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I have listened my way through Sue Grafton's alphabet and been rewarded with better and better tales. This is no exception.
This is a nice listen ~ an exciting story with engaging characters we can grow to care about.
Grafton is particularly successful in "maturing" Kinsey ~ the irreverence is still present, but it is less overpowering. Instead, we meet a more grown-up Kinsey, someone capable of really caring about others (even a cat!), of intense self-examination, of emotional growth and of committed romance. This is not the Kinsey of the early alphabet ~ this is a much more real character and one it is much easier to care for.
It is especially welcome to see Kinsey begin to develop friendships (romantic and otherwise). Such relationships have never seemed quite real in the past, in part because Grafton crafted Kinsey as a loner. Now the shell is cracking a bit, and a new Kinsey seems to be emerging.
The other characters are equally well developed. We can empathize with them, become frustrated by them, or disapprove of their behavior. We learn a bit more about the regulars (Henry, William, Rosie) and we meet some very well drawn episodic characters.
Grafton does an especially good job with the "villains" ~ both great and small. They are certainly bad enough, but Grafton gives them credible motivations for their behavior. No one likes to admit they are evil and these "bad guys" all have their own motivations and explanations that leave them less blameworthy, less evil (at least in their own eyes). This is how the real world works, and it is refreshing to see it reflected so aptly in fiction.
I've read through some of the other reviews and I do not understand the thoroughly negative ones. Grafton has never rushed her stories, and the extra details she offers help round out her characters and the world they inhabit. This leads to longish (11 hour) but certainly not overly long tales and, importantly, a series that develops and matures. Too long for you? Speed up your playback or shift to an abridged version.
For me, and happily for most other reviewers, this is just the right length and a creditworthy addition to the Kinsey Millhone series. With it, Sue Grafton is coming into her own. It almost makes you sorry the alphabet has only 26 letters.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I've read all of Grafton's series, and I think I enjoyed this one the most so far. Her wry humor is really just clicking in this book, and I found I was giggling to myself in my car on the way to work.
It was also nice that Kinsey finally got to go shopping, and get out of those jeans and black turtlenecks! I liked the love story part of this, and I say it's about time she got to do some fun stuff.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This is one of my most loved of the Grafton series. The characters are all wise-cracks and engaging, lively and memorable. I found it amusing to see Kinsey as an uneasy 'mother hen'. Also, Judy Kate is perfect as Kinsey, I couldn't imagine anyone better.