Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton

Kinsey and me: stories by Sue Grafton (2013)

Fans of Sue Grafton's 'alphabet' mystery series which started with "A" is for Alibi, a Kinsey Milhone Mystery (1982) will want to read this collection of mystery short stories which feature Kinsey early in her career as a private detective. Each story achieves the amazing feat of quickly setting the scene, introducing the characters in brief, deft descriptions and setting up the murder mystery. Kinsey energetically pursues the leads and usually figures out the solution before the actual story ending. Each story ends with a twist: unexpected, sometimes bizarre, often ironic or funny.

The second half of this book, the 'and me' part, are autobiographical essays about the author's childhood and early life with her alcoholic parents. What does it take to make a child raised in a family with problems, survive and succeed as a writer? Maybe the key is in these stories. When asked in an interview for Oprah Magazine how she survived her troubled childhood, Ms. Grafton answers:

" Writing. Pure and simple. Writing was my anchor and gave me a way to convert all of that unhappiness into something that would serve me."

Highly recommended for fans of the series, murder mystery fans and fans of the short story. I loved this book and was sorry when it ended. I must go back and reread some of the alphabet series.

Related sources:

Sue Grafton's website http://www.suegrafton.com/

Oprah Winfrey interview with Sue Grafton

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