In 1982, Sue Grafton introduced us to Kinsey Millhone. Thirty years later, Kinsey is an established international icon and Sue is a number-one best-selling author. To mark this anniversary year, Sue has given us stories that reveal Kinsey's origins and Sue's past.
Kinsey and Me has two parts: The nine Kinsey stories (1986-93), each a gem of detection, and the "And Me" stories, written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. Together, they show just how much of Kinsey is a distillation of her creator's past, even as they reveal a child who, free of parental interventions, read everything and roamed everywhere. But the dark side of such freedom was that very parental distance.
The same feisty voice and witty apercus readers fell in love with in A Is for Alibi permeate the Kinsey stories. Those in the "And Me" section trace a remarkable voyage, from anger to understanding, from pain to forgiveness. They take us into a troubled family, dysfunctional as most families are, each in their own way, but Grafton's telling is sensitive, delicate, and ultimately, loving. Enriching the way we see Kinsey and know Sue, these stories are deeply affecting.
©2013 Sue Grafton (P)2013 Penguin Audio
"I've come to believe that Grafton is not only the most talented woman writing crime fiction today but also that, regardless of gender, her Millhone books are among the five or six best series any American has ever written." (Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post)
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This book was advertised as a collection of short stories about Kinsey and a collection of stories and insights by Grafton. It fulfilled what it advertised. I enjoyed the Kinsey short stories, and she quickly solved each crime. I found it insightful regarding the section Grafton wrote about the mystery stories and what it means to her and the readers. I also enjoyed the section about her father and his lessons on writing. I did not care for the last part of the book when she discussed the alcoholism of her parents and the death of her mother. I am retired from the health profession and have seen just to much of that story over and over again to want to read about it. Overall this book did provide insight into Grafton and her creation of Kinsey. I am always interested in how a writer goes about their creation of a story. Overall I think most people will enjoy this book, but mentally you have to step back from the alphabet mystery series. Judy Kaye did a good job with the narration.
X Files Freak
I love Sue Grafton's books. This new book is OK but not quite up to the level of her mysteries. Sue gave an accounting of her childhood and how it affected her emotional and social development as well as that of her main character Kinsey Milhone. It does account for many aspeccts of Kinsey's life as basically a self sufficient survivor and I suspect this accounts for her profession of private investigator and as such she is reliable, dependable and does what she must to take care of herself and resolve whatever case she's taken on!
How Sue's mother's and father's adjustment to life and the problems it presented to them affected how their daughters and how they later dealt with their own lives.
Judy Kaye IS Kinsey Milhone!!
Reader of things.
Memoir cum fiction
Kinsey, of course. She is the alter ego of Sue Grafton. Kinsey exist during the part of the 1980's when I felt amazing and adventurous. I seem to meld into Kinsey for a variety of reasons.
Her voice is so dynamic
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I really enjoy the “alphabet series”; the books are a guaranteed hit for me every time. I love Sue Grafton’s writing style; her dry wit and sarcasm are great! but I am not so sure the short-story format is the best for murder mysteries. It felt like Kinsey was solving a new murder everyday … it was too fast, too quick, too unrealistic (yes I know its fiction).
As for the “Me” section, it didn't do much for me. No disrespect intended because I know these are very personal stories for Sue – but they didn't hold my interest.
I can’t wait for “W” to come out!
I would have liked to have had the short stories more complete. It seems like the book is made up of story ideas the author started and never finished. And that is how some of the short stories end, right in the middle of the story as if she never finished it, but sent it in to be included in this book. I thought there was a problem with my audio player. Did it just skip to the next story in the middle of the current one? I also expected more about the early life of Kinsey: her childhood, time in the police force, etc., But there was little of that. Also, I agree with other reviewers that the second part of book with stories about a character based on Sue Grafton's life were probably cathartic to her, but not very interesting to the reader.
No, I still enjoy the whole Kinsey Millhone series and detective genre.
Yes. The first 14 Kinsey Millhone books were read by another narrator, Mary Peiffer, who I really enjoyed. Then it took me awhile to get used to Judy Kaye. Especially when a book series is written in the first person, you get to know a narrator as the character and don't like changes. But Judy Kaye has now become Kinsey Millhone. The narrator could only read what she had to work with.
It was an OK book to tide you over until the next full alphabet detective book by Sue Grafton.... W is for ???
yes, didn't realize this book was merely many ideas grafton had for a book, but never came to be. With each story, you get hooked and before you know it the case is solved.
Judy Kaye is the heart and soul of Kinsey
JUDY KAYE IS MY FAVORITE
Kinsey is someone I know....
keep 'em commin'
I have no idea why this book was ever written. It feels like "outtakes" -- the weaker Kinsey Milhone short stories that lack the quirky charm of Sue Grafton's full-length books, followed by grim, graphic autobiographical passages that read like private journal entries that should never have been aired. I thought her memoirs would relate in some way to her books and lead character but that's not the case. They are sad, depressing anecdotes about her alcoholic parents, mother's suicide, failed marriages. Judy Kaye is the reader so that part works, but she really didn't have much to go on here. I love the alphabet mysteries but this one's a turkey.
Overall I was pleasantly surprized by this book. I always wondered what Kinsey did between her longer tales, and now it feels like we have been given a glimpse into those corners of her life.Normally I can guess who the wrong-doer is in most mystery fiction and so was pleased that there were a few twists that I was surprized by.
On the "Me" side of the book, I'll admit I wasn't as interested and stopped listening. I will probably go back to these stories in the future, but I found the dramatic change in tone a bit jarring after the Kinsey stories.
ONE BIG COMPLAINT: the story called "Full Circle" isn't complete. The audio cuts off and moves on to the next chapter/story. I double checked it against a print copy of the book and sure enough there is more to the story. I have tried to delete and download several times with no change. Hopefully this will be corrected for future listeners.
Grafton's stories have always been so well laid out, creating an enjoyable read. The short stories were ok but, being short, didn't have enough substance to show how Kinsey gets from A to B to Conclusion. But that's ok, too, because she made them fun - except for the one she abruptly ended without a solution.
What I consider poorly laid out about this book is that it is in two parts, the short PI stories followed by the bummer Kit Blue stories. I appreciate Grafton's wanting to tell the Blue stories, giving us an insight to her life, but I wish the book had been laid out in three parts (PI shorts - Blue - more PI shorts) so that it could begin and end on an enjoyable note. I found myself wishing it would just end already.
Misery can be entertainingly written; the best example being Angela's Ashes. I would have expected the sad Kit Blue stories to have more of a McCourt bent to the writing. I could imagine Kinsey finding a laughable or ironic moment if she lived Kit's life. But maybe Grafton needed Kit as a release to unload those sad moments. The choice was hers.
I will say that, after reaching Z, if Grafton starts a Kit Blue series, I don't think I could bring myself to read them - even if the fabulous Judy Kaye reads them.
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