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N Is For Noose (A Kinsey Millhone Mystery) [Paperback]

Sue Grafton
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Jun 2008 A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

Sometimes I think about how odd it would be to catch a glimpse of the future, a quick view of events lying in store for us. Some moments we saw would make no sense at all and some, I suspect, would frighten us beyond our endurance . . .

Early spring in the Sierra Nevada, bringing the usual driving sleet and snow. PI Kinsey Millhone is on her way west when she detours into Nota Lake (pop. 2356) to check out a new client. And encounters a chill she can scarcely believe.

Only six weeks have passed since sheriff’s detective Tom Newquist died of a heart attack. His widow is sure he was keeping secrets from her just before he died – and she hires Kinsey to find out exactly what.

But all Kinsey can uncover is that Newquist led an exemplary life, so what could he possibly have to conceal? And why has the town, to the last threatening redneck, closed ranks on her?

Kinsey’s on the point of giving up. Until she discovers a chilling new clue: a childish drawing of a thick length of rope – fashioned into a hangman’s noose . . .

'I love Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone novels . . . you are never disappointed' Guardian

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (20 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330348779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330348775
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.4 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,059 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

Amazon Review

"Suppose we could peer through a tiny peephole in time and chance upon a flash of what was coming up in the years ahead?" The questioner is Kinsey Millhone, middle-aged, two-time divorcee detective and junk food junkie star of Sue Grafton's popular "alphabet" mysteries; the book is 'N' Is for Noose. If Kinsey had had just a smidgen of foresight, she would never have taken her current case, handed down to her from her on-again, off-again flame and comrade in arms, Robert Dietz. We encounter the two this time out after Deitz's knee surgery, as Kinsey drives his "snazzy little red Porsche" back to Carson City, where she checks out his digs for the first time. To her surprise, he lives in a palatial penthouse, which-- under the unspoken bylaws of investigative etiquette--she qualmlessly snoops through. They sit around for a fortnight playing gin rummy and eating peanut butter and pickle sandwiches together, but perennially single Kinsey grows wary: "It was time to hit the road before our togetherness began to chafe."

She heads off to meet Dietz's former client, Mrs Selma Newquist, a devastated widow whose make-up tips seem to come from Tammy Faye Baker. Her husband Tom Newquist, a detective himself, had been working on a mysterious case when he abruptly died of a heart attack. Selma suspects foul play, but bless her, she isn't the brightest star in the sky and can't figure out what Tom was working on even though he's left behind enough paper to fill a recycling truck. Kinsey digs right in and roams the sleepy, one-horse town of Nota Lake for clues, interviewing a colourful cast of in-laws and locals. Beneath the quaint, quiet, country veneer, she unearths a bubbling hotbed of internal strife and familial double-dealing. Was Tom covering up for his partner? Is Selma protecting someone? Grafton's knack for gritty details and realistic characters, coupled with the fast-paced, believable story line, makes for another delightfully entertaining read. --Rebekah Warren --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Exceptionally entertaining...an offbeat sense of humor and a feisty sense of justice."

--"San Francisco Chronicle"

"Millhone is an engaging detective-for-hire...P.I. Kinsey Millhone and her creator...are arguably the best of [the] distaff invaders of the hitherto sacrosanct turf of gumshoes."

--"The Buffalo News"

"Once a fan reads one of Grafton's alphabetically titled detective novels, he or she will not rest until all the others are found."--"Los Angeles Herald Examiner"


"Millhone is a refreshingly strong and resourceful female private eye."--"Library Journal"

"Tough but compassionate...There is no one better than Kinsey Millhone."--"Best Sellers"

"A woman we feel we know, a tough cookie with a soft center, a gregarious loner."--"Newsweek"

"Lord, how I like this Kinsey Millhone...The best detective fiction I have read in years."--"The New York Times Book Review"

"Smart, tough, and thorough...Kinsey Millhone is a pleasure."--"The Bloomsbury Review"

"Kinsey is one of the most persuasive of the new female operatives...She's refreshingly free of gender cliches. Grafton, who is a very witty writer, has also given her sleuth a nice sense of humor--and a set of Wonder Woman sheets to prove it."--"Boston Herald"

"What grandpa used to call a class act."--Stanley Ellin

"Smart, sexual, likable and a very modern operator."--Dorothy Salisbury Davis

"Kinsey's got brains "and" a sense of humor."--"Kirkus Reviews" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Familiar territory 21 Jun 2005
I find it very easy to fall straight into these books.Good descriptive writing about the weather which makes you feel cold too.It slowed down a little halfway through but still lightly gripping.I love Graftons style of writing although I do have one gripe - does she have to describe every place/room etc that she goes into? Leave a bit to the imagination.I've read 10 of the alphabet books so far and love them.I find myself having withdrawal symptoms if I don't read one for couple of months.The plots are sometimes predictable,sometimes not.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Woman Takes on the Whole Town! 31 July 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
If you are like me, you will see N Is for Noose as the ultimate development of the theme, "I am woman . . . hear me roar."
One of my favorite detective story lines is the one where the whole community turns against the protagonist. Despite this, the detective solves the crime. N Is for Noose follows that plot, and is well done. In fact, the book borders on the genre of the Western in many ways. Read it that way, and you'll like it better.
The book has one uncharacteristic quality for this series, Kinsey is quite slow to solve the mystery. I found that intriguing. Most problem-solving in reality is slow and ineffective. To me, it made the story more realistic and interesting to follow. Others will call it slow plot development.
The resolution in the final 40 pages or so is extremely unusual. It combines elements that are found in many other stories, but never in combination. It literally took my breath away. I could not read it fast enough, even though it is over quickly. Such a powerful coda after so many lento sections is an astonishing surprise, and one that worked well for me. Think of this book as having three long, slow movements followed by one allegro one done fortissimo!
Although this is certainly not the best book in the series, it is a very fine one. I urge you to read it, and appreciate its strengths.
Also, think about whether you really want your novels (and especially mysteries) to be too predictable. What kind of unpredictability is good? What kind isn't?
Stand up for what you believe in, too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary but slight 31 Dec 2000
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
In this book, Kinsey is out of her home town and like a fish out of water. Grafton captures her sense of unease and the feeling that she is out of her depth perfectly. I also thought the episodes with the stalker character were really well done, very menacing. However, I thought the story line was weak and unbelievable, although the denouement was tense and exciting. A great read for atmosphere and suspense.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Sue Grafton book 17 Oct 1999
By A Customer
In this book Kinsey has a damaged hand. Unfortunately so did I. This was the first time I had trouble identifying with her - she simply had none of the troubles I did though with two fingers dislocated. Lost my belief. Very samey. Nevertheless I'll probably continue reading them!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I liked the sense of humor that the author projected in this story. I thought it was neat the way she mixed the mystery and the humor together. However I was very disappointed in the ending of this book. I have to agree with the reviewer from California May 27, 1999 that said "the plot was uninteresting and the final scene absurd". I couldn't believe that after investing so much time and effort in following all the clues set forth in this story, the author would end it so abruptly? Ms. Grafton owed the reader a better explaination of what happened. I feel that I ultimately understood the ending, but I resented having to go back and re-read it over and over to get it. The story moved very slowly and I felt there should have been a pay off at the end for exercising such patients, unfortunately there wasn't. I will try some of Ms. Grafton's earlier work, but this story was not up to the usual standards of what I like to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars N is for No! 3 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I started to read this and I had to staple my eyes open to keep myself from not reading. the plot moved so slow that my only hope was that a great ending was my reward for passing this pacience killer. Bummer. The ending was short and ridiculous. One would have to back to and retrace through the book to try to understand the ending. It was the first book I had read by Kinsey, and probably the last.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't get the ending 20 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm confused about the ending -- did the ex-con really attack Rafer's daughter? Was that the motive for Brandt's killings? Or, if the attack was made-up to get Kinsey to suspect Rafer, where's the motive? I've read most of the Millhone series, and I thought this one was a dud.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 12 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with all the Sue Grafton alphabet books they are individual stories but reading A - W Kinsey Millhone, the female Private Detective grows and not only do you read about the case in question but it follows her love life or lack of at times and are really enjoyable reads. This is my third time going through the series as I first had them in books and are now transferring to my kindle and I know in future I shall read them again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking forward to reading the rest in the series
Like many other reviewers, I came across this book as a one-off, not realising it was part of a series. Read more
Published 29 days ago by hagleymum
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I was a bit worried about the book due to the unusually low reviews but after finishing it i really don't see why it has so many poor reviews. Read more
Published 1 month ago by elena kribonoc
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a puzzle
I got a b it confused part way through with all the characters
. I am a fan of Kinsey so look forward to reading the next in the series.
Published 2 months ago by Julie James
5.0 out of 5 stars Pacy, Exciting
Any review I give of Sue Grafton novels has to be taken with a pinch of salt. I have, I think, read all of the "Alphabet" series. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I am running out of things to say. I have enjoyed all of the books A to V. I am not particularly interested in descriptions of journeys, landscapes, houses etc. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Barbara Round
5.0 out of 5 stars N is for Noose
Another great book by Sue Grafton. Loved every minute of it. Love the Kinsey Millhone mysterys and this one was up to her usual stamdard
Published 11 months ago by Marj Red
5.0 out of 5 stars Sue Grafton's N is for noose
As usual Sue Grafton is gently amusing while presenting a quite difficult situation. I haven't found one of her Kinsey Millhone books so far that I haven't enjoyed. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mrs Jean E Kent
4.0 out of 5 stars new v used
The condition of the book wasn't as good as I expected but as we were unable to get it anywhere else we've accepted it. Read more
Published on 21 Jun 2011 by nan
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good one by Sue Grafton!
I have read all the Kinsey stories from A to having just finished N! Love them all . This one was slightly different as I didn't have the first clue what the conclusion would be. Read more
Published on 11 Oct 2007 by K. E. Ashton
4.0 out of 5 stars One Woman Takes on the Whole Town!
If you are like me, you will see N Is for Noose as the ultimate development of the theme, "I am woman . . . hear me roar. Read more
Published on 13 May 2004 by Donald Mitchell
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