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X (A Kinsey Millhone Novel) Hardcover – August 25, 2015
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Praise for Sue Grafton
“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.
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Top Customer Reviews
several times to make sure that it wasn't some Chinese knockoff. The writing doesn't sound like Sue Grafton's and Kinsey doesn't sound like Kinsey.
Sue Grafton has always been a little overly descriptive when it comes to driving. I don't think I've ever enjoyed reading about the streets she takes to get wherever she's going. Until this book, however, it didn't seem like padding to make the book fit a certain number of pages. And, do I really need to know what a mailman wears? Sure, maybe it's odd that he's wearing shorts when it's chilly, but to read he is wearing a blue shirt is kind of ridiculous because mailmen have been wearing blue shirts for as long as I can remember and that's a long time. And, I don't really think anyone with Kinsey's lack of fashion sense would know the names of luxury fabrics or styles--especially when it comes to clothes for men.
The pace of X is very slow and I am sorry to say I just didn't care about the main plot until the last 25 pages. This is a 403 page book and I would say that 25% of it could have been edited out.
Another disappointment is that Kinsey seems to have become as boring as her Honda. Don't take offense Honda fans. I drive a Honda and it's just fine, but there's nothing exciting about a Honda unless it's red. Just kidding. What happened to her spunky, opinionated self? Being secure financially shouldn't have turned her into a drone.
The good news is that Henry, William, and Rosie are still kicking. One of the subplots involves Henry and even though it is reminiscent of another Kinsey book it is still good to have him included even though he is obsessed with plumbing.
I have not given up on Kinsey, but I probably will not buy the next book hot off the press. I will wait until I can get it used for $5 or less--including shipping.
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.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Kinsey makes it so easy to read.
Looking forward to the next great event on Ms Grafton list of best sellers.