Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Kinsey and Me: Stories Hardcover – January 8, 2013
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
*Starred Review* What could be better, while waiting for the twenty-third mystery in Grafton’s alphabet series, than this revelatory collection of stories featuring both Grafton’s alter ego, PI Kinsey Millhone, and the author herself? The volume includes 9 stories with Kinsey as protagonist (8 were published in 1991 in a very limited edition for family and friends); 13 short-short stories about Kit Blue, a younger version of Grafton; an introduction; and an essay, which bridges the two sections of the book, about the development of the private-eye mystery. In the Kit Blue stories, Grafton lays bare the pain of growing up with an alcoholic mother who died too young of cancer yet also credits her mystery writer and lawyer father (also alcoholic) and mystery-reading mother for making her the writer she became. Readers are likely to revel most in the wonderfully concise Kinsey stories, 2 of which, The Parker Shotgun and A Poison That Leaves No Trace, are award winners. Also especially intriguing are The Lying Game, written for Land’s End’s fortieth anniversary catalog in 2003, and Falling off the Roof, in which members of a mystery book club take their passion for murder beyond the printed page. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: To whet fans’ appetites for W Is for . . . , the Kinsey Millhone mystery coming in 2013, Grafton offers a selection of Millhone and Kit Blue short stories. Kinsey fanatics, sensing the coming end of the landmark series, will be thrilled to read this nonalphabetic extra. --Michele Leber
Praise for KINSEY AND ME
“Brutally honest, emotionally powerful, ‘Kinsey and Me’ is a revelatory triumph, a dance often macabre, but also a dance of celebration choreographed by a writer whose contemplations on justice never fail to offer rich rewards for legions of readers.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“[An] alternately hilarious and pitch-dark new collection . . . The Millhone pieces are sparkling little gems in which the more leisurely pace of the novels is compressed into a mere 20 pages or so; that Kinsey manages to introduce herself, establish the mystery and then solve it, credibly, in such a small span of time and space is nothing short of miraculous. The odd thing is that we don't feel slighted by the relative brevity of plot or even characterization; Grafton is a master of the quick, economical bit of detail, the phrase that tells (or, better, implies) everything. . . The Kit Blue stories are the book's dark heart, its bitter aftertaste, and may come as a grim surprise to many of the author's fans, whose impression of her is of a cheerful, indomitable woman more like the wisecracking Kinsey than the haunted Kit. Of course she is both, and she shares them with us here, bravely, in equal measure. Lucky us.”—Chicago Tribune
“Sue Grafton’s most insightful and revealing book to date is arguably ‘Kinsey and Me,’ . . . The catharsis of ‘Kinsey and Me’ is Grafton’s gift to her readers, who see that she is Kit Blue and Kinsey Milhone as well as a writer who, in creating both characters, has accepted and also transcended herself. In identifying with Kit and Kinsey and Sue Grafton too, readers can better negotiate their own imperfect lives with humor and courage and strength.”—The Courier-Journal
"Terrific . . . The Kinsey stories and the Kit stories together open a window into Grafton's soul."—USA Today
“What could be better, while waiting for the twenty-third mystery in Grafton’s alphabet series, than this revelatory collection of stories featuring both Grafton’s alter ego, PI Kinsey Millhone, and the author herself? . . . Kinsey fanatics, sensing the coming end of the landmark series, will be thrilled to read this nonalphabetic extra.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Provides moving and surprising insights into the woman behind the bestsellers…fans will admire Grafton’s impressive output and feisty fictional detective all the more knowing the challenging beginnings from which both grew.”—Publishers Weekly
"It's a pleasure just to be in Kinsey's company as she refreshes the formula conventions with her snappy wit and candid opinions."—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
First, I was surprised how well the Kinsey Millhone short mysteries stand up after over two decades. Each story is self-contained, requiring no previous familiarity with Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone. With only a few characters per story, there are necessarily few suspects, yet each story kept me guessing to the end. They originally appeared in magazines and mystery anthologies in the late 80s and early 90s and are collected here for the first time.
The second part of the book is a collection of previously unpublished short stories that are taken from Sue Grafton's own life and relationship with her alcoholic parents. These are more personal, although still written as fiction, and quite dark. Grafton manages to keep the stories taut and avoids self-pity. Despite these pluses, I still found the stories too depressing and didn't read them all.
While I can't speak for the literary merit of the semi-biographical stories, I suspect they would only be of interest to those who are curious about Sue Grafton as a writer. As for the mysteries, which take up a little over half the book, an aspiring writer would do well to study them -- Grafton gets right to the point, draws you into the action in a few sentences and doesn't indulge in flowery descriptions.
If you are reluctant to hit the buy button, try the Kinsey and Me Free Preview. It contains a complete Kinsey Millhone story, some words from Grafton, and a complete non-Kinsey story. It's quite representative of the book and better than the usual kindle sample that just gives you the first few pages.
I'm not an enthusiastic short story reader - though I've been reading them more lately - and I don't think these stories are in any way comparable to Grafton's books. They're fun to read and you might learn a bit more about Kinsey Milhone and Santa Teresa and her milieu. It will certainly help ease the days til her next book, which is "W is for something or the other".
However, any long-time reader of the Kinsey Milhone books has to be interested in Kinsey's back story. Reared by an aunt after the death of her parents in a car crash she survived, Kinsey didn't have much of a family life. She was given a little life-guidance by her aunt, but basically Kinsey raised herself, under her aunt's protection. In Grafton's book, she writes about her own family. She was the daughter of two alcoholics and her mother was a recluse who died of drink and smoking and esophageal cancer when Sue was about 20 and had already left home to an early marriage and baby. Her father was also an alcoholic - but a more functioning one than her mother - and was an author of mysteries and a lawyer in Louisville, where Sue and her older sister, Ann, were raised.
Raised as the children of wealthy alcoholics; enough money, but little love and attention. Three marriages and motherhood seemed to bring into sharp focus the sad relationship Sue had with her own mother. Guilt, maybe, because she was unable to "fix" and "save" her mother. Her father wasn't any more successful at "fixing" and "saving", either. The fact that Sue Grafton chooses to have Kinsey an orphan perhaps negated the need to write about a mother-daughter relationship in the novels.
So, the second section of the book is the "me" part. Fifteen or so vignettes about her mother and father and their relationship, as well as their sad individual stories. The stories are fictionalised but the reader knows exactly who they are about. This part is pure memoir and a bit of self-reflection.
I'm not sure if the average Sue Grafton fan will like this book. It's certainly different than what she's done before as aimed at her mass audience. I enjoyed it, but was left with the feeling that maybe the second part was more important to Sue Grafton than the first part. If as a reader you've ever wondered about Kinsey Milhone, you might find some answers in this book.
Oh, and in her preface, she gives a lively history of literary mysteries. Quite interesting.
Kinsey and Me: Stories is a closer look into the character and the author. In the first section, we enjoy several short stories featuring Kinsey with her trademark tough girl persona and her ability to "lie" and follow the clues with diligence.
In the second half, Grafton takes us into her own life in the ten years following her mother's death. She writes: "At the remove of some fifty years, I still find myself reluctant to lift the veil on a period of my life that was chaotic and confused. Looking back, I can see that I was rudderless and floundering, that in attempting to save myself, I hurt others...."
In the introduction to the final section, she says that "Kinsey Millhone is the person I might have been had I not married young and had children. She is more than that. She is a stripped-down version of my 'self'--my shadow, my projection--a celebration of my own freedom, independence, and courage."
With Kinsey Millhone as her alter ego, Grafton describes Kit Blue, featured in the final stories, as a younger version of herself. In Kit Blue, we see the pain of the lost child whose parents dived into their bottles and abdicated their roles as parents. We also see how she comes to terms with her life and what remains.
In Kit's voice, we read this description:
"My parents were lost people, refugees, and not from any country that I've seen, not the victims of the known wars on this earth, but refugees in subtle battles fought somewhere inside and won and lost and borders crossed and flags laid down. My parents were the displaced...not of this world but from their lives, separated from themselves somehow when all those inner wars came to an end."
I believe that most writers create their best versions of life in their fiction from the pain, angst, and interior journeys they have slogged through. And Grafton's latest creation takes us to the heart of that interior world and lets us see her very soul. Five stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The short stories about Kinsey were great.
The stories based on Ms.Read more