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Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Is For Alibi by Sue Grafton

What a difference a few decades makes! I read my first Sue Grafton mystery years ago when the series first began. I'm fairly certain I read this particular book, although that's a whole lotta books ago, so maybe I'm wrong. In any event, I didn't like the series much, and the reason I didn't like it was Kinsey Milhone.

Fast forward those several decades, and I just finished reading A Is For Alibi, and I loved it! One of the reasons I liked it so much was.... Kinsey Milhone. Go figure.

For one thing, Kinsey doesn't like dogs. I don't like dogs either, and I could easily form a bond with someone based upon their dislike of dogs alone -- even if that someone is fictional.

Milhone's premiere case involves Nikki Fife, a woman who has just been released from an 8 year prison sentence she received because a jury was convinced she'd killed her husband. Nikki maintained all along she was innocent, and now that she's served her time, she's hired Kinsey Milhone to clear her name and find out who really did kill Laurence Fife.

Naturally Laurence Fife had more than a few people who disliked him enough to want him dead. It's up to Kinsey to find out who had the biggest motive. At first she has trouble breaking through the case that had been formed against Nikki, but in time she starts unraveling the lies from the truth. This is a good thing for Nikki, but it's a bad thing for other characters in the book who wind up dead because of Kinsey's snooping.

This time around I really enjoyed Sue Grafton. I like the way she writes, and I found her plot to be tight and well told with just enough clues tossed in here and there to hold my interest.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery where the answer to whodunnit isn't obvious from the first page. And if you're not a dog lover, you've just gotta like Kinsey.

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