Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Kinsey and Me Stories" My Thoughts

In 1982, Sue Grafton introduced us to Kinsey Millhone. Thirty years later, Kinsey is an established international icon and Sue, a number-one bestselling author. To mark this anniversary year, Sue has given us stories that reveal Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past.

Kinsey and Me has two parts: The nine Kinsey stories (1986-93), each a gem of detection; and the And Me stories, written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. Together, they show just how much of Kinsey is a distillation of her creator’s past even as they reveal a child who, free of parental interventions, read everything and roamed everywhere. But the dark side of such freedom was that very parental distance.

The same feisty voice and witty apercus (an immediate impression, I think that's what that word means) readers fell in love with in A Is for Alibi permeate the Kinsey stories. Those in the And Me section trace a remarkable voyage, from anger to understanding, from pain to forgiveness. They take us into a troubled family, dysfunctional as most families are, each in their own way, but Grafton’s telling is sensitive, delicate, and ultimately, loving. Enriching the way we see Kinsey and know Sue, these stories are deeply affecting.

I've read (I think) all of Sue's alphabet series, after my daughter told me about them about 20 years ago. I had to do a lot of catch-up reading of them until I finally got them all read. When I noticed this book by Ms. Grafton to mark this anniversary year, I knew I had to have it to read. I was not disappointed.

I  especially enjoyed the preface part of the book, explaining things about writing mysteries which I hadn't thought about. One point she made is something I've always agreed with: "The culprit has to be a visible entity in the body of the tale. In other words, the killer can't be someone who pops out of nowhere in the last paragraph." I hate reading a mystery and that happens, makes me so mad!

Another point she wrote about that I thoroughly agree with is: "The solution to the puzzle and the explanation for the crime have to be natural and logical. No ghosts, no Ouija boards, and no Divine Intervention." A few books I read recently were ruined for me just because of those very things. I hate paranormal books!

Now to the 'Kinsey' part of the book, I loved it, I loved these short mystery stories about Kinsey. They told the story without a lot of unnecessary filler. These were nine quick little reads, that I didn't want to end. So I only read two or three a day, so the book would last longer. Now on to the 'And Me' part.....

I'm not sure if this was an autobiography, about her life when she was young or not. It was written 10 years after her mothers death, about Kit Blue, and is a bit dark. If it is autobiographic, she had a very sad beginning in her young life. I can't imagine having to live a young dark life like she describes. However, I'm sure many people have and survived, just as she did. All in all I have to say I liked this book, and awarded it 4****

This book is part of my Nook library.


  1. This sounds like an interesting one. I have seen the alphabet series around alot. I just finished reading an author biography myself.

  2. This does sound like very good reading! I'm so glad you're enjoying your Nook so much!