Thank you, Sue Grafton, wherever you are, for many, many hours of enjoyable reading. The value of your books is partly your great talent, but it was mostly your hard work, and I want you to know it is greatly appreciated. I read your books every five years or so, and each time I appreciate the skill with which they are crafted.
If you look at the acknowledgements in a Sue Grafton novel, you will see an extensive list of experts from emergency room physicians, to homicide detectives, to sewage treatment plant engineers. This is how she engineered her brilliant endings — hard work.
If you’d like to learn more about Sue Grafton’s life, I urge you to read ‘Kinsey and Me,” a work that combines some Kinsey Millhonne short stories with a brilliant set of vignettes about growing up with two alcoholic parents. Grafton portrays her mother standing in the pantry drinking shots of bourbon and passing out on the couch, and her father sitting down with her and her sister, at a very young age, explaining that he had to side with their mother against them, because she had no other support, a very cowardly position, in my view.
But Kinsey and Me is balanced by some very funny Kinsey Milhonne short stories, one of which is about a book review group that collaborates to murder their respective husbands!
With all this said, I have some beefs with Grafton’s last two novels. In X, Kinsey Milhonne is saved because the nasty serial killer decides ti spare her life. And in Y, Grafton creates a whole circle of friends, a bunch of rich twerps wno are, each and every one of them, a waste of oxygen.
The only decent person in thie circle of friends is the murder victim, and the reader is sorry that any of them survive. On top of all that, the victim has a dog that loved her as we all did, so the ending is a bit of a disappointment. Personally, I wish she’d wiped out the lot of them.