3 October 2009

Crime Fiction Alphabet: A is for Alibi

I originally wrote this post as a contribution to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books theme. Today I am republishing it as part of the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme.

A is for ALIBI by Sue Grafton

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. The first book in the series was A is for Alibi.

When Laurence Fife was murdered, few mourned his passing. A prominent divorce attorney with a reputation for single-minded ruthlessness on behalf of his clients, Fife was also rumored to be a dedicated philanderer. Plenty of people in the picturesque Southern California town of Santa Teresa had a reason to want him dead. Including, thought the cops, his young and beautiful wife, Nikki. With motive, access, and opportunity, Nikki was their number one suspect. The jury thought so too.

Eight years later and out on parole, Nikki Fife hires Kinsey Millhone to find out who really killed her late husband.

Read an excerpt on Sue Grafton's very interesting web site.

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


Bernadette said...

I do enjoy Kinsey Millhone, and wouldn't we all like to to stop aging the way she has? I hear U is for Undertow is due in December.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Bernadette - I wish we could all stop aging, too : ). Kerrie, thanks for the re-review :). Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone is a great protagonist.

Marg said...

At one stage I borrowed the first book in this series but had to return it to the library unread. I have been meaning to read the series forever, so I really should reborrow it. The only down side is starting yet another LONG series!

Kerrie said...

I haven't read T (for Trespass?) yet Bernadette - do you have a copy?

Kerrie said...

It is fascinating that she has got as far as this Margot. -U V W X Y Z - she must feel the end is in sight

Kerrie said...

Never too later to start Marg, but 20 books is a bit daunting


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