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"I" is for Innocent (Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – December 2, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After the pace and invention of "H" Is for Homicide, Grafton sets Kinsey Milhone on a quieter, more cerebral path in the ever-appealing PI's newest abecedarian adventure, again set in Santa Teresa, Calif. When fellow PI Morley Shine dies of a heart attack, Kinsey takes over the task of gathering evidence for a local lawyer who is prosecuting architect David Barney. Six years earlier, Barney was acquitted of murder charges in the still-unsolved death of his wealthy estranged wife Isabel, killed by a bullet fired through the peephole of her front door. Now Isabel's first husband, Ken Voigt, hoping to strip the architect of the fortune he inherited, is charging Barney with Isabel's wrongful death in a civil court, where less stringent evidence is required for conviction. Quickly finding holes in Shine's investigation, Kinsey uncovers a slew of suspects in Isabel's murder, including Voigt's second wife, Barney's first wife, Isabel's less attractive twin sister and even her best friend. Kinsey determines that Shine's death was not straightforward, solves the mystery of another years-old death and comes under direct fire herself before she finally, nearly too late, figures out who is the threat. There's much to enjoy here as Kinsey's octogenarian landlord Henry endures a visit from his fastidious older brother and romance blooms for neighborhood tavern owner Rose. But Kinsey may be voicing fans' hopes for "J" when she reflects midway through this case: "I wanted to feel like the old Kinsey again . . . talkin' trash and kickin' butt." 300,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Mystery Guild main selections.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

California's formidable p.i. Kinsey Millhone (``A'' Is for Alibi, etc.), fired from her comfortable berth with Fidelity Insurance, now rents office space from busy Santa Teresa lawyer Lonnie Kingman. His usual outside investigator Morley Shine has died of a heart attack, and he hires Kinsey to take over the case that Morley was working on. It involves the upcoming trial of David Barney, acquitted of the six-year-old murder of his wife, Isabelle, but now being sued for wrongful death in civil court by Isabelle's first husband, Ken Voigt. Voigt, represented by Lonnie Kingman, is sure that Barney killed Isabelle and wants to keep her considerable fortune out of his hands. Lonnie thinks he has a strong case, buoyed by damning new evidence from drifter Curtis McIntyre. But what Kinsey finds as she begins to probe is a surprising number of people with reasons to hate Isabelle--among them Voigt's second wife, Francesca, and Isabelle's business mentor Peter Weidmann and his overprotective wife, Yolanda. She also uncovers curious gaps in Morley's files and begins to question his ``heart attack,'' as Lonnie's seemingly solid case collapses bit by bit, with her own life on the line in the gritty finale. A sober, resolute Kinsey, romanceless at the moment, and a clever, meaty puzzle--for which the publisher plans a 300,000 first printing. Rack up another winner for Grafton. (Literary Guild Split Dual Selection for July) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries (Book 9)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312945264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312945268
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,045 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1997
Format: Hardcover
"I" is also for impressive, interesting and intriguing.
Sue Grafton's ninth book in the Kinsey Millhone series is all these and more.
In this installment, Kinsey is asked to take over the investigation of the five-year-old Isabelle Barney murder.
David Barney, Isabelle's second husband, was tried and acquitted of her murder. Now he's being sued for wrongful death, and it is Kinsey's job to find evidence that implicates David in the murder.
That turns out to be easier said than done. Kinsey finds out that there are a lot more people who would have liked Isabelle dead than just David. Her employer, her ex-husband, her ex-husband's wife, her best friend and even her sister all held grudges against Isabelle.
Kinsey clearly has her hands full with this one. Everyone is a suspect. Slowly but surely, she puts all the clues together and finds the killer.
This novel is almost identical in style to the other Kinsey Millhone books and that is what makes it so good. Grafton is smart enough to find a formula that works and stay with it. It's a basic mystery story with enough twists, turns and characters to keep it interesting.
The characters in this novel are part perfection and part hindrance. Grafton paints them vividly -- my favorite is Curtis McIntyre, the ex-con who tries more than one to pick Kinsey up. They are more than supporting players.
But, while the characters are wonderfully created, the abundance of them may confuse some readers. I had a little trouble remembering who was married to whom and who was doing what when Isabelle was killed. I was so interested, though, that I flipped back through the pages to find out what I needed to know. Some people may not think it's worth the trouble, however, and give up.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David Chaumette on January 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hands down, this is the best book of the series. That doesn't mean you can necessarily start here, just that this one is a head above the rest. Kinsey is brought into a wrongful death case shortly before trial when the previous investigator dies. She finds out that he was not really doing his job, instead hiding away in his office to sneak a pizza or two. As always there are twists and turns. All of them make sense and are told with the Kinsey's characteristic sardonic tone.
The case involves an old murder and the supporting cast, as always, is well drawn and interesting. The nice thing about the Kinsey novels is that the recurring characters, including Kinsey herself, grow and their lives change from book to book. (That's part of the reason why you really can't skip around.)
Anyway, the ending is surprising, plausible, and exciting. In fact, you'll probably say "boy the killer was smart and almost got away with it."
In short, this one is a keeper. I know it'll be worth your time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Grafton has written yet another fun mystery of the Kinsey Millhone variety. After being acquitted of the murder of his wealthy and artistic wife, an architect is sued in civil court for wrongful death by the victim's obsessed first husband, and Kinsey is hired to solidify the evidence against him (remind you of OJ?). I was particularly impressed with the skillful way Grafton wove the development of the murder victim's character through interviews with those who knew her. This is definitely one of the better of the alphabet mysteries. I naughtily stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Martin on April 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As Sue Grafton continues her alphabet series, we've seen many changes in the main character, Kinsey Millhone. If you've been with Grafton since A IS FOR ALIBI like I have, you'll notice a more subdued Kinsey in this book. Since Kinsey no longer works for California Fidelity doing all of their investigative work, and her future is uncertain, her usual "edge" seems to have been dulled. This is a disappointment - I enjoy the feisty Kinsey!

Sue Grafton introduces a new support cast to liven things up a bit as her detective series continues along its journey. Kinsey is hired to take over a seemingly boring case when a local private investigator dies of a heart attack and she must find the facts quickly before the statute of limitations runs out! She stumbles into a "whodunit" involving a dead artist, a husband tried and acquitted, and an ex-husband screaming "foul". It's up to Kinsey to figure it all out in the few weeks allowed by the court, and in the process to keep herself safe. This proves to be easier said than done in the writing style that we've come to enjoy and expect from Sue Grafton.

One of the things that I enjoy about Grafton is that she not only tells a great story, but at the same time she lays the foundation for future books. After becoming familiar with her writing style, you'll start to pick up on the tidbits of information that she brings out in the open only to read about those same facts in more detail in a future episode. It's almost as if her alphabet series is one very long novel with each letter of the alphabet being a chapter instead of a separate book - these read almost like Kinsey Millhone's diary. But then again, I can see why she's done it this way -- who would buy a book of 8,000 pages or so?
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