Sunday 7 January 2018

Book ~ "L is for Lawless" (1995) Sue Grafton

From Goodreads ~ When Kinsey Millhone's landlord asks her to help deceased World War II vet Johnnie Lee's family find out why the military has no record of his service, she thinks it'll be a cinch. But she is about to meet her match in world-class prevaricators who take her for the ride of her life.

When Lee's apartment in burgled and a man named Ray Rawson, who claims to be an old friend of Lee's, is beaten up, Kinsey soon finds herself on the trail of a pregnant woman with a duffel bag. Soon the intrepid P.I. is following leads halfway across the country and encountering another man from Lee's past - a vengeful psychopath.

Stalked by a new enemy and increasingly suspicious of Rawson - not to mention running out of time and money - now Kinsey must steer a collision course to solve a decades-old mystery that some would like better left unsolved.

It's the 1980s and Kinsey Millhone is a private detective in Santa Teresa, CA, in her thirties.  She is asked by her landlord, Henry Pitts, to help out Bucky, the grandson of their recently deceased neighbor, Johnnie Lee.  Bucky is trying to ensure his grandfather has a military burial but seems to be getting the runaround while trying to get his records and the cost covered.  As Kinsey investigates, free of charge, she discovers that Johnny wasn't as he seemed.  What she thought was going to be a quick and easy favour ends up taking her to Texas as she follows a suspicious-looking pregnant woman leaving Johnnie Lee's old apartment.  The next thing she knows she on the run for her life and running out of money.

In the meantime, Henry's brother, William, is marrying Rosie, the owner of Kinsey's local bar, are getting married in a couple days and Kinsey has to make it back to Santa Teresa in time for the wedding.

I wasn't crazy about this story.  Kinsey started out doing Henry a favour out of the goodness of her heart.  I don't know why she hung on as long as she did considering how dangerous it had gotten, she didn't even know the family she was helping and she had no money ... I would have left a lot sooner.  I didn't find the characters likable or believable.  It's written in first person perspective in Kinsey's voice.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

This is the twelfth 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.  I started rereading them last year.  I read the latest, Y is for Yesterday, in October and with the author's recent death, Y is for Yesterday will be the end of the series.

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