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4.4 out of 5 stars43
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 20 October 2002
I usually don't like to use the word "cozy" in describing a mystery because it makes me think I won't like it but I'd have to say that Grafton's alphabet series can only be described as such. There isn't much violence yet most of the stories do involve a murder. She has the knack for writing plausible yarns that keep the reader guessing until the very end. "C" Is For Corpse is no exception and was a very enjoyable read in my opinion
These are all quick reads and, while they can stand alone, it's more fun starting with "A" and following Kinsey's caseload from month to month. Grafton has written these books in such a way that when you finish one and start the next, only a matter of weeks have passed in Kinsey's life. I find the best time to read them is when you're craving something light and not too taxing on the brain yet written well enough to maintain your interest level. I have "D" Is For Deadbeat lined up next but I'll have to read a few "heavier" books first so that I can fully appreciate the relaxation I experience when reading the next letter in this alphabet series.
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on 8 July 2013
C Is for Corpse (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries)
The book, a first for me by this author, starts off well: "I met Bobby Callahan on the Monday of that week. By Thursday, he was dead." Sentences are short and crisp, and we immediately want to know who killed him. But there are too many characters,one of whom is mentioned on page 18 and doesn't appear again until very much later, when the reader has forgotten all about him, an indication of the pace of the narrative. "I headed towards Saint Teresa Fitness, gassing up on the way" is an indication of the style. A college student gives 2000 dollars to a private investigator on page 15, but it isn't until page 54 that we learn how he was able to do this. That same investigator is able to change into a classy outfit in the confines of a car, not really credible even though American cars are bigger.
There's a liberal sprinkling of four-letter words, as well as blasphemy, and casual sex is taken for granted in all sections of society - and at all ages. There's no denying this book is very readable, but one has to like endless accounts of workouts and minute descriptions of meal-making, as well as descriptions of what everybody drinks. Come to that, the whole book sometimes seems to be swimming in coffee.
The first attempt on Bobby's life leaves him crippled. This word is used a great deal, along with descriptions of the pitying looks he receives and his inability to accept help. This gives some insight into what it feels like to go from being very fit to hardly able to function but there is just too much of it. We are led to believe that the private investigator is the only one who sees the boy as a person.
Descriptions of dead bodies in the morgue are harrowing, and not for the recently bereaved. I guess what I'm really saying is that this book is just too long and would benefit from the author being a little less anxious to produce a doorstop.
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One where Kinsey gets personal. I enjoyed the blurring between personal and client relationships and how it affected her ability to solve the case. It is rare for Kinsey to get emotionally involved and it's what makes the case so interesting.
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Kinsey is working out at the gym when she is approached by Bobby Callahan. Bobby is there doing his rehab, trying to gain as much of his life back as he can after a horrific accident he’d had 10 months before. It was an accident that he shouldn’t have survived, and the fact that he is walking at all is a major miracle.

However, Bobby doesn’t think it was an accident, and he thinks his life is still in danger. Unfortunately, his memory of the time before the accident is vague at best, so he needs to hire Kinsey to fill in the gaps, no matter where they might lead. Kinsey really likes Bobby, so she agrees to take him on as her client. She’s just beginning to make progress when tragedy strikes again. Can she figure out what happened all those months ago and how those secrets are playing out today?

The idea of finding out why someone tried to commit murder 10 months ago intrigued me, and the book definitely delivered on the promise. I will say I figured things out a little bit before Kinsey did, but I was actually proud of myself for putting those pieces together, and that didn’t negate the thrill of the climax at all.

The series doesn’t have a lot of recurring characters, but Kinsey’s landlord actually gets his own sub-plot in this book when he gets a new love interest. I enjoyed seeing a bit more of him. Kinsey herself is a great character who can easily sustain a novel; I truly love her. And Sue Grafton is a master at creating characters with just a few sentences, so we quickly get to know the cast she creates for this book. It is actually fun to watch just how she does that. These well crafted characters also draw us into the story, and we truly feel for them as the events unfold and secrets are revealed.

I am quite happy to finally be visiting Kinsey, and it is easy to see why the series is so popular. If you’ve missed “C” is for Corpse, be sure to fix that today.
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on 29 October 2011
I'd never heard of Sue Grafton before, but I came across her in an Amazon review (along with Lee Child, who is also very good). So I borrowed one of her books from the library, and I'm glad I did.

I can see why Sue Grafton thinks of Kinsey Millhone as her alter ego: she is feisty and fun, a bit like VI Warshawski. Incidentally, like almost all fictional detectives (except Brunetti) she is unmarried: it seems to go with the job!

Sue Grafton is an accomplished story teller, and this is a light, well-honed read. It keeps the reader's attention and has a good plot. Certainly I'll be reading some more Sue Grafton novels.
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on 3 August 2013
Kinsey Milhone is a highly readable character and the early books have a real energy to them.

Only disappointment to this one was the glossed-over ending; the killer was a good surprise, but the intriguing threads which led to that reveal were, unusually for Grafton's books, left largely unclarified.
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on 5 December 2009
Another very good story from Sue Grafton. I like her style of writing it is easy to read but is very clever with some of the twists she puts in. For anyone not having read crime before these books are a good place to start, be careful though once you read 'A you will want to read them all.
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on 16 March 2015
I think that Sue Grafton is a genius wordsmith. She effortlessly paints a picture that makes the reader feel they're alongside Kinsey Milhone. It's not a weighty tome and it's not the most ingenious plot ever but it's such a cracking read. I'd really recommend her books.
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on 10 June 2012
The Alphabet Series started in 1981 (A is for Alibi) and Sue Grafton has released a new Kinsey Millhone story every one or two years since. Her most recent book is V is for Vengeance. Generally a good read, well paced with a likeable main character.
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on 19 August 2012
If you have read and liked the last two books in the series then you will enjoy this one too.
I am halfway through at the moment and really enjoying it as the investigation has a different basis in that the client is dead.
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