- Kinsey Milhone, in Sue Grafton’s X
One of my most favorite writers, Sue Grafton has written that the fictional private detective is a lone crusader for justice. And nobody does it better than Kinsey. For years, I’ve savored each volume in Grafton’s abecedarian series, eagerly anticipating the next as soon as I’ve turned the last page. Now, with only two volumes left to complete the alphabet, I’m yearning (there’s a nominee for the next title) for more letters.
In X Grafton deftly interweaves three subplots, keeping Kinsey in high gear. As always, Kinsey’s voice is a perfect pitch of curmudgeonly humor, crisp insight and loyalty to those she esteems. Will she work without compensation for a just cause? You bet, even when it puts her at risk, as it does here. Protecting the interests of her landlord against the neighbors from hell, tracking down some nasty unfinished business left by a deceased colleague and doing stakeout on a classy lady who scammed her, Kinsey travels the California highways with her wits and her overnight bag in tow. You won’t want to miss a moment.
Those familiar with Grafton’s series (and, if you’re not, what are you waiting for?) will recognize that the title of this latest volume is unique. Until now, the formula has been A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, and so on through W is for Wasted. This time, it’s plain X – the unknown. But just to show us she could have come up with one, Grafton sprinkles a few “X” words throughout her first chapter.
In my view, X is for X-traordinary. Read it and see.