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W is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Sue Grafton
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,520 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $28.95
Kindle Price: $6.99
You Save: $21.96 (76%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Of the #1 New York Times–bestselling Kinsey Millhone series, NPR said, “Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters.”

Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I’d never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue.

The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He’d been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He’d been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone’s name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.

Two seemingly unrelated deaths, one a murder, the other apparently of natural causes.

But as Kinsey digs deeper into the mystery of the John Doe, some very strange linkages begin to emerge. And before long at least one aspect is solved as Kinsey literally finds the key to his identity. “And just like that,” she says, “the lid to Pandora’s box flew open. It would take me another day before I understood how many imps had been freed, but for the moment, I was inordinately pleased with myself.”

In this multilayered tale, the surfaces seem clear, but the underpinnings are full of betrayals, misunderstandings, and outright murderous fraud. And Kinsey, through no fault of her own, is thoroughly compromised.

W is for . . . wanderer . . . worthless . . . wronged . . .

W is for wasted.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Wasted lives, wasted time, and wasted opportunities are at the heart of this twenty-third entry in the long-running Kinsey Millhone series, which reveals how the deaths of two very different men impact Kinsey’s life. The first man, Pete Wolinsky, found murdered in a local park, is a shady PI for whom Kinsey has little respect; the second, R. T. Dace, is an alcoholic vagrant who not only turns out to be Kinsey’s relative but also leaves her a half-million bucks. Armed with news of R. T.’s death, Kinsey sets out to learn more about him and why he disinherited his immediate family. The clever twists of V Is for Vengeance are mostly absent here, and readers will need to wade through a lot of story before Wolinsky’s connection to Dace comes clear. But Grafton hasn’t lost her touch for characterization. Nobody in the cast is a stereotype, and it’s the clash of personalities and interpersonal dynamics that provide the appeal here. Nearing the conclusion of this celebrated series, Grafton continues to shape Millhone’s character, toughened by circumstance but still both understanding and forgiving. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: As the end of the alphabet draws closer, expect a revival of interest in a series that has helped define the role of the female sleuth in mystery fiction. --Stephanie Zvirin


Praise for W IS FOR WASTED
“Grafton is a writer of many strengths—crisp characterizations, deft plotting, and eloquent dialogue among them—and she has kept her long-running alphabet mystery series fresh and each new release more welcome than the last. Her greatest skill may be the way she melds disparate, unwieldy, often difficult subjects into a cohesive whole that satisfies as both entertainment and art. It's one thing to write a bestseller (or 23), but quite another to do so while addressing larger societal ills. Achieve both, and you reach the pinnacle of the profession—as Grafton has. Her work is layered, textural, sensate—ingenious and satisfying in any genre. . . Lesser authors churn books out; Grafton continues to knock them out of the park.”—Louisville Courier-Journal
“‘W is for Wasted’ is further proof – as if it were needed – of Grafton’s immense talent. And her ability to give equal weight to the story of the detective and the detective story sets her apart in the world of crime fiction.” ––Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Kinsey Millhone, the well-nigh immortal sleuth in this enduring series, still has time to play her rebel role simply by living a spartan existence in a world of greedy narcissists…How sweet it is to see the California private eye back in her garage apartment…It’s also fun to watch her at work, taking notes on index cards, typing reports on a Smith-Corona and here’s what really matters—communicating with people face-to-face.” ––New York Times Book Review
“Involving, amusing and fast-paced.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Nearing the conclusion of this celebrated series, Grafton continues to shape Millhone’s character, toughened by circumstance but still both understanding and forgiving.”—Booklist
“Grafton has lost none of her ability to bring her character vividly to life: Kinsey is as witty and engaging as ever, although somewhat more subdued and thoughtful owing to the emotionally charged tasks she has to perform. As Grafton nears the end of her long-running alphabet series, readers of mystery and suspense and Grafton’s many fans will delight in and savor this latest addition.”—Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for Sue Grafton

“After three decades Grafton’s iconic detective remains a quirky delight. With the help of McDonald’s pit stops and her single no-wrinkle black dress, Kinsey is sure to keep up the good fight through W, X, Y and Z—taking punches for the little guys and keeping the bad ones at bay.” —People

“Millhone’s complexity is mirrored by the novels that document her cases: books that nestle comfortably within the mystery genre even as they push and prod its contours.”—The Wall Street Journal
“I’ve come to believe that Grafton is not only the most talented woman writing crime fiction today but also that regardless of gender, her Millhone books are among the five or six best series any American has ever written.”—The Washington Post
“Grafton purposively begins with a standard situation . . . and then sets about breaking every cardinal rule of the mystery novel.”—The Los Angeles Times

Product Details

  • File Size: 808 KB
  • Print Length: 497 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0399158987
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (September 10, 2013)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C5R73JC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,504 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
119 of 136 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Luck caught up with him and pushed him off the cliff." September 10, 2013
The year is 1988. When thirty-eight year old private investigator Kinsey Millhone tries to make sense of a puzzling crime, she jots her notes down on index cards, conducts research in library archives, and determines people's veracity using her finely-honed intuition and innate common sense. As Sue Grafton's "W is for Wasted" begins, Kinsey informs us that business has been slow of late, leaving her free to look into two unexplained deaths. One is the murder of a former associate, Pete Wolinsky, a shady private detective known for his habit of cutting corners. Pete "was morally shabby, disorganized, and irresponsible with money." The second involves a "John Doe" found with Kinsey's name and telephone number on a piece of paper in his pocket. When a representative of the coroner's office asks Kinsey to identify the body, she dutifully agrees. However, after taking a close look at the corpse, she informs the authorities that she has never laid eyes on the man.

Kinsey, partly through happenstance, and mostly because she is too nosy for her own good, meets up with distant relatives who respond with hostility when she brings them bad tidings. She also endangers he life when she digs too deeply into matters that do not directly concern her. As is her habit, Kinsey goes out of her way to lend a helping hand when needed, and sticks her neck out to right any wrongs she encounters. "W is for Wasted" is a bleak mystery that is partly about the unfortunates who live on the fringes of society--young runaways, alcoholics, and the mentally ill who have no fixed address. Grafton explores the plight of those who lose their way and end up in shelters or on the streets.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Eh? Ho Hum September 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book made me want to go back and read A is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton. I have read every one of Grafton's books in this series and surely, they started out better than this very boring book. I mean I kept reading and reading and reading hoping the plot would develop and move forward..But, the first half of the book is filled with flat useless information and rambles along at a very slow pace. Then there are some scenes that made me roll my eyes and say, "Really????" Like the scene where Kinsey goes to an attorney's office whom she has never met. The attorney dashes in late for the appointment, motions Kinsey to come into her office, and proceeds to strip down in front of Kinsey to her thong underwear, wiping off her exercise sweat, and dress in her business attire. I mean, how ridiculous is this? It is crap like that that adds no value to the story or impetus to move it forward. Then, even when the plot picks up, I had little patience or empathy for the characters who are stereotypes of themselves. The end was all wrapped up with sweeping solutions - a donation here, a settlement there, and all is right with the world....Bleech.
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207 of 257 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Honestly, this was terrible. September 17, 2013
By ajdan
I started reading Grafton's alphabet series 20 years ago when I was 12 years old. I've kept up with them avidly since then, usually finishing the new release the day it comes out and whining that I now have to wait 2-3 years for the next installment. Though there were a few stinkers in the preceding novels, I've been shocked by how bad this book is.

The typos alone are inexcusable, but the entire book suffers from a severe lack of editing. Paragraph upon paragraph of tedious description and insignificant details coupled with every single character spouting completely unnecessary exposition and all doing so with the same narrative voice, does not make for good writing nor good reading.

Grafton seems to have forgotten that Kinsey is only 38, and a fit 38 at that, as she gives her asides about not knowing how she'll get up from sitting on the ground and other problems only a much older person and/or someone far more out of shape than her heroine would even think about. Grafton, also, gives us 88 year old Henry in 198whatever saying he and someone "hung out" for a while and uncountable instances where quotation marks inexplicably appear as the Mary Sue of the scene picks right back up telling Kinsey the rest of the exposition which had been narrative in the previous paragraph. And, then, there are the lists of California flora...Lists. Plural.

If the similarities between her 'drama queen' male characters were meant to reflect on each other, the effort failed because nothing about the behavior was ever illuminated and, instead, we just had four very similar characters floating through the book behaving redundantly; likewise, none of the strays in the book were used to any effect by comparison with each other or their relationships with the world, either.
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57 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars W is for Wonderful! (5 stars) September 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading the recent Kinsey and Me: Stories by Sue Grafton all it did was whet my appetite for the new Alphabet Murder Mystery by Ms. Grafton.

I have to say I for one will be saddened when Ms. Grafton eventually reaches Z is for...since I will not know what I will do without my yearly dose of Kinsey Millhone.

This novel takes place more than a year after the events in V is for Vengeance. We have what at first seems to be a murder and one unexpected death with no ties between them. However, as Kinsey comes onto the scene, we eventually figure out how these two deaths are linked.

The murder victim was Pete Wolinsky, a local P.I. that Kinsey knew when she was working on obtaining her private investigator credentials. The unexpected death was a homeless man, John Doe, that had Kinsey's phone number and name in his pocket. Due to Kinsey having some downtime she decides to explore the homeless man's life and finds a surprising connection between herself and him.

What I thought was really well done was we have Kinsey interacting with the homeless community in Santa Teresa in order to found out who the homeless John Doe was and why he had her information. We still have Kinsey loving McDonald's Quarter Pounders, her hot hard boiled sandwiches, and Henry. However, there seems to be a certain new awareness about Kinsey as she is starting to realize that she is alone and though has always clamored for her independence is starting to realize that she wants more connections in her life.

Additionally, we have welcomed appearances by Henry, William, and also two former men from Kinsey's romantic life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars W is for Wasted, U is for Uh-oh?
Gave it as a gift to someone who read all of them from the "A" They liked it.
Published 10 hours ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another exceptional "can't-put-down-'til-it's-finished!" Sue Grafton mystery!!!
Published 12 hours ago by Leslie Dorler
4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a half stars...
I have read Sue Grafton from the beginning, and her Kinsey Millhone series is one of my favorites. But I have been disenchanted with some of her later books. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Cynthia K. Robertson
4.0 out of 5 stars This one was like renewing old friendships with Kinsey
Have read all of Grafton's books from A to (now) W. This one was like renewing old friendships with Kinsey, Henry, Dietz, Phillips and other characters from previous reads. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Kini Plumlee
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Loved it
Published 1 day ago by Stephanie McBain
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A super fun read. All of her books are enjoyable.
Published 1 day ago by Sherri bergeron
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read, as always. Never picked up a Sue Grafton mystery I didn't enjoy.
Published 1 day ago by A. Larsen
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent mystery book
Private Detective Kinsey Millhone is between jobs when she becomes involved with the deaths of two men. Pete Wolinksy, a disreputable P.I. Read more
Published 2 days ago by B. Saffer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 2 days ago by TONI CADE
5.0 out of 5 stars W is for Wasted, Sue Grafton
great book as always by Sue Grafton, perfect in the series.
Published 2 days ago by Sammi
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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.

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Pricing Still Set Publishers?
It appears that $10.99 is the new $9.99 :-(
Oct 22, 2013 by Nancy Z |  See all 3 posts
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