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Tuesday, September 1, 2015


            X is the 24th book in the best-selling Alphabet series written by Sue Grafton. Private investigator Kinsey Millhone is back to solving mysteries; this time the reader gets three for the price of one. As usual, the story is set in Santa Teresa, California; it is the spring of 1989. Some of the characters in this book are old friends of the reader: Henry, Kinsey’s nonagenarian landlord, Rosie the owner of the bar that Kinsey hangs out at, and others.

            And the three mysteries? One involves a job offered to Kinsey by a wealthy woman to find the child she gave up for adoption. Only the woman isn’t who she seems to be, as Kinsey discovers when the police question her about the marked bill that she received in payment. She eventually uncovers the truth as well as acts as the go-between for a divorced couple trying to one-up each other.

            Mystery number two is a job that PI Pete Wolinsky was unable to complete before he was murdered in Grafton’s last book. It involves a list of the names of six women that Pete was trying to protect. They all are or were involved with Ned Lowe: his daughter, ex-wives, current wife, and old girlfriends. Ned tried controlling all of them. Did he murder one of them too?

            Mystery number three is minor yet humorous. An elderly couple moves into the house next door to Henry and Kinsey. At first they are viewed as a pitiful pair, the husband is confined to a wheelchair and they are low on funds and without a car. Henry always is doing favors for them. But Kinsey senses something is not as it should be, and her investigations lead to the truth.

            Humor, suspense, well-drawn characters that you’d like to know better; this book has it all.

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