“K is for Killer” by Sue Grafton
Rating: 3.5 Water Towers
It is always nice to get my latest “Kinsey Millhone” fix. Sue Grafton has become my oasis (now that my all-time favorite’s Perri O’Shaughnessy have apparently completed the Nina Reilly series) in the book realm. A place where I can be with old friends, relax, and know that, eventually, Kinsey is going to figure out who dunnit and move on to the next letter in the alphabet.
In “K is for Killer”, Lorna Kepler had been dead for two weeks when her badly decomposed body was found by Serena Bonney and her landlord, J.D. Burke. Although the body’s decomposition obliterated any attempt to find out if or how Lorna was murdered, the police ultimately decide that no foul play was involved, and, even though the case remained open, it was put on the back burner and left to fade away into the cool Pacific Coast fog.
Lorna’s mother, however, felt differently and six months after Lorna’s death, she decided to do something about it. Finding Kinsey, she explained that she thinks Lorna was murdered, and asked if Kinsey would take the case. Kinsey, after making a few inquiries, decided there were enough unknowns to make it worthwhile to pursue. So with a small retainer from Lorna’s mother, Kinsey went to work.
What follows is typical Sue Grafton. As Kinsey investigates we meet a host of characters and Kinsey uncovers a ton of clues. Many times the clues lead to nowhere, and many times the clues mount up to an overwhelming mountain that Kinsey must sift through, but in the end Kinsey always seems to find that one clue that is the beginning of the end for the killer or killers.
With the help of the police detective originally assigned to the case, and new character, Detective Cheney Phillips, Kinsey finds out that Lorna had more than a few skeletons in her closet. Lorna was a prostitute, had starred in an un-released porn film, and was great with money. In the course of the investigation a mysterious man forces Kinsey into his car and leaves her with a number to call when she has more information.
The ending of “K is for Killer” comes suddenly with Kinsey finally realizing who the killer is and calling the mystery man. Luckily for Kinsey that person arrives just in time to save Kinsey.
Sue Grafton is writing a marathon. As such, the books take a more leisurely approach and she is revealing Kinsey’s life (and others like Harry, Rosie, and now Harry’s brother, Detective Dolan, and others) one small step at a time…no rush.
Unlike other series, this one is very easy to know where to start.