Umpteen books into this series (she’s on “V” now, however many books that is), Sue Grafton’s still got it. I marvel at her with each new book that emerges, because usually, in my experience, authors go kind of flat somewhere around book 11.
But not Sue Grafton. No, she’s just getting better.
How’s she do it?
Well, whatever magic she’s working, it’s all happening in this book.
One thing I love about this series is that the author has stuck with the original timeframe to keep the chronology true. So this book is set in 1988. (Retro, baby.)
And there’s a loveliness to that.
The other thing that really works in this series is that Kinsey Millhone is likeable yet a bit ornery, and that makes her very real.
And I love the affection she has for her landlord Henry, the retired baker. In this book, he’s out of town due to a family emergency, and she misses him.
And one other thing, and it’s small but significant. Kinsey Millhone cleans her home and office, and that stuff’s included in the book. For some reason, I really like this. I guess because in so many books, it seems like people are living in a bubble that doesn’t include housecleaning.
This story is one of those classic PI situations, in which someone hires the detective to look into something, then changes his mind—but the PI is too far in to let it go, so she keeps investigating on her own time (and her own dime). And havoc ensues.
Oh, it’s just all too good.
If we believe the alphabet, there’re only 4 more of these puppies coming down the line. The only consolation is that at least this series is re-readable.