Friday, November 29, 2013

Book #58. W is for Wasted

W is for Wasted, by Sue Grafton. Unabridged audio.

I have read every book in Grafton's alphabet series, and have enjoyed almost all of them. This one definitely fits in with the majority of book in the series -- it is an very good mystery novel.

A homeless man turns up dead, with Kinsey Millhone's name on a piece of paper in his pocket. This brings her into the investigation, which involves medical research, family feuds, a dead private investigator, and a surprisingly large estate for a homeless man. Compared to most of the other characters in the novel, Kinsey's pure motives for wanting to find the truth stands out. Millhone is skilled in demonstrating her lead character's motivations, as well as putting us in her place. We finally learn more about the other side of Kinsey's family, and these plot points and insights are key to developing her character, as well as solving the novel's underlying mystery.

Many old friends are back for this novel, including Kinsey's ex-boyfriend Robert Dietz. The standout new character is a feline, although a few other human characters make debuts, as well.

The ending of the novel (not the solving of the mystery, but the aftermath) is expecially convenient, especially for Kinsey. It is a scenario that I have seen played out in other novel series, but I do admit that I am intrigued to see how Kinsey reacts to her new situation.

Continuing with a trend that Grafton started a half-dozen or so books ago, this is a longer than average detective story, and we get some scenes from the POV of characters other than Kinsey Millhone. Kinsey's chapters are still first-person, but there are other sections written in third-person, giving us as readers a few more clues as to the big picture of the case than Kinsey has. This is a popular authorial choice in thrillers, and is slowly gaining popularity among mystery writers.

source: public library.

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