A review by tsukikomew
Kinsey and Me: Stories by Sue Grafton


Sue Grafton is one of my auto-buy authors. I discovered her years ago when I was graduating from Agatha Christie's Ms. Marple and the tv show Murder, She Wrote. Kinsey Millhone became part of my yearly reading habits as I inhaled each book as quickly as I could. I knew early on Grafton did not release books in the fashion of Patterson, Roberts, or Steel and often a year or two would go by before the next one. I tended to read three-five a year as I tried to stretch them out until the next few were out. Now I've caught up through V is for Vengeance and am impatiently waiting for W.

Kinsey and Me offered me a bit of a break from waiting for the next Kinsey Millhone. I put the book on hold the moment I could (#1!) and waited patiently for January 8th. Once it came I had to finish Exposed to You (review here) and it was a hard wait.

The first half of the book contains a group of short stories/mysteries with Kinsey. They act as almost origin stories in the sense we meet no other characters. Henry, her landlord, is mentioned in passing and she runs into a friend from the insurance company at one point but as a whole, the stories deal with Kinsey only.

Kinsey is back and better than ever in these stories as she deals with deaths ruled accidental, missing bodies, and missing people. She approaches each mystery with a unique wit and sarcastic humor which I love and look forward to constantly. Kinsey goes to parties wearing her all-purpose dress, leaving her much-needed gun locked in the glove compartment, while unknowingly helping criminals before bringing them to justice.

The second half of the book serves as a memoir for Ms. Grafton as she dealt with her mother's alcoholism and subsequent death. The main character is named Kit Blue but it is evident she is mirrored after Ms. Grafton. Kit navigates hating and loving her mother until her death from acting as a parent when she is young to dealing with her father's re-marriage and selling of the childhood home.

I did not enjoy Kit Blue's stories as much as Kinsey Millhone's. I like memoirs so that was not the issue. The issue was the complete difference in writing style. Kinsey's stories are light and fun while Kit Blue's were dark and depressing. Understandably there should have been a difference since each character dealt with very different things. I did not dislike Kit Blue or the reveals surrounding Sue Grafton's life but I preferred reading about Kinsey.

4/5 Stars