Once again, Kinsey Millhone is on the trail of an unknown killer in D is for deadbeat. Sue Grafton’s next is the alphabet mysteries fits right in.
Once again, Grafton has a multitude of characters in this novel. That makes the whodunit aspect of the mystery much more intriguing. For me, it really did end up being a surprise, which was fun. Her characters feel realistic and especially in this one cover a range of emotions due to the plot and everyone’s terrible relations with the deadbeat that everyone is connected to.
As far as the plot goes, it is definitely well written but is by far the saddest so far in the series. The body count is higher and as readers we are invested in a couple of them. Oddly, the plot is a bit of a conundrum, as the deadbeat hires Kinsey first of all to deliver a cashiers check to someone that he can’t locate but then is himself killed towards the beginning of the novel and she sticks on to try to figure out who killed him because she has a sense it wasn’t an accident like the cops claim. So even though we don’t care for the deadbeat we care about the people around him who are connected to him and those who want to get even with him for the terrible things he’s done in the past. That’s what makes this plot most intriguing is because many people have a motivation to get rid of him.
As with Grafton’s other novels, this one is also a quick read, facilitated by her engaging and compelling writing that has a wonderful flow. Other than the sassy, no-nonsense main character Kinsey, her writing style is what keeps me coming back to this series.
Recommended?: Yes, as long as you don’t mind a sad ending (perhaps it’s more tragic than sad). First, of all the books so far, this one stands well on its own. There aren’t that many ties to the previous book and it is more self-contained than any of the other one so far. While the others are fun and do add to the bigger picture of Kinsey Millhone, this one could be picked up out of order or just as a single read of the series and it would be okay. There’s quite a bit of drama, lots of desire for revenge, and slightly more graphic descriptions of injuries. Still, it’s a great mystery novel.
My other reviews of the Kinsey Millhone series: