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4.7 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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 10 October 2015
Loved revisiting these stories. Read the novels when they were first published but sent them to Oxfam Bookshop when having a clear out of books. Downside of this is I wish I hadn't, but there you go. Downloaded several of these onto Kindle to go on holiday so the upside is they didn't take up much room. I love the character of Kinsey. She's so down to earth and I recognise some of her attitudes in myself. Give her a try, I'm sure you'll like her and sue Graftons style.
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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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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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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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on 28 June 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed racing through this on holiday. Sadly, it was written pre mobiles and internet, so it's a bit dated. But the plot is twisty and turny, the characters real and it's a satisfying end.
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I’m trying to work through a rotation in my audio book reading, switching between four long running series (with the occasional other book added for good measure). Right now, however, I’m really regretting that. Why? I just finished “B” is for Burglar and I’m already anxious to dive into Kinsey’s next case.

One June morning, PI Kinsey Millhone arrives at her office to find a woman waiting to hire her. Beverly Danziger is looking for her sister, Elaine Boldt. The sisters aren’t especially close, and Elaine splits her time between Kinsey’s town of Santa Teresa, California, and Boca Raton, Florida. Elaine needs to sign a legal document to settle an inheritance, and no one has heard from her in months.

Kinsey starts her search in the usual places, even traveling to Florida where she meets with Elaine’s neighbors. However, she can’t find any trace of the woman. What has happened to Elaine? Will Kinsey ever piece it together?

There is a reason that Sue Grafton has gained such a following over the years (book 24 in the series just came out, so I have some serious catching up to do). She is a wonderful author. As I was listening to this book, I was struck by how wonderful she was at creating characters based on just a few mannerisms and Kinsey’s first person observations. I could easily picture everyone as the book progressed. And as secrets came out, they all fit the characters as they were developing.

The plot was wonderful as well. The clues were so well hidden by red herrings I couldn’t figure much out. I had an inkling where the plot might be going, but I wasn’t sure how everything would come together until the end. The twists kept me so confused I wasn’t very close to being on the right track. And yes, the title does make sense as you get into the story. The pace was steady with things picking up as we neared the nail biting climax. Of course, all the clues came into play as Kinsey figured things out.

I listened to the audio version from Books on Tape and narrated by Mary Peiffer. She was wonderful at bringing the characters and story to life. I’m glad that readers tend to stick with series, and I look forward to reading future books in the series with her.

I’ve actually got my next audio book on hold at the library and it’s not in this series, so I will have to wait to find out what happens next to Kinsey. But if, like me, you’ve missed this popular series, pick up “B” is for Burglar and find just why so many love her books.
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on 21 April 2012
I love this series of really exciting thrillers. They are named from A - Z and I intend to read each one as they become available. I can highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys a really good thriller.
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