Sunday 11 February 2018

Book ~ "O is for Outlaw" (1999) Sue Grafton

From Goodreads ~ The call comes on a Monday morning from a guy who scavenges defaulted storage units at auction. Last week he bought a stack. They had stuff in them - Kinsey stuff. For thirty bucks, he'll sell her the lot. Kinsey's never been one for personal possessions but curiosity wins out and she hands over a twenty (she may be curious but she loves a bargain). What she finds amid childhood memorabilia is an old undelivered letter. 

It will force her to reexamine her beliefs about the breakup of that first marriage, about the honor of that first husband, about an old unsolved murder. It will put her life in the gravest peril.

It's 1986 and Kinsey Millhone is a 36-year-old private detective in Santa Teresa, CA.  She gets a call from a man who has bought some of her possessions at an auction of defaulted storage locker items.  She recognizes the box as stuff she left with her first husband, Mickey, when she left him 14 years ago.  She walked out after eight months of marriage because she had thought Mickey had done something and he had asked her to lie about it.  In the box, she finds a letter written to her back then which she never got.  Kinsey realises she may have let Mickey down and should have given him the benefit of the doubt so starts to look for him.  When she discovers he has recently been shot and is in a coma, she decides to try and clear his name.

I thought this story was okay.  It was interesting to find out something more about Kinsey personally.  I found it a bit unbelievable, though, that she would get so involved in preserving Mickey's name now since she hasn't talked to him in fourteen years and he was a cheating dog while they were together.  Considering how he treated their marriage, he didn't deserve it. 

It's written in first person perspective in Kinsey's voice.  I found there were a lot of characters, which I found confusing at times.  There is a secondary story in addition to Kinsey trying to find out what happened to Mickey that added more characters to keep track of.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

This is the fifteenth 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.  With the author's recent death, Y is for Yesterday will be the end of the series.

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