Of the #1 New York Times best-selling Kinsey Millhone series, NPR said, "Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters."
Two dead bodies changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue.
The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He'd been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He'd been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone's name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.
Two seemingly unrelated deaths, one a murder, the other apparently of natural causes.
But as Kinsey digs deeper into the mystery of the John Doe, some very strange linkages begin to emerge. And before long at least one aspect is solved as Kinsey literally finds the key to his identity. "And just like that," she says, "the lid to Pandora's box flew open. It would take me another day before I understood how many imps had been freed, but for the moment, I was inordinately pleased with myself."
In this multilayered tale, the surfaces seem clear, but the underpinnings are full of betrayals, misunderstandings, and outright murderous fraud. And Kinsey, through no fault of her own, is thoroughly compromised.
W is for…wanderer…worthless…wronged….
W is for wasted.
©2013 Sue Grafton (P)2013 Random House Audio
I thought R was poor but this one beats it. Depressingly read too. In R Kinsey just followed along with the idiot ideas of a young woman even though she knew they were off and would be trouble. Not a bright thing for a seasoned detective to be doing.
In W she goes further, being fleeced when she could stand up for herself and say no. Letting people dump all over her. The characters in this book are the worst yet. I have no call to get to know them better or to listen to more of this negativity. Seems like the alphabet should have ended before R. This series is dead for me.
Any Sue Grafton book is worth your time if you enjoy detailed, storylines and plots that make you think. Kinsey Millhone is an amazing heroine-especially since she is female--she is brave, intelligent, determined and persistence. She is a more serious version of Stephanie Plum perhaps. Sue Grafton keeps her books in the timeline she originally started--so I think this book takes place in the late 80's? Its funny, because you're always thinking --oh today she could just go online and look that up, instead of going to the library and looking at old phone books. Judy Kaye is also an amazing narrator, and (to my knowledge) performed all of Sue's books. They make a great team, and Sue Grafton is one of my top 10 mystery writers, on par with Lawrence Block. (I think he is the king :)) If you've never read any of her books before, I would recommend you read them in order, as the characters are all more fully developed over time, and it makes for a better reading/listening experience all around.
Minutiae run among. This is the WORST Kinsey Millhone story >> I suspect written by an amateur ghost writer.
Judy did a fine job.
Not a commuter so listen to audible books when I'm in the car driving on a long trip or at home housecleaning (not as often as I should). Love reading a good book and love the riveting suspense of listening to a good mystery, but hate not being able to race to the end like I do when I read - but it does make a good book last longer.
Just finished today and it was very enjoyable. Intersecting plot lines that stretched belief, but nonetheless enjoyable. I also felt that once-in-a-while the story was a little draggy (just incidental stuff I don't care too much about that authors sometimes include - let's call it a Stephen Kingism) - well maybe not the story being draggy, just certain, small sections that I wondered why they were included. I know it has to do with keeping the reader up-to-date on Kinsey and her life, so maybe I'm a little harsh. Really good story and Sue Grafton has a wonderful style that allows the reader to envision the story as though watching a movie rather than listening to a book. Judy Kaye as narrator does an excellent job with all characters and does a fine job portraying Kinsey's crankiness. If you enjoy any/all of the Kinsey books you will enjoy this one as well.
I love Judy Kaye! I could listen to her all day long, oh, I HAVE listened to her all day long!!!
Most definitely. If she quits writing after "Z", I would hate to think I listen to or read the other 23. She just kind of droned on too much on this book and skipped around a bit much.
The scene at the end. I won't give anything away, like some people do in these reviews. They have ruined more books for me!!
I laughed...Judy Kaye's sarcasm is the best there is!!
She just kind of droned on too much on this book and skipped around a bit much and she didn't tie up all the loose ends. And, it skipped around too much....she would be on one subject and then, she'd start on another character out of the blue. I guess what I'm trying to say is, her Segway from one subject or group of character to another was a bit erratic. I kept thinking, "Did anyone proof read this book before they published it?"
Just looking for an enjoyable story! Books are my passion.
Before I say what I would change, I have to say, I have read all of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone books. I loved them all and if she writes more, I will read those too.
Modernize it! I was always under the impression the Kinsey Millhone novels were written in present time. However, Kinsey was using phone booths, tape recorders, and typewriters. Research was done at the library during the days of card catalogs. If Kinsey needed to make a phone call while on the road, she pulled over and used a pay phone! It was strange that computers, cell phones and modern technology were never mentioned. I felt like I was reading a novel from the seventies rather than a just published novel.
If my friends were fans of Sue Grafton and her Kinsey Millhone novels, yes. I have read them all, and will continue to read them if she writes more. But, with that being said, I truly hope Kinsey learns some new things. All I could think when Kinsey was going to the library or the county clerks office, was wow, the internet would have been so much easier and faster!
Judy Kaye's voice sounded too old.
Absolutely. I can see Claire Danes as Kinsey.
Even though W is for Wasted was rather dated, I enjoyed it. Sue Grafted writes great mysteries. I love hearing about Henry's yard and Kinsey's weakness for his baking.
I liked spending time with Kinsey, as always. However, I found her family to be unlikeable and unpleasant. I wasn't crazy about the homeless characters either.
I read all her books at least twice.
Kinsey of course but she does a great job with all the characters. Tony winner Judy Kaye rocks!
Maybe, depending on who was cast.
I liked seeing Robert Dietz again. Also, I didn't really like the second storyline but I appreciated how it fit into Kinsey's story.
I loved the earlier Kinsey Millhone books, A through O were wonderful reads. Sue Grafton created a sympathetic, inspiring character whose adventures captivated us. However, I'm sorry to say that her last few books in general, and this one in particular, are considerably off from the high standards that the author set for herself.
The major problem I see is that the author focusses mostly on the irrelevant trivia of Kinsey's life and does a half hearted job of developing the plot. She devotes many chapters to the `setup', and develops the cold, calculating, scheming villain. Then the entire denouement happens in the space of 1 page, where the villain goes completely out of character and behaves in a wild and uncontrolled manner, enabling Kinsey to wrap up the situation neatly. In the meantime, pages and pages are devoted to physical descriptions of minor characters, their houses etc. You'd think you were reading Thomas Hardy. The descriptions of what Kinsey eats and what she wears take up almost as many words as does the plot. The pacing is wildly uneven, with certain events described in painstaking detail and others rushed through. Then the book concludes with a main character delivering a ham-fisted, unctuous and barf-inducing speech about the virtues of the homeless. I'm sympathetic of the homeless myself and am all in favour of helping them when I can, but I'd rather not have sermons rammed down my throat, especially towards the conclusion of the book when you are waiting for major plot points to be resolved (which actually never happened).
If the author had not build up such a reservoir of goodwill with the first 18 or so instalments, I doubt whether I'd have been able to get through more than a quarter of this book.
Judy Kay does a wonderful job of characterizing Kinsey. The only thing is that she is beginning to sound a bit old for Kinsey's character.
Wordy, the book was too wordy and it dragged on and on to the point that I was getting bored with the subject matter
The ones where there was interaction with the homeless people
There could have been more distinction in the voices of the characters. I had a hard time distinguishing the characters In conversations.
No it pretty much killed the time on my commute to and from work.
I wanted to know more about Pearl and Dandy? How did they get to be homeless?
I did not enjoy the narrator for this book at all. At one point I even considered discontinuing the audio version and obtaining the written version instead. Part of my dissatisfaction may be that I am used to earlier books by Sue Grafton, which are narrated by Mary Pfeiffer. To me, her (Ms. Pfeiffer’s) rendition of Kinsey Millhone is dead on. In addition to this, though, I did not enjoy Judy Kaye’s portrayal of the male characters. To me their voices sounded kind of “squawking” or “whining”, and they all sounded similar. Finally, for some parts of the narration, it was difficult to tell the distinction between Kinsey’s thoughts and her spoken word. I think Ms. Kaye is an articulate narrator, and she appears to be very popular as noted by many of the other reviewers of this book, but I will likely not get any more Sue Grafton books that are narrated by her.
I gave this book an overall 3 star, mainly because of the narration, but also because the details given in some parts of the story seemed to drag on. I usually enjoy these details by Sue Grafton because the images and sensations I get from them are so real (like the McDonald's lunches/dinners!), but some details in this current book were a little too drawn out for me.
I love Sue Grafton's books, though, and will definitely be getting the remaining ones in the series (what comes after Z ???) whether in written format or audio.
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