``G'' IS FOR GRAFTON by Natalie Hevener Kaufman


The World of Kinsey Millhone
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 A dream come true for the many aficionados of bestselling mystery writer Sue Grafton. Fans who can't get enough of the sassy, in-your-face private investigator heroine of Grafton's mystery series (``A'' Is for Alibi, ``B'' Is for Burglar, etc.) can rely on this breezy book to keep them going through those frustrating in-between-publication periods. ``G'' Is for Grafton (coming from the novelist's own publisher) is an astonishingly thorough analysis of the life of Kinsey Millhone. The authors (Kaufman is a legal scholar and Key a Shakesperean, both at the University of South Carolina, Columbia) poured through Grafton's books, ending with ``M'' Is for Malice, to produce a biography of Millhone, an explanation of her personality, and a walk through her daily life (``Kinsey doesn't take vacations,'' and ``she doesn't keep house plants or pets''), including descriptions of her various apartments (``What does Kinsey do in her spare time to relieve the stress of her high- pressure job or just for fun? Clean the house, of course''). The authors have even included a log of all her cases to date, itemizing the client's name, the object of the investigation, the ultimate confrontation, and Millhone's role in the outcome. (Throughout, information is referenced with the title and page number of the book that served as the source.) But ``G'' Is for Grafton isn't just a compendium of tidbits about Millhone and her psyche--it also examines Grafton's writing style, plot structures, themes, and achievements in contemporary American detective fiction. The authors present a credible argument for her as a leader, if not the leader, in making her genre more psychologically interesting. Also featured is an interview with Grafton. One can only hope that a second volume will follow Grafton's excursion into the second half of the alphabet. (maps, diagrams, photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-8050-5446-4
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1997


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