August Murders: Reading Sanctum #14 Kinsey Millhone (G through J)

If you are actually reading this, then you probably are aware that I set myself a reading goal at the beginning of the year that involved my recent acquisition of the final installment of the Sue Grafton novels. With that purchase, I decided to read or re-read (in some cases) through all 25 of the Alphabet Mystery series starring Kinsey Millhone. Even though I have fallen a little behind, I still endeavor to complete my goal.

I have Obsessive Compulsive tendencies, so reading these books in order was always on my Bucket List. I have found that I’m not the only bibliophile that has endeavored to do what I am doing. There are LOTS of Kinsey Millhone fans as well as some detractors. Yes, she can be crabby and whiny. We all get that way, occasionally.

As a demonstration of my accomplishment joy, I have written reviews for each novel posting on Goodreads as well as the blog. I wrote Reading Sanctum #11 in March (Women’s Empowerment Month) where I gave some background information on Kinsey Millhone and reviewed A is for Alibi and B is for Burglar. Earlier this month, I wrote Reading Sanctum #13 which moved us from C through F.

The seventh book in the series is G is for Gumshoe. In this novel, Kinsey Millhone is turning 33. She is hired to check up on a senior citizen who the daughter has been unable to contact. Kinsey must go to the Mojave Desert to see what has happened to the senior. This is a great distraction for Kinsey, seeing as how she was informed that a contract has been put out on her and that she should probably hire a bodyguard.

Kinsey goes into denial about what peril she may be in. She does not believe she needs help until her car gets run off the road, while in the Mojave. She immediately hires another detective named Dietz to watch her back. The intense Dietz develops an intimate relationship with Kinsey while she investigates the whereabouts of the senior, and the assassin seems to be enjoying the cat and mouse aspects of a moving target pursued by a ruthless killer-for-hire. In this one, Kinsey is targeted in ways that differ from the usual. It is quite intense. Her little Volkswagen gets totaled.

Almost a perfect 4 and a half Grey Geeks out of 5

H is for Homicide is book #8 in the series. In my opinion, the best so far. Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone goes undercover after a friend is killed in what appears to be as a result of an investigation for an insurance scam. Kinsey befriends Bibianna Diaz, a professional con artist who has made herself a tidy career out of scamming insurance companies. As Kinsey gets close to Bibianna, she begins to like her.

When they are arrested one night after going clubbing, Kinsey gets further embroiled when they are released the following morning and Bibianna’s very jealous ex-fiancé Raymond Maldonado is waiting for them. Raymond appears to be the author of the insurance scams and has created a high-powered syndicate involving doctors, mechanics, and insurance investigators. As Kinsey gets closer to breaking the case, the more dangerous things become. I loved this one because it clearly demonstrates that Kinsey has some very serious issues regarding loneliness and connection.

An incredible 5 out of 5 Grey Geeks because it shows how disconnected Kinsey can be.

 I is for Innocent is the 9th book of the series written in 1992. Kinsey is hired by the law firm that she currently rents office space from to take over the investigation from one of her former teachers. As she investigates, her former mentor appears to have been lax in his responsibilities, which she finds odd. When he trained her those lapses were unacceptable, but the deeper Kinsey digs, the more it seems that her mentor may not have died by natural causes.

For me, there were several things that stood out regarding the time frame when this book was published in the 1980s. A younger person reading this would be like what is a phonebook? Why does Kinsey search for a phone booth instead of whipping out her cellphone? Even though I lived through the 80s, I kept finding myself distracted by the cultural kitsch of the time period. Even so, I liked this one a lot. The climax culminates in a rare cinematic shootout.

A very good 4 out of 5 Grey Geeks.

J is for Judgment by Sue Grafton is the 10th book in the Alphabet series featuring Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone. This novel involves Wendell Jaffe who was declared dead when his yacht was found floating aimlessly off the California coast. In his suicide note, he communicates that he was flat broke, but when a former California Fidelity agent spots him alive and well in Mexico, Kinsey is tasked with investigating the possible fraud.

As always, there is more than meets the eye, plenty of intrigue, and even murder. There is even a sense of serendipity when investigating Wendell Jaffe intersects with her own family history. Kinsey, who has always prided herself on her ardent independence, gets thrown for a loop when she realizes that there are familial ties close at hand, if she would risk reaching out. Another stellar Grafton work that makes me fall deeper and deeper in love with Kinsey’s sense of humor and personality quirks.

All right, you Beautiful Geek People, needless to say, I want to keep these brief, but I will definitely keep you all up-to-date on how the Kinsey Millhone exploration is going with later Reading Sanctums. If you liked what you read please press the LIKE button. If you have not subscribed, please do so. Until next time, see you! Thanks for reading our content! Remember that we love you. Please stay safe!

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