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X (A Kinsey Millhone Novel) Hardcover – August 25, 2015
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“Lesser authors churn out books. Grafton continues to knock them out of the park.” —Scott Coffman, Louisville Courier-Journal
“Just beneath the extroverted mask she presents at bookstore appearances is the deeply contemplative writer still determined to stretch her chops and chart territory that removes any semblance of a comfort zone.” —Sarah Weinman, Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Sue Grafton first introduced Kinsey Millhone in the Alphabet Series in 1982 and since then, both writer and heroine have become icons and international best sellers. Ms. Grafton is a writer who consistently breaks the bonds of genre while never writing the same book twice. Her awards include the Cartier Diamond Dagger and the Edgar Grand Master Award. She has also won three Shamus Awards, three Anthony Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Bouchercon, and the Ross Macdonald Literary Award. She lives in Montecito, California, and Louisville, Kentucky.
Top Customer Reviews
As a longtime Sue Grafton reader, I enjoyed X very much. I think I read my first Kinsey Millhone book around 1989. X is long at over 400 pages (her earliest mysteries were about 250 pages in hardcover), and shows evidence of padding, such as step-by-step descriptions of Kinsey making coffee or making a sandwich. But I enjoyed catching up with Kinsey and the gang -- her landlord Henry, local pub owners Rosie and William, and occasional romantic interests Cheney and Dietz.
There are two full fledged mysteries in X and Kinsey is racing time to solve both. Meanwhile, there's a minor subplot going on with the strange couple that has moved in next to Kinsey and Henry.
Since Grafton left time behind and has kept her novels in the 1980s (and sometimes the 1960s), I have enjoyed playing Spot the Anachronism while reading her books. But she has defeated me in X. I could not find a single slip up. Power windows in her 1983 Honda? Yes, in some models. Smoking in bars in California in 1989? Yes, the no-smoking law didn't go into effect until 1994. Pan Am from LAX to Heathrow in 1989? Yes, Pan Am was in business until 1991.
While I might not recommend this one to a first time Sue Grafton reader, it's a lot of fun for those of us who've been along for the ride since the actual 1980s.
(Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books for a digital review copy.)
I have devoured the previous Kinsey Milhone books and when they concluded, felt it was not only a good read but a good use of my time--and I always felt that Grafton had delivered. This time? Not so much.
I can't imagine Sue Grafton letting anyone else write in this series (even parts or the entire book) as some reviewers have speculated here, but something is definitely off with this book as compared with those that preceded it. In the past, I've never ever felt bored or found a book lacking tension or its equivalent. I had to force myself to keep reading, believing, wrongly, that the plot really would develop and take on momentum. Maybe this is a style of writing today as I've now read (but did not finish, the first time ever) two other "mysteries" where literally NOTHING happened for close to 300 pages of a 450-page book. Seriously.
I finished this book and as it came towards the "end" I thought I might have a book with missing pages. I'm not kidding. I could not believe we were at the end and with such an ending.
This time around, a whole mess of, to me, trivial subplots (the California drought, the issue with Henry's neighbors, which I won't reveal in case someone reading this wants to read the book or is not finished, the angry and vindictive ex-wife who put one over on Kinsey) and almost no character development or character interaction beyond really minor stuff left me wondering: What is going on here? Or, more appropriately, what is NOT going on.
Disappointed is to put it mildly. But hey, one book out of 24 not up to par...Read more ›
In addition, a socialite hires Kinsey to obtain contact information for a recently released ex-convict. On the home front, Kinsey and her elderly landlord, Henry, are stuck with a troublesome pair of needy new neighbors, Joseph and Edna Shallenbarger. There is something fishy about these two, but Kinsey cannot put her finger on what it is that arouses her suspicion. "X" may refer to Teddy and Ari Xanakis, a wealthy couple who have gone through a contentious divorce. Later, Kinsey will have an opportunity to speak to each of them,
Millhone lives in the fictional California town of Santa Teresa, dresses simply, lives frugally, and is proud of her miserly ways. Her passion is tracking down "life's cheaters." She is revolted by the fact that so many villains get away with their crimes. "My mission is to eradicate the lot of them, " she declares. To this end, Kinsey tails suspects, conducts surveillance, unearths old records with the help of a friendly librarian, interviews cops, and tracks down anyone else who might have vital information.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like how Kinsey's character has grown. This edition brings her past and present self together and allows for personal growth. Read morePublished 2 days ago by tvsilver
I really enjoy reading the Kimsey Millhone books. Keeps me entertained for hours!!! I'm looking forward to reading the next book nowPublished 2 days ago by Gonda Mejia
Sue Grafton again wrote a readable book and let me spend time with my "friend" Kinsey Millhone. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Nancy M
I have enjoyed and read each of the alphabet books, now just finished "X"!Published 3 days ago by maureen t lickteig
I read this book just a little at a time over a couple of months. It was very readable, but many characters were introduced, and the plot wondered around a lot such that I couldn't... Read morePublished 4 days ago by blueshoes
As a long time reader of this series, I was very disappointed in this almost-at-the end installment (which, for the first time, I listened to in audiobook, suffering some... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Rockin-U
I have read all the books from A to X. Always a winner, waiting for Y and ZPublished 5 days ago by nancy rayner