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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2005
The one great thing about the alphabet series of Kinsey Milhone thrillers is that you always know where you are in the series, so with this being "B is for Burglar" this must be the second book and it takes place only a couple of weeks after the dramatic ending of the first book.
Kinsey has been hired again, this time by Beverly Danziger who is trying to locate her sister, Elaine Boldt, so that the contents of a family will can be shared out. Elaine, who lives in a high-class condominium is Santa Teresa, was last seen taking a taxi to the airport to fly out to her other property in Florida. Kinsey is soon on the trail, talking to Elaine's neighbours in Santa Teresa as well as flying down to Florida to chat to the neighbours down there. The case gets slightly more complicated when Beverly decides that she doesn't want Kinsey to file a missing persons report with the police, Kinsey feeling that this legitimate line of enquiry shouldn't be closed off, terminates her contract with Beverly, only to have Elaine's elderly neighbour in Florida hire her instead. Convinced that there is foul play involved rather than the possibility that Elaine has simply taken a holiday, Kinsey starts to make enquiries about the fire in a neighbouring house that killed a friend of Elaine's, Marty Grice.
This ripping page-turner of a book gains much from the introduction of several really entertaining characters to read about. Julia Ochsner, Elaine's elderly and disabled neighbour from Florida is a real pleasure, mixing girlish enthusiasm with Miss Marple like intuition. Similarly Mohawk haircut wearing punk Mike is also a hoot. Even though these characters take only a small section of the book they really do add to the quality. Introduced for the first time, and soon to reappear in other Kinsey novels are detective Jonah Robb and his ongoing problems with his estranged wife and kids. Vera the man-eater, Kinsey's former work mate at California Fidelity also appears for the first time. One final character I want to mention as it really starts to fill out the character of Kinsey's landlord, sexy octogenarian Henry Pitts, is the taxi driver Kinsey interviews who is a great fan of the crosswords Henry composes.
All in all a great thumping detective thriller, where the likeable Ms Milhone shines and entertains us again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is the second in the Kinsey Millhone P I series, following on from A is for Alibi: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries), but a totally stand alone story. It is June in Santa Teresa when Beverly Danziger walks into Kinsey's office. Her request seems straightforward - can she locate her sister Elaine Boldt as her signature is needed on some legal papers. The estate needs to be settled, but Beverly cannot get hold of her sister and they are not on good terms. Hoping to wrap this request up quickly, Kinsey discovers that Elaine splits her time between Santa Teresa and Florida, but does not seem to be in either location.

Although this is only the second book in the series, the principal character already feels like an old friend. Kinsey is everything a good heroine should be - intelligent, quick thinking, independent and not overly sure of herself. There are also a good cast of other characters to give the story substance, including the elderly Julia Ochsner in Florida, who enjoys the thrill of the chase vicariously. However, the plot soon throws up more questions than answers: who is the unlikeable Pat Usher who claims to have sublet Elaine's apartment, is the murder of a neighbour by a burglar in Santa Teresa linked in any way to Elaine's disappearance and why is Beverly so resistant to reporting her sister as a missing person? This is a fast moving and exciting mystery. My only complaint is that the ending did feel a little rushed. As each mystery follows on from the next, I guess I must download C is for Corpse (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries) and follow Kinsey's adventures.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2007
I have just finished reading B is for Burglar, the second in the Kinsey Millhone series, having not read any of the others. The characters in this book are very well thought out and credible, with just the right element of humour. Kinsey herself is a breath of fresh air, not being particularly interested in anything 'girlie' but being healthily interested in men and quirky food joints! I was a bit disappointed that I'd guessed the outcome about 2/3 of the way through, but was still able to enjoy the story to the end.

I am looking forward now to starting with A and working my way through the rest!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2006
This is, quite obviously, the second in the alphabet series staring Private Detective Kinsey Millhone, one of the most convincing and likeable female private detectives in recent fiction.
First off, only read this book after reading the first novel - series books are always best read in the right order. If you have read the first one in the series, 'A is for Alibi', you will know what to expect. This is more of the same, witty one liners from Kinsey, a well plotted mystery, a full set of convincing characters and plenty of twists and turns. There's nothing that pulls this novel out of the water, making it so amazing and outshining 'A is for Alibi' but it is a solid follow-up. Grafton is still writing superbly well, creating strong descriptions of both characters and settings - which I feel is her strongest attribute as a writer. The ending was a little drawn out but that was a minor fault.
This book has to be read by crime fiction fans, for a well rounded, enjoyable mystery which has a grounded, realistic tone with none of that silly blockbuster nonsense!
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on 26 August 2011
I stumbled upon this series of books when lent a copy of U is for Undertow. I really enjoyed it and have therefore started back at the beginning of the alphabet! This book is set in USA which does not usually suit my preferred reading style, but it is written in a way that is not offensive to the english language! I would recommend these books to anyone that likes low key mystery. Would be good as a holiday read.
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on 18 May 2014
In the second book in the series Kinsey is hired to locate a missing person. This leads Kinsey to fallout with her Client, who just happens to be the missing girls sister, as she does not want to report the disappearance to the Police. The usual characters appear to keep us entertained. As usual Kinsey gets into and out of trouble but comes good in the end. Brilliant read x
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 1999
B is for Burglar is pretty similar to A is for Alibi. I'm starting C is for Corpse today, and I'm sure it'll be pretty similar to the other two. But that doesn't matter, because they're all good.
Everything you need is there. There's enough clues so that you can work out 'who done it', but not so many that you spend the whole book yelling 'it was him/her'. There are enough twists and turns in the plot so that when you think you've got it worked out, something will make you doubt yourself. But in the end you'll be able to say 'oh, I knew that ages ago'. It's great, for what it is, I can't fault it at all.
What I particularly like is that although this book can stand alone - you don't have to have read the previous book to know what's going on - it acknowledges the existance of the previous book, and develops the main character just a little bit more.
And it is just a bit, we have after all got another 24 books to go. We can't find out everything about Kinsey Millhone in one go, or there'd be nothing left to tell us later in the series. She is a fairly complex character - she's nice to old ladies, she fancies old men, she'll kill you if she has too, she wants to know how dinosaurs had sex, and she live in a garage - so there's enormous possibility for what could make up both her past and her future. She is possibly one of the fullest, most well rounded characters I've ever met.
I think the A is for... idea is great, but it does create questions. What will X be for? X-ray? Xylophone? What happens when we finish the alphabet? Will it start again? Or will it be Aa is for...? (Aardvark?)
Keep reading, it's the only way to find out.
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on 4 June 2014
Sue Grafton created a great character with Kinsey millhone, the threads she weaves in the investigations is genius and creates an almost tangible world which draws you in and makes you feel involved in every aspect of the story. Kinsey always goes above and beyond.
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on 4 November 2013
Have enjoyed others from this series more, but this was perfectly adequate, just a bit formulaic. This won't put me off buying others in this series, as I have enjoyed them so far. (not doing them in alphabetical order!!!)
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on 30 July 2014
I enjoyed this book, there's just the right amount of personal side to the story as there is detective side to it. The storyline is never too outlandish to be unbelievable. Easy reading which keeps you entertained.
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