In this installment of the quirky gumshoe, Kinsey the perpetually perky detective with the fast tongue and faster gun takes on a Mother’s quest to solve her daughter’s murder.
As Kinsey delves into the young woman’s recent history, she uncovers a seedy past that would make her mother blush. Prostitution, high stakes money and the mafia round out this tale, not to mention sibling jealousy and possible unfaithfulness.
This is what Sue does best: fully rounded characters, even if they only share a few pages with Kinsey. Even the baddest character she creates you can identify with and still imagine the scene. Each scene is rich and dripping in detail, from the derelict cabin in the woods to the small blue house in town. You tend to bond with the characters and find yourself rooting for them. The many clues that pop up are indeterminable until Kinsey has that “AHA!” moment near the end.
I don’t try to solve the mystery before hand, as I realize there is a rare treat before me that I let unfold.
Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone is quirky, fun and a great detective. The protagonist is a fully rounded person, with strengths and foibles just like a real person. She’s not perfect, which makes her perfect for detective work. Personally, I would love to see Sue’s file on Kinsey. We learn a little bit about Kinsey with each book that comes out as she works on the case (that usually corners her into accepting).
In “J is for Judgement”, she is asked to investigate a dead man that was seen thousands of miles away from her hometown of Santa Theresa, CA, in a Mexican resort town sipping umbrella’d drinks with a mystery woman. From there, Sue sets of a web that Kinsey must unravel. And unravel it does, back in good old Santa Theresa. As usual, there’s a large sum of missing money and investors wanting the hide of the aforementioned missing/presumed dead, man.
What I love about Sue’s series is how detailed (but not obnoxious) the minor characters are. Kinsey’s landlord, Henry (a spry octogenerian) and his cohorts, from his persnickety brother to the brassy tavern owner ‘just a few blocks down the street’ (who has her eye on the brother). Each book brings out rich, vivid detail that is eagerly swallowed by eyes many times over around the world.
L is for Lawless
Kinsey Milhone stars in another adventure, courtesy if Sue Grafton. I’ve only just read this book recently (i’ve only got “J”, “K” and the next one, “V” to read then i’ll have read all of them to date.)
Kinsey is her usual wisecracking, off-the-cuff, casual self in this adventure. In it, she is asked by her landlord Henry (an octogenarian she absolutely adores and would do anything for) to look into a neighbor’s bequest and last will. Of course it leads to misadventure as they all do. She gets involved with a decades old gang that stole money from a bank almost a half a century earlier and a current father-daughter misguided reunion. She not only gets hurt again but doesn’t get paid, either.
Sue spins another delightful yarn for fans of Kinsey Milhone. The story is lucid and flowing but yet there feels like she falls into crutches towards the middle of the book. For example, when Kinsey is fleeing the bad cowboy at the hotel, she comes upon a strange area of the hotel and ends up on a catwalk? How convenient for the story, but is out of place and feels like a ‘gimme’ just to move the story along.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and look forward to getting the others.