. How the hell do they get men to take care of them? This bitch was up the creek when her first husband died, yet found an uber rich guy to "take care" of her. That just (as it always does) hit me the wrong way...it could be that I'm jealous, but I'm also honestly curious. How do women DO that?!?

Besides that though, I just didn't find her interesting or worthy of so much focus. I guessed the connection between her and the kid with the gambling debt as soon as she said she lost a child. That made me even less interested in her.

Overall, I just didn't see the "vengeance". From who? The "sinister gangster" who we only saw in passing (until the ending). I also found Grafton's writing dry and tedious. In some parts, she added so much detail that I found myself wondering if she was being paid by the word or needed to stretch the manuscript out.

This is the first book in this series that I can honestly say that I will not read again. I hope that this was just a bad one for me and not indicative of how the final four books will play out.

2.5 stars. ...more
4

Mar 31, 2017

Its hard for me to believe Ive now read 22 of these Kinsey Millhone books but they keep on holding my interest and, in fact, have really hit their stride in these later novels. Ive heard that the author, Sue Grafton, at some point decided to quit trying to please all her readers with how Kinsey should act, speak, dress, etc. and just write her how she is. If that means her potty mouth expresses itself from time to time then so be it. Thats fine with me and Im happy to see a fully consistent It’s hard for me to believe I’ve now read 22 of these Kinsey Millhone books but they keep on holding my interest and, in fact, have really hit their stride in these later novels. I’ve heard that the author, Sue Grafton, at some point decided to quit trying to please all her readers with how Kinsey should act, speak, dress, etc. and just write her how she is. If that means her potty mouth expresses itself from time to time then so be it. That’s fine with me and I’m happy to see a fully consistent Kinsey in action.

Another trend in these novels lately, which I welcome, is plots that combine the best of traditional mystery/whodunits and thriller plots. That makes it a “thrilling mystery”, I suppose, or perhaps a “mysterious thriller”. In this novel, Kinsey witnesses a shoplifting incident which leads to a complex plot with an apparent suicide and a resulting case from the fiancé who is convinced there is more going on here, perhaps even murder. Ultimately, Kinsey gets wrapped up in a mob-like criminal enterprise with pretty high stakes. We readers see what is going on from the first couple of chapters, who the victims and perps are, and how the crimes are committed. Kinsey, of course does not, so the story is about how she figures out what we already know. Or do we? I love it when Kinsey figures out even more to the story than what we thought we knew. We get several chapters from other points of view but it is always nice to come back to Kinsey’s first person POV. It’s a tricky balancing act for an author when the story is partly told from a bad guy’s perspective, especially when that character is sympathetic.

I enjoyed this one a lot but it did seem a bit too detailed in some places and dragged a bit here and there. It was a good primer on shoplifting, fences, money laundering, etc. so if I ever decide to take up a second job, this knowledge might come in handy.
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2

Apr 09, 2012

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed this book but definitely don't think it is as good as some of Grafton's previous work. There are some parts of the plot that just don't seem to stick together well. The story opens up with Kinsey Millhone witnessing an act of shoplifting. And, even getting involved in reporting and trying to apprehend one of the suspects. Kinsey goes on and on about how bad shop lifting is and the cost to the industry and the consumer. Yet in the end she is befriending the mobster Dante who is the head I enjoyed this book but definitely don't think it is as good as some of Grafton's previous work. There are some parts of the plot that just don't seem to stick together well. The story opens up with Kinsey Millhone witnessing an act of shoplifting. And, even getting involved in reporting and trying to apprehend one of the suspects. Kinsey goes on and on about how bad shop lifting is and the cost to the industry and the consumer. Yet in the end she is befriending the mobster Dante who is the head of the mega shoplifting ring. How does this happen? Yes, Dante is developed into a character that you have empathy for because of his childhood and we find out his father killed his mother. But Kinsey never was privy to any of this information so why did she like him?

How about the accomplice that tried to mow Kinsey down with her car? She tries to hunt her down but then later in the book when she has had an encounter with Dante he tells her that she is upsetting one of his workers by her pursuit of her ... and Kinsey doesn't even tell him off and tell him that the woman almost killed her with her vehicle. Weird plot in that regard.

Also, I missed having Henry being more prominent in the book. Having phone conversations with him just wasn't the same. Also, it was very tiring hearing about the bad food and the bad wine at Rosie's. If this was supposed to be funny, I just didn't get it.

And Nora ... finally decides to run off with Dante in the end. When Dante really had as much responsibility in her son's death as his brother did. Really? If someone killed my son I doubt highly I would ever get romantically involved with someone whose gangster family was responsible for killing him in cold blood. I don't care if Dante did not mean for it to happen.

When I first started writing this review I gave the book 3 stars but now I think I'm going to change it to 2 stars. The more I think about the plot the more irritated I get with Grafton. ...more
3

Nov 30, 2014

Dear oh dear. My jaw hit the floor at the customary sign-off by Kinsey in this book because the author spelt her surname wrong !! Yep, 22 books in and this happened. Easily knocked it a star down for me and if this had been letter A in the series I'd have finished with it. I'm still reeling. I find it unforgivable, actually.
Once again there are loads of differing editions/publishers/covers and you're telling me NOT ONE spotted that oversight ???? Shocking.....And all of a sudden the stories are Dear oh dear. My jaw hit the floor at the customary sign-off by Kinsey in this book because the author spelt her surname wrong !! Yep, 22 books in and this happened. Easily knocked it a star down for me and if this had been letter A in the series I'd have finished with it. I'm still reeling. I find it unforgivable, actually.
Once again there are loads of differing editions/publishers/covers and you're telling me NOT ONE spotted that oversight ???? Shocking.....And all of a sudden the stories are subtitled The Fethering Mysteries-since when ? And what's THAT in reference to ??
Once again it's full of hyphen and spacing errors throughout as well which I've complained about since I started reading the series in digital format. Each one on the Kindle has been the same. Chan-ning/she'dbeback/Hollo-way/sherealized/Phil-lip's/Pin-ky's...It's sloppy and I'd have expected better considering I've now paid for 22 of these stories, too. There were of course apostrophe mistakes as well. Plus mention of an alcohol-detecting flashlight which I'd never heard of so Googled. But they don't seem to have been in existence in the 80s-another oversight.
This has taken me a week to plough through...I got bogged down with it at the beginning when we had all this superfluous card-playing "stuff" to wade through. It really didn't warrant as much detail as it had and I could feel my interest waning. Made it hard to pick it up again.
I still like Kinsey a great deal but I'm none too impressed with Sue Grafton right now. ...more
2

Dec 21, 2011

I think W, X, Y, and Z will end this series. Maintaining a series must be one of the most difficult experiences for a writer, or possibly the easiest. It's not difficult to understand why Doyle killed Holmes, and why he brought him back, but in today's world no author would ever consider killing a cash cow series character. Really, Evanovich, Cornwell, Sanford, Block, Burke, Patterson et al. The books aren't good , but what the heck, as it is proved over and over and over, readers aren't I think W, X, Y, and Z will end this series. Maintaining a series must be one of the most difficult experiences for a writer, or possibly the easiest. It's not difficult to understand why Doyle killed Holmes, and why he brought him back, but in today's world no author would ever consider killing a cash cow series character. Really, Evanovich, Cornwell, Sanford, Block, Burke, Patterson et al. The books aren't good , but what the heck, as it is proved over and over and over, readers aren't discriminating.

Having said all this, Grafton succeeds in much the same way as the aforementioned authors- Familiarity. She also has created an interesting alphabetical shtick with the books. So what's good or bad in my opinion- well, here goes. Books, especially this one, start out well and catch some interest. She proceeds by introducing new characters with some interesting developments and soon we have all these seeemingly unrelated plots going on. As the connections develop, the main plot becomes more apparent. However, the price the reader pays for this knowledge is reading tedious, boring pages of narration that left me gasping and speed reading like a demon to get through the book. Like many of those other authors, this is hardly an example of good writing. It's that familiarity that readers like-friendly faces and nice places to visit like Santa Teresa and Rosies's crap Hungarian food.

As for me, I'm asking Kinsey and Rosie for the check. My next read will be F is for finished. ...more
2

Feb 09, 2014

Edited 2-17-14
I have read all of Grafton's book in this series. This one made me want to go back and read A is for Alibi to see if I am right in thinking the early ones are better. (which i will do)
The story is okay, Kinsey Milhonne is still an interesting character but I felt myself wanting to be done and that's not a good sign. I noticed lots of places where fewer words could have said the same thing. Lacks conciseness. Her relationship with Henry, her elderly neighbor was sidelined and there Edited 2-17-14
I have read all of Grafton's book in this series. This one made me want to go back and read A is for Alibi to see if I am right in thinking the early ones are better. (which i will do)
The story is okay, Kinsey Milhonne is still an interesting character but I felt myself wanting to be done and that's not a good sign. I noticed lots of places where fewer words could have said the same thing. Lacks conciseness. Her relationship with Henry, her elderly neighbor was sidelined and there was no personal romance involved. Not even a tidbit.
I did Wikipedia to find out more about her because even though this was written recently the story takes place in the 1980's and mentioning typewriters, carbon paper, wall phones etc. seemed so odd. I discovered, however, that she had planned when she started the series to have Kinsey age one year for every 2.5 books - she did not want to portray her in menopause. That explains things - and tells us she intended from the beginning to write 26 books and that Kinsey would be turning 40 in the last book. It's understandable if an author is writing about the same decade and the same character in 26 books that it could be forced and become a chore to keep it fresh. ...more
4

Jun 27, 2015

I love Kinsey and this visit was write enjoyable with the expected trademark mentions: the all purpose black dress - this time in the back of the closet, Rosie's diner, the apartment, her car, Henry's house, etc. The visuals are vivid from only the merest mention, and I think I know what I love the most about the series. I love how Kinsey is hands on with her investigations, I like how she really connects with the people she encounters and how even as a loner, she ends each case with more I love Kinsey and this visit was write enjoyable with the expected trademark mentions: the all purpose black dress - this time in the back of the closet, Rosie's diner, the apartment, her car, Henry's house, etc. The visuals are vivid from only the merest mention, and I think I know what I love the most about the series. I love how Kinsey is hands on with her investigations, I like how she really connects with the people she encounters and how even as a loner, she ends each case with more friends. (And a satisfied reader!) ...more
3

Oct 21, 2011

Part of the rereading efforts of our travels to the Yellowstone basin...love the series!!!...Kinsey inadvertantly disrupts a professional shop lifting ring and confronts a crime organization as it disintegrates...the usual cast is here with some new twists...keep 'em comin'!!!

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