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A Is for Alibi Paperback – 1 Oct 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New edition edition (1 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033031582X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330315821
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 385,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sue Grafton has become one of the most popular mystery writers, both here and in the US. Born in Kentucky in 1940, the daughter of the mystery writer C. W. Grafton, she began her career as a TV scriptwriter before Kinsey Millhone and the 'Alphabet' series took off. She lives and writes in Montecito, California, and Louisville, Kentucky.

Product Description


"'Skilful and ingenious' Irish Times; 'I love Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone novels... you are never disappointed' Guardian; 'Will keep you awake until the last page has been turned' Daily Mail"

Book Description

The first novel in the Kinsey Millhone mystery series, now with a stunning new look

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Dr Evil TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
Sue Grafton's Alphabet series has been going for about 25 years now (I think 'T is for Trespass' has just been released) and I had been bought the A-J boxset for Christmas, so thought I'd start at the beginning with 'A is for Alibi'.

The story introduces the lead character, Kinsey Millhone. 32 years old, twice divorced and a private investigator. Kinsey is approached by a woman who has been wrongfully imprisoned for 8 years after being charged as guilty for the murder of her husband, a cheating, divorce lawyer who it seems everybody wanted dead. Kinsey is hired to find the truth behind his murder and also comes across another murder of a young woman who knew the victim and died in exactly the same way.

The plot is very tight, yet easy to follow.Not too many characters to confuse the reader and there's no un-neccessary plot fillers. It is just good, old fashioned crime solving that although can be dark and sinister in places, it still feels like a "comfort read" with enough humour and whitty dialogue to stop it from being very unsettling or disturbing - something that the crime fiction genre has reached it's boundries in recent years, so this is a refreshing change. As a massive fan of other female crime writers such as Patricia Cornwell, Karin Slaughter and PJ Tracy, it was nice to read a thriller that is still quite realistic and very exciting but without the gore. Kinsey's character is instantly likeable and believable . The killer stays a mystery until the last chapter, which in this case wasn't that surprising unfortunately, maybe due to the fact that there was only a handful of people that it could have been.

Overall this is a fantastic start to the long-running series, but could be better (and I bet it will be!) and I really look forward to reading on through the rest of Kinsey's investigations.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rich Milligan on 11 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
Looking at a lot of the reviews here, it would seem that many people have done what I've done, i.e. read one of the later books in the alphabet series and then got back to this one, the first to really see how things started.
I would agree with some of the other comments that this isn't the best in the series, but it is good to be introduced to Kinsey for the first time and also some of the other characters we know are going to be popping up throughout the series; Henry Pitts and Rosie being prime examples.
Kinsey Milhone is a 32-year-old Santa Teresa private investigator licensed by the State of California. She is twice divorced, sassy and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty to get the job done. Her latest client is Nikki Fife, a woman recently released from prison after an 8-year stretch for the murder of her husband, the lawyer Laurence Fife. Nikki wants to engage Kinsey to prove her innocence from the charge of her husband's murder, even though she has served her sentence now. Laurence, never one for the quiet life, seems to have picked up a many and varied list of people who potentially might have killed him and Kinsey wastes no time in tracking down his first wife, her children and ex-employees of Laurence, some of with whom he had affairs. She also comes across Laurence's ex-partner the handsome lawyer Charlie Scorsoni, with whom she is more than a little taken.
The quest for the truth takes Kinsey on some crazy back and forth drives to Los Angeles and onto Las Vegas, and ultimately ends with a frantic chase across the beach and some tragic happenings.
The plot is rather complex, or at least I found it so, and it's quite hard to keep track of the different characters.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
My first Sue Grafton was read almost by accident. K is for Killer was given away free with a magazine last year. I enjoyed it enough to go back to the start of the alphabet and attempt to read the full set.
Ms Grafton apparently decided to write after her second divorce. She wanted to kill her ex-husband but knew she'd get caught, so she wrote it instead, and she did a pretty good job. Her heroine, Kinsey Millhone, is coincidentally twice divorced and is the owner and sole employee of her own PI firm, and for some bizarre reason she lives in a garage.
Essentially its a standard detective novel. You know basically what's going to happen, but the fun is in getting there, and trying to figure our 'who done it' along the way. It's never going to win any literary prizes, but it makes good reading, without requiring too much thought. It's lightweight in both physical and mental terms, perfect for sticking in your bag and reading on the beach. I'd thoroughly recommend it and am now off to find out what B is for...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Nov. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've seen Sue Graftons alphabet books for a while as a fan of mystery books and have hesitated before buying them. When this one was on offer on Kindle I thought I'd give it a try. Mainly I found the book an easy read, although there were times when I found myself drifting off, as another reviewer puts it, the character interviews someone, goes running, interviews someone else, goes running. It was during the non interview parts I found the book a little hard going. However I couldn't stop reading because I had to know who done it. Even though I guessed who it was, I didn't feel let down or that it was too obvisous. It's not bad for a first novel in a series, opens up the character but doesn't explore too much. Had this been a one off book it would have probably got 3 stars but as I know it's a series and the character will be developed in later books I've given it an extra star.

I certainly will look forward to reading the next book :-)
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