Friday 29 September 2017

Book ~ "B is for Burglar" (1985) Sue Grafton

From Goodreads ~ Although business has been slow lately for P.I. Kinsey Millhone, she's reluctant to take on the case of locating Beverly Danziger's sister, Elaine Boldt. It's a small matter that Beverly should be able to handle herself. So why is she enlisting Kinsey's services? Beverly claims she needs Elaine's signature on some documents so that she can collect a small inheritance. But the whole affair doesn't sit well with Kinsey. And if there's something she's learned in her line of work, it's to always follow your instincts.

Kinsey's hunch proves true when she begins her inquiries into Elaine's whereabouts and discovers that the attractive widow was last seen in a flashy lynx coat boarding a plane for Boca Raton. But the more Kinsey searches for Elaine, the more questions she encounters. Is Elaine's disappearance tied in to the brutal murder several months ago of one of her bridge partners? And what happened to Elaine's Persian cat who seems to have also vanished? 

Things take a turn for the worse when a stranger vandalizes the home of one of Elaine's neighbors and another neighbor turns up murdered. With her reputation and career on the line, Kinsey risks all to find a missing woman and a killer who's waiting in the shadows to strike again.

Kinsey Millhone is in her 30s and a private detective in Santa Teresa, CA.  She is hired by Beverly to find her missing sister, Elaine, whose name is needed on some paperwork regarding an inheritance.  Elaine was last seen getting into a cab and heading to Boca Raton, FL, where she spends her winters.  Kinsey can't find Elaine in Florida, though she does find a woman called Pat Usher, who claims Elaine agreed to let her sublet her Boca Raton apartment because Elaine is off travelling.

Kinsey suspects there is a link between Elaine's disappearance and the death of Elaine's Santa Teresa neighbour, Marty, who was apparently killed by burglars, who then set fire to her home a week before Elaine left.  Did Elaine see something and went into hiding?

In the meantime, Kinsey becomes friends with a cop named Jonah who is recently separated from his wife and children.  He shows her documentation regarding Marty's death that she wouldn't otherwise have access to.

This is the second in the "alphabet series" featuring Kinsey Millhone.  I discovered this series in the mid-1990s and have been a fan since and have read them all.  Since the series will soon come to an end, I am starting at the beginning and rereading them.  They are all set in the 1980s before everyone had a computer, cell phone, etc.

I thought this book was good.  It's been about 20 years since I'd read it but I kind of remembered where Elaine went.   I liked the writing style and thought it flowed well.  It is written in first person perspective in Kinsey's voice.  It still held up for me considering I read it about 20 years ago and it was published more 30 years ago.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

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