A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
A Is for AlibiNikki Fife is out on parole after serving eight years in prison for poisoning her husband. She hires Kinsey Millhone, hard boiled female private investigator, to discover who really killed the attorney, Lawrence Fife. Millhone accepts the job and starts poking around Santa Teresa, California, to see what she can discover.
Millhone talks to the different people who had been involved with Lawrence Fife before his death. She meets his charismatic partner, his first wife, his grown children and his younger deaf son. She tugs and pulls on different aspects of the story as she learns it, trying to unravel to the truth.
Fife’s young, new accountant died from the same type of poisoning within days after he had. So Millhone goes to Los Angeles to follow her story. Fife’s former secretary is now a dealer in Las Vegas. Millhone drives to Nevada to talk with the ex-secretary. Trouble is following her as she makes the trips. More people are dying. What do the present deaths have to do with an eight-year-old murder?
A is for Alibi is the first novel of the “Alphabet Murders” by Sue Grafton. While Kinsey Millhone is a loner and can be “hard boiled”, she is still a bit softer during this novel. By the end of it her protective shell hardens. She begins to turn into the rougher detective the reader meets in the later novels. In this novel she admits to fear that almost causes tears; I don’t remember that in later novels.
Kinsey Millhone is not always a likeable character. She has a very rough edge, putting her on par with many of the male “hard boiled” detectives. The mystery is excellent. She believes she has solved it, yet she knows some piece is still missing. If she doesn’t figure out what she has missed, she may be killed like others she has met during the course of this investigation.
I had to stick with A is for Alibi to find out just exactly did Kinsey uncover? What is really going on?
Notice: Non-graphic violence, suggestive dialogue or situations