Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Book ~ "I is for Innocent" (1992) Sue Grafton

From Goodreads ~ Lonnie Kingman is in a bind. He's smack in the middle of assembling a civil suit, and the private investigator who was doing his pretrial legwork has just dropped dead of a heart attack. In a matter of weeks the court's statute of limitations will put paid to his case. Five years ago David Barney walked when a jury acquitted him of the murder of his rich wife, Isabelle. Now Kingman, acting as attorney for the dead woman's ex-husband and their child (and sure that the jury made a serious mistake), is trying to divest David Barney of the profits of that murder. But time is running out, and David Barney still swears he's innocent.

When Kinsey Millhone agrees to take over Morley Shine's investigation, she thinks it is a simple matter of tying up the loose ends. Morley might have been careless about his health but he was an old pro at the business. So it comes as a real shock when she finds his files in disarray, his key informant less than credible, and his witnesses denying ever having spoken with him. It comes as a bigger shock when she finds that every claim David Barney has made checks out. But if Barney didn't murder his wife, who did? It would seem the list of candidates is a long one. In life, Isabelle Barney had stepped on a lot of toes.

It's the 1980s and Kinsey Millhone is a private detective in Santa Teresa, CA, in her thirties.  She is renting space from her lawyer, Lonnie Kingman.  Six years ago, David Barney was acquitted of killing his estranged wife, Isabelle Barney, by shooting her through the spy hole of her front door.  Isabelle's first husband, Kenneth Voigt, is suing David in the civil courts to secure the fortune for his and Isabelle's daughter, Shelby, and has hired Lonnie as his lawyer.  After Morley, Lonnie's private detective, passes away suddenly, Lonnie hires Kinsey to continue with the investigation.  Kinsey discovers that David has an alibi and everything he says seems to be true.  There are many who could have killed Isabelle so Kinsey doesn't lack possible killers.

In the meantime, William, the hypochondriac brother of her elderly landlord, Henry, is visiting from out of town.  He and Rosie, the cranky owner of the local Hungarian tavern, surprisingly hit it off.

I liked this book and found the story interesting.  I did find there were a lot of characters and I had a bit of a hard time remembering who was who.  It's written in first person perspective in Kinsey's voice.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

This is the ninth in the "alphabet series" featuring Kinsey Millhone.  Though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone.  I discovered this series in the mid-1990s and have read them all.  Since the series will soon come to an end (I finished the latest, Y is for Yesterday, in October), I am starting at the beginning and rereading them.

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