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"A" is for Alibi (The Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries, No 1) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2005


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Frequently Bought Together

"A" is for Alibi (The Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries, No 1) + B is for Burglar (Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries, No. 2) + "C" Is for Corpse (Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kinsey Millhone is smart, sexual, likeable and a very modern operator. A pleasure to read. (Dorothy Salisbury Davis)

[This] is what grandpa used to call a class act. (Stanley Ellin)

Wit is the most versatile weapon in Sue Grafton's well-stocked arsenal, and she uses it with disarming precision. . . . Grafton excels in this milieu. (Newsweek on the Sue Grafton series and Kinsey Millhone)

A wonderful character, tough but not brutish, resourceful and sensitive, a fit knight to walk those mean streets with her male predecessors. (Los Angeles Times on the Sue Grafton series and Kinsey Millhone)

Somebody I want to spend more time with. (The New York Times Book Review on the Sue Grafton series and Kinsey Millhone)

Bright, brisk, and thoroughly engaging. (The Washington Post on the Sue Grafton series and Kinsey Millhone)

A woman we feel we know, a tough cookie with a soft center, a gregarious loner. (Baltimore Sun on the Sue Grafton series and Kinsey Millhone)

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; Reprint edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312938993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312938994
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (803 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times-bestselling author Sue Grafton is published in twenty-eight countries and twenty-six languages--including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian. Books in her alphabet series, begun in 1982, are international bestsellers with readership in the millions. And like Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, Grafton has earned new respect for the mystery form. Readers appreciate her buoyant style, her eye for detail, her deft hand with character, her acute social observances, and her abundant storytelling prowess. She has been named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America (2009) and is a recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award (2004).

Sue Grafton has been married to Steve Humphrey for more than thirty years, and they divide their time between Montecito, California, and Louisville, Kentucky, where she was born and raised. Grafton, who has three children and four grandchildren, loves cats, gardens, and good cuisine.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

160 of 167 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Wylie on May 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love all these recent reviews calling "A" trite and typical--Grafton wrote this in 1982, and if it seems trite now it's because Grafton revolutionized the genre, and everyone has been copying her plots and style ever since!
Kinsey Millhone is a hard-boiled, gun-toting, loner--a private investigator who keeps to herself and does whatever it takes to solve her case. I first read this book as a teenager, and Kinsey's toughness and un-sentimentality turned me off (young romantic that I was). Coming back to this series as an adult has given me an appreciation for the character and the genre that I lacked before. What you see is what you get with Kinsey Millhone, and that simplicity is her strength.
This book is not only truly groundbreaking, it is also a plain ol' great mystery. Grafton keeps Kinsey busy interviewing suspects, following leads, and stirring up trouble. Kinsey's work is pretty much her life, and except for the occasional evening with a handsome stranger, you can expect her to stay focused on the case.
Unless you prefer your mysteries soft and cozy, you'll enjoy Kinsey Millhone and her straight-forward approach to crime. Best of all, if you enjoy this one, there are 14 more (so far) to keep you busy.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By "intentaccess" on June 11, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"A is for Alibi" is the first book in Sue Grafton's alphabet mystery series centering on Kinsey Millhone a 32 year old Private Investigator living in California. I have just started this series but I really enjoyed this book. The mystery keeps pages turning as it intriguing, suspenseful and a real fast read. The character Kinsey is very independent, you feel as you now know her and she is portrayed as somebody you do know.
Nikki Fife has just been released from prison after doing 8 years for the murdering her husband, Laurence. Nikki wants Kinsey to find the person who really killed Laurence. Kinsey begins to investigate and finds out about another murder committed only days after Laurence's that is extremely similar. The victim was the accountant for Laurence's law firm, Libby Glass, and she was killed using an identical method of poisoning. This trail is 8-years-old and Kinsey knows it won't be easy to find the truth.
Kinsey begins to put together a picture of the people involved and the circumstances that lead up to Laurence's murder. But somebody is not too pleased with Kinsey investigating and unveiling facts that could lead to the true murderer. Kinsey gets herself into danger, and as she struggles to put the pieces together, someone is trying to stop her.
Grafton does a great job with the suspense and "who done it " in this book. Makes you ready for more of Kinsey Millhone. The book was a fun, simple read that I managed in an evening. You don't want to miss this one and I have a feeling they will get addictive.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Christina P. Branson on May 13, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a fan of this series, but I have to admit that its first installment was a bit weak. Had I read this one before the series had built up some momentum, I probably wouldn't have bothered to move on to B is for Burglar. Many of the plot points had a contrived feel to them, and Kinsey often acted out of character. I think those moments were also the result of attempts at plot manipulation that just didn't work out too well.
The thing is, though, that the series as a whole is quite good, and it's just a shame that its beginning is less than spectacular. That's why I always recommend that new Grafton readers start off with G is for Gumshoe and then go back to the start of the series once they know what treats they are in for later.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on January 3, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series of Alphabet mysteries has been a huge seller since its inception in 1982. I've wanted to read the books for years but didn't for one reason or another. I finally sat down with the first entry, "A is for Alibi," and plunged into it. Nikki Fife is a young widow who was recently released from prison; she served eight years for killing her husband. She insists that she's innocent and hires Kinsey to clear her name.

Kinsey's first case is interesting and filled with a number of suspects. It's a solid mystery book. Kinsey is a likeable protagonist, who has just enough shades of gray and quirks. She's the kind of lead who doesn't distract too much from the mystery at hand, but she's interesting enough to carry the book. Grafton's writing is good - straight-forward but filled with nice details. At times, she spends perhaps a bit too much time describing Nikki and the murder suspects. However, that's a minor quibble. I wasn't blown away by "A is for Alibi," but it was good enough that I've already ordered the next entry, "B is for Burglar."
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tam Sesto on October 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
How can you not love a PI who cuts her own hair, jogs for miles and then pigs out on fatty food at McDonalds, and knows how to speak her mind? Ms. Grafton has given us readers a special gift in the form of Kinsey. Sure, A is for Alibi, is slow to start, and not much plot, but most first books are the same. Keep reading the series, you'll list Grafton as a top mystery writer by the time you finish C is for Corpse.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kinsey Millhone is a 32-year-old private investigator residing in Santa Teresa, California. Her main assignment in 'A' is for Alibi is to discover who killed Laurence Fife, an influential divorce lawyer with firsthand experience in wrecking marriages. His last wife, Nikki Fife, was found guilty eight years ago of slipping oleander in his antihistamine pills. Now free, Nikki contacts Kinsey and asks her to find the real killer.
The suspects range from Laurence's close friend and associate (and Kinsey's new lover), Charlie Scorsoni, to his "bitter" first wife Gwen. But whoever the killer is, Laurence wasn't the last victim. Four days after he died, a young accountant (Libby Glass) was found dead in her bathroom, apparently drugged with the same poison. Yet Libby's death was never connected to Laurence's, although it was rumored they were intimately involved.
Another woman is later killed during Kinsey's investigation, leading Kinsey to conclude she might be next. How close can Kinsey get to uncovering the truth without risking her own life?
'A' is for Alibi is the first book I've read so far by Sue Grafton, and it certainly won't be my last. Kinsey is definitely a likable character--rough and smart--, and the plot is entertaining enough for any mystery buff. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries solved by female private detectives. If you do, don't miss any of the other books in this alphabet mystery series: 'B' is for Burglar, 'C' is for Corpse, 'D' is for Deadbeat, 'E' is for Evidence, 'F' is for Fugitive, 'G' is for Gumshoe, 'H' is for Homicide, 'I' is for Innocent, 'J' is for Judgment, 'K' is for Killer, 'L' is for Lawless, 'M' is for Malice, 'N' is for Noose, 'O' is for Outlaw, and 'P' is for Peril.
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