I knew that even longtime fans of the Kinsey Milhone series admit there are some sub-par books in the series, and I wasn’t sure when that started. In my opinion, “H” is for Homicide is that first disappointing book in the series.
This book opens with a shocking murder. Over the last couple of months, PI Kinsey Milhone has gotten to know Parnell Perkins, a new employee at California Fidelity, the insurance company where she has office space. They usually got out for drinks after work two or three times a week. So, Kinsey is shocked when she swings by the office after several days out of town to learn he’s been shot in the parking lot. The trail seems to have grown cold, too, and soon the case disappears from the headlines.
Kinsey herself is soon distracted by a new case. California Fidelity has asked her to look into a claim filed by Bibianna Diaz. Something seems off about the claim, and Kinsey quickly agrees. Her strategy is to get close to the woman and find out what is really happening. But how will Kinsey handle the curve balls of this case?
Before I go further, I have a rant. When you are doing alphabet mysteries, homicide is an obvious choice for “H”, so the title doesn’t surprise me. But if that’s the case, wouldn’t you expect the actual homicide to be a main focus of the book? It isn’t. Instead, we focus on insurance fraud, which is a great case, but could have easily been the plot for the next book in the series, “I”.
Setting that rant aside, the book starts out well as Kinsey gets close to Bibianna in hopes of proving the obvious. There were some good twists that made her life much more complicated. And then the book got bogged down in the second half. We get a different story than the book promised by the beginning, too. It really does feel like author Sue Grafton had done a lot of research into insurance fraud and wanted to share that with us. I was chomping at the bit to get another twist or more action, but then when we reached the climax, it was over all too quickly.
The series is not known for series regular characters, which holds true here. Kinsey is pretty much on her own for most of this book. She’s a strong character, and she is surrounded by a crop of strong new characters, so I didn’t feel this was a problem at all. In fact, the characters were so strong that we certainly did care about the outcome even though we’d never met any of them before.
Once again, I listened to the audio version narrated by Mary Pfeiffer. She is absolutely wonderful at infusing Kinsey’s narration with life and making the story fun to listen to. I highly recommend these audio versions if you are looking for something new.
The end of this book does change things for Kinsey, so fans will want to read it to find out what that is, although it is dropped on us almost in passing.
I wish this book held up to the promise of the first half because I was really enjoying that. As it is, “H” is for Homicide is a book fans will need to read, but it’s not a good place for those new to the series to start.
This is Grafton at her best. I love it when Kinsey has to go undercover and this kept my heart tripping until the last page. It is a tightly woven plot which speeds along building up the tension to breaking point. The car theft strand promises to be quite tedious at the beginning but Grafton successfully injects this story with more than enough menace to make it a real page turner.
H is for Homicide is pretty obviously the 8th instalment in the Alphabet series of murder mysteries staring our intrepid private investigator Kinsey Millhone. In this book we pick up Kinsey returning from a successful three-week investigation. In her absence though a new boss has been brought into California Fidelity to generally shake things up and save money. For poor Kinsey this means an interview with the dreaded Gordon Titus as Kinsey rents her office space from the insurance company. After the explosive “chat” with Gordon, Kinsey is straight onto a job for California Fidelity investigating a case of potential false claim by a woman named Bibianna Diaz. Kinsey tracks down Bibianna but although she find she actually quite likes the feisty young woman, their evening out together ends in disaster when Bibianna’s boyfriend (an interestingly enough an old flame of Kinsey’s) ends up shooting someone. This isn’t the most involved of the Kinsey books and rather simple plot and sometimes repetitive storyline might seem like a let down. Where the book does score excellently though is the superb characters that litter the pages, whether it’s the deluded fiancée of Bibianna, the scary Raymonda, his stoic sidekick Luis or Bibianna herself these bunch of strong characters will have you glued to the pages.
I`'ve only just started reading this series of books, and although they follow the same formula, Kinsey gets a seemingly simple case, that turns out to be something more involved, usually ending with a frantic ending. This one is slightly different, in that she reluctantly goes undercover to infiltrate a gang working an insurance fraud. One thing I like about Sue Graftons books is that the solutions are unfolded slowly over the last few chapters, there's no gathering of the suspects in the library. However this one did end rather abruptly, this was because the epilogue was after the acknowledgements and authors profile. One other point, these early books in the series were written before the advent of mobile phones and the internet, so a lot of the time Kinsey is driving around visiting various institutions or trying to sneak of, to use a payphone. It will be interesting to read how the stories develop in the future. Oh well 8 down 15 to go.
I saw this book in my local supermarket where they had an offer of two books for £5. As i am an avid fan of crime, mystery and thriller i picked up "H for Homicide" and "K for Killer". This book was very disappointing as i had heard so rave reviews about this author. I felt that she went put far too much emphasis on the details on every single character that took part in this story, that she strayed from the main storyline itself. Although the novel is short in comparison to her other books, i felt that this particular one was too drawn out and boring in a lot of places. Another thing i noticed is that the title is very misleading, i thought this book would be about homicide but it was mostly about fraud. Didnt like the ending much either as it was too predictable. Save yourself the effort and most of all the money!! This book was boring.
As always this writer delivers a great read. i love this style of book because it is written in first person. other books that i have enjoyed written in this style include Mike Faricy's Dan Haskell, which is set in the US and in the UK, the Penny Detective which is an excellent read by John Tallon Jones and is set in a fictional town near Liverpool.