A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

A is for Alibi, finished 10-27-12, rating 4/5, mystery, 214 pages, pub. 1982

After I finished the 1000+ IT, I knew I wanted to read something short and satisfying.  I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while but knowing that I was SO BEHIND in the series it was never much of a temptation.  Until I came across the book featured in Books to Die For.  This is a little of what Meg Gardiner says about it, “In Kinsey I discovered a young woman doing a job that had previously been restricted to male private investigators, and doing so in a thoroughly grown-up way, inhabiting her life and her story with confidence and uncertainty and charming, flawed honesty.”  With that recommendation I finally started the alphabet series.

For those who have yet to meet Kinsey she is a hard-edged private eye with an aversion to attachments.  Divorced twice and a one time cop it’s her policy never to sleep with anyone involved in a case, unless they prove irresistible, as in this case.  She’s hired to find the real killer of Laurence Fife, hired by the ex-wife who served eight years for his murder.  The cold case becomes hot again as Kinsey tracks down all the usual suspects.

I really liked this quick mystery.  There were many suspects for such a short novel, but it never seemed too much.  I was kept mostly guessing until close to the end.  It wasn’t perfect for sure, sometimes Kinsey being too oblivious to gloss over and a few extraneous storylines that went nowhere, but I thought it was a solid mystery for a series debut.

I know some of the appeal of Kinsey is that she was one of the first women in the central character detective role, but I think she proved herself worthy of more than just a cursory pat on the back.  Kinsey didn’t give much of herself away in this book and I’m looking forward to getting to know her better as I continue through the alpahbet.