What happens when a PI becomes a target? Especially when she is working on another case? That’s what we find out in “G” is for Gumshoe, the seventh entertaining Kinsey Millhone Mystery from Sue Grafton.
At the beginning of May, Kinsey is hired by Irene Gersh. While Irene lives in Santa Teresa with her husband, her mother lives out in a community near the Salton Sea with no phone or addresses. The mother and daughter usually talk once a month, but Irene hasn’t heard from her mother recently, and she wants Kinsey to drive out there and find her mother.
Meanwhile, Kinsey receives a call from a man she’d done a job for in the past. The criminal she’d helped track down is vowing to get his revenge on everyone he feels wronged him, and he’s hired a hit man to kill them, including Kinsey.
Kinsey doesn’t take the threat too seriously and heads out to find the mother. Will she be able to track her down? Is someone out to kill her?
Sometimes, when an author has two parallel plots, they add up to a great plot as the two build off each other. In this case, I really felt like these were two ideas that the author couldn’t quite flesh out into a full book each. This was especially driven home in the middle when the pacing really slowed down. It felt like we were waiting for some event to kick off both storylines again. Once the stories got the added push they needed, we were off on a fun ride through the climax.
We are slowly getting to know some supporting characters in Kinsey’s world, and part of the middle of the book involved a sub-plot with one of them. I do love getting to know supporting characters better, especially because they are helping us get to know Kinsey better as well. We don’t have too many new characters this time around, but they are given plenty of page time to become real and make us care about the outcome.
I’m continuing this series on audio, and Mary Pfeiffer’s narration is outstanding as always. She capture’s Kinsey’s attitude in the first person narration perfectly, and I really enjoy listening to them as a result.
While “G” is for Gumshoe isn’t the strongest entry in the series, there is still plenty here to entertain Kinsey’s fans. If you are new to the series, you might want to back up to the beginning to fully enjoy this book.
Of the first 7 books written in the Alphabet series of mysteries I would say without a shadow of a doubt that "G is for Gumshoe" is the best one written so far. This is for a number of reasons, the plot this time is divided into two sections that are given equal weight, so you have the main investigation and then you also have the happenings in Kinsey's personal life, which as I say this time do not play second fiddle to the main plot. What the book also benefits from are the re-appearances of several characters from earlier novels that are great fun to meet again. The Dietz and Millhone combination makes for great fireworks especially as Dietz is basically a male version of Kinsey. It's also great to meet some old faces again, apart from Henry we also catch up with Vera the man-eating claims manager from California Fidelity as well as Darcy who also works there.
Sue writes a very exciting mystery story and so far I have read all up to 'P' and every one maintained the same level of suspense and interest. What's more, unlike some mystery writers, all Sue Grafton's tales appear possible in the real world.
I recommend Sue's books to all lovers of mystery stories.
The investigative procedure plays second fiddle here to more insight into the private life of the emotionally shut down Ms Millhone. It's always a treat to get insight into some new aspect of her complex character. Having said that, this is a first rate investigation too, so bonus time all round.
At times these books feel as if they are from another era - which in a way I guess they are. Kinsey's life isn't helped by mobile phones or other such modern conveniences.
This one gives her 3 happenings to cope with and re-introduces a character from a previous story. Kinsey is amazingly resilient, smart and at times laugh out loud funny. I am re-reading these stories in order and try to ration myself with other things in between. The other stuff sometimes serves to prove the difference between a story like this one that can hold your interest and pull you into the characters' lives, and the rest where sometimes I don't care at all what happens to the characters, even if I get to the end of the book!
Well done Sue Grafton and bring on H is for Homicide.
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 a treat 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 with a realistic and sympathetic heroine, and one with whom both women and men can identify with little trouble.
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.