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Thursday 9 January 2014

‘Kinsey and Me’ by Sue Grafton

Published by Pan,
26 September 2013.
ISBN: 978-1447237655

For Kinsey Millhone fans, like me, this is a real treat – nine short stories starring Grafton’s feisty heroine, and incidentally showing that Grafton’s as much of an ace at short fiction as she is at novel length.  This collection made me want to start again at A is for Alibi.  For readers who’ve missed the alphabet murders so far (vacationing on Mars, maybe?), now’s your chance to meet wise-cracking, gun-toting, villain-outwitting PI Kinsey Millhone in her Santa Teresa background.  Each story is a classic short, with the clues fairly presented, and a neat twist at the end.

The second half of the book is almost unbearably moving.  It’s thirteen short stories based around the life and death of Grafton’s mother, a depressed alcoholic.  The stories are reflective, and so beautifully written that they could be included in any literary anthology.  While telling us about Grafton’s own life, they also explain a good deal about the character of her alter-ego, Kinsey, whose toughness is in part because of her childhood experience.

A great stocking-filler book for Kinsey fans – just don’t expect them to join in with the Christmas afternoon Cluedo.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Sue Taylor Grafton was born 24 April 1940 in Louisville, Kentucky. USA.  She is a contemporary American author of detective novels. She is best known as the author of the 'alphabet series' featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. She is published in 28 countries and 26 languages—including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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