"" Writer's Wanderings: Books For The Road - Sue Grafton's T and U

Monday, April 05, 2010

Books For The Road - Sue Grafton's T and U

Sue Grafton took on a daunting task back in 1983 as she began a series of crime stories using the alphabet starting with A Is For Alibi. Her main character, Kinsey Millhone, developed quite a following and Grafton became a best-selling author several books into the series. Along the way, I too became a fan and follower and was surprised to find that I’d missed her T Is For Trespass and U Is For Undertow, her latest book. I purchased both as ebooks for our trip to Australia.

T Is For Trespass, a tale of identity theft and elder patient abuse did not disappoint. The Millhone character was every bit as femininely crusty as I remember her. She comes to the rescue of an elderly neighbor that is taken advantage of by a woman posing as an elder-care nurse using credentials stolen from another woman with whom she worked. It is always fun to reminisce about the 1980s as Kinsey Millhone is still working with the technology of that time period as she looks into the cases she takes on.

When I got into U is for Undertow however, Millhone suddenly began to change in character. She delves into her past and becomes a lot more enamored with the reasons her extended family abandoned her when she became an orphan. Perhaps Grafton meant to make some sort of tie between Millhone’s early years and the kidnapping case she becomes involved in which really has no similarity other than involving a young girl. While the story tended to wander a bit and flip back and forth in time, I stuck to it out of curiosity. After reading 20 books about this character, I want to know how things get resolved. And yes, I will read the last six. It would be like abandoning a project before it’s finished if I quit now.

The question is how will Grafton complete this series? And what in the world will she do with the letters, X and Z?


Lynda Lee Schab said...

I've read all of Sue Grafton's books. From the moment I read A is for Alibi 20 years ago, I wanted to write like her. Fell in love with the character of Kinsey Milhone and the plot lines have all been great. And I love the whole 80's time-frame, too. :-) I'm in the middle of T right now and will be sad when the series is complete. Hoping she keeps Kinsey alive somehow.

Wandering Writer said...

When you get to U, Lynda, let me know what you think. I'd love to see Kinsey move to the 21st century and reminisce about the 80s. I can't imagine living with a character you've created for so long and doing her in.

Caroline said...

I've always loved Sue's writing too & Kinsey! Maybe she'll start with numbers. You know, like the song: One is the loneliest number in the world. Hmmm. She could go on forever like that. :)

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