4 February 2009

Forgotten Books: Sue Grafton's Alphabet series

Another contribution to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books theme.

I "discovered" Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone books in 1993 according to my records, about 10 years after the series started.
Now, 25 years on, there are 20 books in the "alphabet" series, A to T, and fans wonder whether Sue will make it to the end of the alphabet.

If you are new to crime fiction, or you've never read any of these books, then it is not too late to start. You'll find them all readily available. In addition Sue's own site will bring the books to life for you. Do try to read them in order though. I think I have seen them in omnibus editions. Even single copies are not going to break the bank.

Kinsey was born in 1950, but she really hasn't aged like the rest of us (I think she has reached a point where she doesn't age any more) . And around her Sue Grafton has built a "family" of characters, adding human elements to crime fiction scenarios that often reflect events in American society or politics.

In 2008 Sue Grafton won the 2008 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in the genre of crime writing. Three of Ms Grafton’s novels have won the Anthony Award at the annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention; she has won three Shamus Awards, and in 2004 received the Ross Macdonald Literary Award given to a California writer whose work raises the standard of literary excellence.

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) has announced that James Lee Burke and Sue Grafton will be installed as its 2009 Grand Masters in honor of the Bicentennial of Edgar Allan Poe's birth.

You might enjoy this video: Sue Grafton being interviewed by Barbara Peters of Poisoned Pen Press and Bookstore, Arizona, where she talks about the creation of A IS FOR ALIBI. The interview is actually in 6 parts each about 10 minutes long. Once you have watched this one, the other videos will show up.


Further on Stop You're Killing Me


Dorte H said...

I have certainly not forgotten Kinsey Millhone :)
I reviewed one of them last week, and I think I own 18 or so of the series. They are generally good & satisfactory reads, but I would not recommend that anyone begin with A and read them all in a few weeks, however, because they are not quite as different as for example Rendell´s Inspector Wexford books.

Bernadette said...

I have been reading them for nearly as long as I've been reading crime fiction. I started in high school with A and have read them all as they've been released (except for T which is in Mt TBR somewhere). They do vary a little in quality but generally are good, solid reads. I've also spent lots of time in and around the part of California that most of the books are set because I have family who live there so I've always liked the "oh...I've been there...I know what she's talking about" aspect. I always wanted to live in the apartment that Kinsey has over Henry's garage :)

PK the Bookeemonster said...

I started reading this series from the beginning. I could kick myself now for selling these first editions at a UBS. (sigh)

Marg said...

I have been meaning to read this series for a long time now.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading this series for a long time now. I'm on I. I'm pretty sure I discovered it around 1995.


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