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"C" Is for Corpse (Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – November 29, 2005

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Frequently Bought Together

  • "C" Is for Corpse (Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries)
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  • B is for Burglar (Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries, No. 2)
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  • D is for Deadbeat (The Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The corpse in private eye Kinsey Millhone's third adventure ("A" Is for Alibi and "B" Is for Burglar is that of Bobby Callahan, a young man she first meets while both are working out in a local gym. Bobby is convinced the car crash he'd been injured in was really an attempt on his life and, fearful of another assault, persuades Kinsey to investigate. A few days later, Bobby is indeed killed, and Kinsey stays on the case. She is befriended by Bobby's wealthy mother, his opportunistic stepfather and druggie, anoretic stepsister. She learns Bobby was having an affair with a friend of his mother's whose first husband had been killed in a suspicious burglary, and whose second is county pathologist. While the almost hard-boiled Kinsey ferrets out the ugly secrets behind Bobby's death, she's also trying to save her elderly landlord from the schemes of the scam-operating senior lady he's smitten with. Kinsey Millhone is nobody's fool; she's also sensitive, funny and very likable. Writing with a light, sure touch, Grafton has produced a fast-moving California story about quirky, believable people.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Exceptionally entertaining…an offbeat sense of humor and a feisty sense of justice.” ―San Francisco Chronicle

“Millhone is an engaging detective-for-hire…P.I. Kinsey Millhone and her creator…are arguably the best of [the] distaff invaders of the hitherto sacrosanct turf of gumshoes.” ―The Buffalo News

“Once a fan reads one of Grafton's alphabetically titled detective novels, he or she will not rest until all the others are found.” ―Los Angeles Herald Examiner

“Millhone is a refreshingly strong and resourceful female private eye.” ―Library Journal

“Tough but compassionate…There is no one better than Kinsey Millhone.” ―Best Sellers

“A woman we feel we know, a tough cookie with a soft center, a gregarious loner.” ―Newsweek

“Lord, how I like this Kinsey Millhone…The best detective fiction I have read in years.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“Smart, tough, and thorough…Kinsey Millhone is a pleasure.” ―The Bloomsbury Review

“Kinsey is one of the most persuasive of the new female operatives…she's refreshingly free of gender clichés. Grafton, who is a very witty writer, has also given her sleuth a nice sense of humor--and a set of Wonder Woman sheets to prove it.” ―Boston Herald

“What grandpa used to call a class act.” ―Stanley Ellin

“Smart, sexual, likeable, and a very modern operator.” ―Dorothy Salisbury Davis

“Kinsey's got brains and a sense of humor.” ―Kirkus Reviews


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Product Details

  • Series: Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (November 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312939019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312939014
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (521 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on December 10, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone is back again in this fourth installment of Sue Grafton's alphabet series. This time she is offered a fee to give a $25,000 cashier's check to a young man named Tony Gahan. The check for the fee bounces and Kinsey is now looking for the man who gave it to her, plus the young man she is to give the cashier's check to. Everything she finds out about her client is bad. He is a drunk, who has killed several people in a car wreck, and appears to be a bigamist. When he is found dead, Kinsey has plenty of suspects including survivors of the dead motorists and two angry wives. This book is written in Grafton's usual breezy style, and Kinsey becomes more independent and more likeable with each book. I would recommend the whole series to mystery-lovers.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. Woodley on January 31, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kinsey Millhone, single female, Private Investigator and all-round ordinary person is still recovering from the beating she received solving her last crime (told to us in B is for Burglar). This is later on in 1982 and as part of her recovery programme she is working out at the gym. That's where she sees Bobby Callahan. He is also recovering from a serious accident, and he looks bad. A few months before he lost control of his car and drove off a canyon road killing his friend and almost killing himself. He lost most of his memory in the accident, and as it returns in flashes, he realises that someone was trying to kill him - and could try again.
Kinsey takes the case wondering where to start - but before she gets too far Bobby is killed what seems to be an accidental crash, but Kinsey has her doubts. Given that he hired her to find his killers and left her with a retainer she feels she must, for his honour and memory, continue the case. Someone else in these reviews commented on Kinsey's loyalty, and that is right. She has a lot of likeable characteristics and this is one of them.
Bobby's friends and family must be interviewed and eliminated from her investigation and these include mother, Glen; his stepfather, Derek ; his step-sister (a drug addict and anoretic), Kitty; - a beautiful ex-girlfriend ;- Doctor Fraker whom Bobby worked for ; Fraker's beautiful wife Nola whose first husband died in mysterious circumstances and a host of his mother's friends. Kinsey must find out who the mystery woman Bobby was meeting before his first accident and how his job at the morgue fitted in to all of this.
At the same time Kinsey is having personal problems. Her personable landlord, Henry, has taken up with a widow by the name of Lila who has aroused everyone's suspicions except Henry's.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The alphabet detective is back and as good as ever. Grafton does a great job setting this mystery up and the ending is a complete surprise. The twists and turn in the book take you all over the place, where you end up is the one place you never would have figured. You will read this without putting the book down.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Coyle on July 27, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am big mystery / crime book fan, so have been looking forward to getting into the Sue Grafton Alphabet mysteries for some time. This was the first book I have read in the series.

The main character, Kinsey Millhone, is very likable, and has a lot of depth. That's probably the most important thing for a series. The story itself is reasonable. It was far from the biggest page turner I've read but kept me going to the end. In a nutshell, it is about an ex-con who is savagely murdered one night. The police rule the death an accident, but Kinsey Millhone and the victim's daughter believe it is the work of foul-play. In steps P.I. Millhone. The list of suspects is as long as the victim's criminal record.

The book was set in 1986, but the only clue to its age is several references to "West Germany" which took me aback.

I can't say I am in a huge hurry to read the rest of the Kinsey Millhone series. Nonetheless, I will persevere and have just picked up I is for Innocent from the library. I will prob read 3 or 4 of these a year until I finish the series, it's good filler!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert Von Gerds on August 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another Great Book by Sue Grafton. In 'C is for Corpse' our hero Kinsey Millhone is hired by Bobby, a young man who fell victim to a terrible car accident almost a year ago and has left the once handsome young man freak-looking. Bobby believes the accident was an attempt to kill him, because of a secret he knows. Unfortunately, Bobby suffers from amnesia because of the accident ad cannot remember what the secret was. Our friend Kinsey quickly takes a liking to him, but unfortunatley Bobby meets an untimely end. Now it is up to Kinsey to find out who is behind his death and what the horrible secret is...
Once again, Sue Grafton portrays Kinsey as the odd yet likeable person that she is. I have always been able to identify very well with Kinsey Millhone and have taken a real liking to her. I can't wait to read the rest of her books!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback
No one can make a funeral funnier than Kinsey. For that matter, I laughed till I wheezed over her description of the deadbeat's wife--a somewhat unstable Fundamentalist--and the picture taken on their 40th wedding anniversary. But the last chapter is a real nail-biter, as usual, and looking through Kinsey's eyes, these folks may be quirky, but human just the same. I've read all the books in the series, but this is the one I'd recommend to someone who hasn't read any of these books yet. What a sleuth
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