Sue Grafton has hit on a great formula and I don't use that term in a derogatory way. She sets up the story in detail and with humour and humanity. Our heroine, Kinsey, is someone who grows on you book by book and does silly things as well as clever ones showing endearing traits as well as frustrating ones. The writing is good with varied pace and doesn't involve tracts of technical detail. So if you don't know the books, this will be atreat for you and you needn't start at A and work through them, though having read one, I tried to do this. Each stands alone and gives you an interesting detective story with thriller elements and witha realistic and sympathetic heroine, and one with whom both women and men can identify with little trouble.