The narrator is no Judy Kaye. I am going to make my way thru the alphabet series on Audible as I already have in print, so this is my starting point, ..Show More »though I have already listened to other books in the series. This book is instructive because it shows how subtle things can trash a reading. Much of the dialog is very wooden and doesn't flow the way a real conversation does. This is very distracting and makes it difficult to focus on the plot. I love Grafton, which is really the only thing that keeps me going.
I actually had not heard this since it was first out on Books on Tape a looooong time ago and wanted to hear it again! To me it was actually fun to he..Show More »ar the old Books on Tape stuff at the very start of the book. Although still a good story the second time through, I can really see (hear) why so many reviewers were not very happy with the early books just because of the reader Ms. Peiffer. Although she reads the story fine, as with several other readers of various books, she just doesn't seem to have the correct or expected 'tonal quality' for the character in this story, in my opinion!!! If you're just discovering the "Alphabet" series, I'd still recommend giving it a listen, or, especially in the early stages of this series, get the abridged version and hear the reader that now has become the ONLY reader of the series for the most part, abridged or unabridged, Judy Kaye! She IS Kinsey Millhone!
I like Sue Grafton because her books are interesting but you don't have to think too hard to follow the story. Each book stands alone, but they're be..Show More »tter in alphabet order because the main character, Kinsey Milhone, develops over time.
I know I said I would put Sue Gafton aside for the rest of the year, but I couldn’t help picking up another Kinsey Millhone instalment. I wanted to r..Show More »ead something that I knew in advance would be a guaranteed good read, and this series never disappoints.
I can’t add anything new to my reviews of Sue Grafton and Kinsey Millhone books; I have said everything I can in regards to this series, in a nutshell: I love them!
After this I have G, H, and O to go and I am all caught up until X comes out (in 2015?)
Typical great Sue Grafton story, but the sound editing was terrible. There are long sound gaps between sentences that break the flow of the story. I..Show More »t's very noticable and very irritating. If you're not totally committed to listening, you find your mind wondering during the gaps. Love the story, hate the gaps!
This book ends so fast that it truly lacks finality. You're listening along and within seconds the whole thing is wrapped up and the listener is left..Show More » feeling rather empty. You don't really sympathize with any of the characters, especially Kinsey. Also, the sound editing is so choppy that it's hard to pay attention to the dialog. Not Grafton's best.
Another great story from Sue Grafton. Keeps you wondering as to "who done it"! Now I am on to "J".
Have to disagree with the other reviewer....Show More ».I do like the narrator ...she actually makes the story better in my opinion.
I enjoy this series, even if some of Kinsey's behavior is inconsistent. I really like Mary Pfeiffer's narration. These are always a great palate clean..Show More »ser between heavier stuff like Clancy.
It's almost worth skipping this one. If Grafton's character development didn't take place over multiple novels, I would. As it is, you probably shou..Show More »ld give this a listen if you are already committed to the series. I did and I found that all the typical Grafton weaknesses were on display and new ones were added. Unfortunately, the strong plot development that ordinarily compensates for these weaknesses is lacking this time.
Major weakness include:
Non-existent character development, especially with most characters that do not recur in the series, and including this novel's villain.
Unusually poor plot development. Ordinarily, this is Grafton's strength. It is MIA with this novel.
Exceptionally poorly drawn villain. When the villain is revealed, I wager you will find yourself asking WHO??? followed quickly with WHY??? If so, your questions will go largely unanswered.
An incredibly abrupt ending, with virtually all minor plot lines left dangling.
An uncharacteristically maudlin summary from Millhone in the Epilogue.
Typical Series weaknesses also continue, including:
The absence of the sort of cues that most author's use to remind readers of the identities of different characters, especially when many characters are introduced throughout the novel. Here, at most, you will be reminded of a character's first name. If you don't remember who they are among the dozen plus characters new to the novel, well, at least you have a rewind button.
And perhaps the greatest weakness of the series ~ the narrator. These novels were recorded early in the evolution of audiobooks, which is the only reason I can imagine that this narrator found any work. It seems to me that a narrator should, at least, pronounce words correctly. This one muffs some incredibly common ones ~ very distracting when listening. Characterizations, dramatic pacing, inflection ... all the other narrative skills are also weak or missing altogether.
I am 11 books into this series, and beginning to despair. Unusually, writers improve as they develop a series. That is not happening here. Sigh.
After a couple less than worthy entries in the Kinsey Millhone series (J & K), Sue Grafton roars back with a nicely diverting addition. Yes, you will..Show More » probably anticipate much of the ending from early clues, but no matter; the ride is enjoyable even if the destination is not too much of a surprise.
Grafton offers some of her best development of secondary characters yet and has now moved well past the two-dimensional characters of her earlier novels. Add in an enjoyable, sometimes exciting plot and a more nuanced Kinsey, and this book is certainly worth a listen.
Even the much maligned (sometimes by me) narrator really steps up with this effort. As best I can tell, every word is correctly pronounced (applause) and dramatic characterizations are much more fully developed. This may not be an ~A~ game yet, but it's certainly a solid B.
You will not regret a decision to escape for a few hours into the Lawless world of Kinsey Millhone.
yes, we all know she has to write 26 books and some have been disappointing, but this one was really one of her much better efforts -- you don't know ..Show More »what's going on until almost the end (even tho you might suspect), but she blows it with a really limp ending in the last paragraph or 2. Oh well...................... still worth a listen.
I have listened to the Millhone books starting with A and having just finished O. First let me tell you that if you are considering reading any book ..Show More »in this series, I highly recommend starting at the beginning of the alphabet. You will better understand the characters and events and how they are relate from A to B to C, etc.
I have truly enjoyed these books by Ms. Grafton. I however did not like this narrator. She makes Kinsey sound 50 years old! Mary Peiffer did an outstanding job with narrating in books A through N and I was quite disturbed at such a drastic change in narration. Also the recording quality was very poor on this book. Despite the above mentioned negatives: I am addicted to the series and have just downloaded P through T, the only remaining books in the series available from Audible.com at this time.
Kindsy Millhone has become a comfortable, old friend. I can think of no reader other than Judy Kaye to portray her. Never boring. The sound person ..Show More »may have been asleep at the switch, but it wasn't bad. Certainly wasn't Judy Kaye's fault. Her reading, as always, was flawless. I loved the book.
I have listened my way through Sue Grafton's alphabet and been rewarded with better and better tales. This is no exception.
This is a nice l..Show More »isten ~ an exciting story with engaging characters we can grow to care about.
Grafton is particularly successful in "maturing" Kinsey ~ the irreverence is still present, but it is less overpowering. Instead, we meet a more grown-up Kinsey, someone capable of really caring about others (even a cat!), of intense self-examination, of emotional growth and of committed romance. This is not the Kinsey of the early alphabet ~ this is a much more real character and one it is much easier to care for.
It is especially welcome to see Kinsey begin to develop friendships (romantic and otherwise). Such relationships have never seemed quite real in the past, in part because Grafton crafted Kinsey as a loner. Now the shell is cracking a bit, and a new Kinsey seems to be emerging.
The other characters are equally well developed. We can empathize with them, become frustrated by them, or disapprove of their behavior. We learn a bit more about the regulars (Henry, William, Rosie) and we meet some very well drawn episodic characters.
Grafton does an especially good job with the "villains" ~ both great and small. They are certainly bad enough, but Grafton gives them credible motivations for their behavior. No one likes to admit they are evil and these "bad guys" all have their own motivations and explanations that leave them less blameworthy, less evil (at least in their own eyes). This is how the real world works, and it is refreshing to see it reflected so aptly in fiction.
I've read through some of the other reviews and I do not understand the thoroughly negative ones. Grafton has never rushed her stories, and the extra details she offers help round out her characters and the world they inhabit. This leads to longish (11 hour) but certainly not overly long tales and, importantly, a series that develops and matures. Too long for you? Speed up your playback or shift to an abridged version.
For me, and happily for most other reviewers, this is just the right length and a creditworthy addition to the Kinsey Millhone series. With it, Sue Grafton is coming into her own. It almost makes you sorry the alphabet has only 26 letters.
In the years I have been a member of audible.com [almost 200 books from them] I do not believe I have ever "read" a more BORING book. This book drags..Show More » so bad that I stopped and started at least 20 times. I probably should have just chucked the entire book...perhaps by the time I reach old age I will be able to grow out of the character flaw of HAVING to finish what I start. I kept thinking, because of how much I love Sue Grafton's other stories, that it SURELY had to get better. It never did! When it was finally over I felt drained, like I had run a marathon through molasses. I am starting to listen to T is for Trespass, which is exciting as I know nothing can possibly be as painful as reading S is for Silence!! Don't waste your money...the synopsis is that a lady disappeared 30 years ago and the entire book goes back and forth between some of the most boring characters imaginable -- what happened to them then and now....the only part that was even the tiniest bit exciting was at the very end. For those of you who only have a few hairs on your head...DON'T read this or you'll pull them all out!!! I gave this one star because the system will not accept a review without at least one. Boring, BORING, B O R I N G!!!
Honestly, all I seem to notice in the mysteries I'm listening to lately is how they all seem to have gone into print without being edited! The amount..Show More » of unnecessary detail in this book triples it's length - at least. I could care less which street she is on in this imaginary town and where she is turning right, parking near the pet shop, and pocketing her keys.
In a good mystery, the inclusion of little details are CLUES!! So you go past them blithely at your peril. But Grafton has never learned this lesson. Yes, her first few books were good (and much shorter), but this 26-book contract has been a big dissapointment.
I finished it because the plot is interesting (as always), but it's a slog, folks.
Who'd a thunk it? 21 installments into a series and, far from being a return to a comfort zone, Sue Grafton's latest effort is something of a departur..Show More »e from the routine. As the book opens private investigator Kinsey Millhone is asked to do a day's work by a young man, Michael Sutton. When he was six years old he saw two men burying something in the woods and he now believes they may have been burying the body of Mary Claire Fitzhugh, a four-year-old child who was kidnapped in 1967 and has never been seen since. Kinsey soon learns that it's not as clear-cut as Michael thought but, as always, she doggedly nuts out all the facts and builds her case.
With respect to the doggedness of Kinsey the book is as familiar as an old cardigan but the surprising element was that Kinsey's is only one of several stories that unfold. In addition there's a thread in the 1960's featuring a woman called Deborah Unrah whose grown son returns home greatly changed by the flower power movement and drug culture of the time and another 1988 thread featuring a middle-aged Walker McNally who is a repugnant alcoholic. These two characters, and several others who orbit around them, are deeply and perceptively depicted as their colliding stories are told.
In some ways the ending of the book is fairly predictable but this book isn't the same kind of procedural as its predecessors and relies less on that kind of suspense for its drama and conflict. This book is really about why things happen rather than what happened and it's this that is something of a departure for this series.
I would highly recommend the book to both Grafton's fans, who will have just enough of the familiar to satiate their needs, and those who have never read Grafton before because this, more than most of her other alphabet tales, is a standalone book of the highest quality. I can also recommend to audio book fans the added treat of listening to Judy Kaye's excellent narrataion which really did make the book fly by.
I believe Sue Grafton just gets better with time. Kinsey Millhone is an interesting character that never fails to hold my attention. A well conceived..Show More » protagonist can feel like a long time friend and that's what Kinsey is to me. Judy Kaye also does a great job presenting the story. A very enjoyable and interest-holding read!
No need for a plot summary here -- those of us who love Kinsey really don't care about the specifics of what she's gotten herself mixed up in this ti..Show More »me. We'll go along for the ride, whatever it is. Suffice it to say that in this 23rd installment, Sue Grafton found yet another unique story line, plowed untilled storylines once again, and turned out a ridiculously good book.
I just finished listening, still wiping away tears from one of the finest eulogies I've ever heard, this one honoring a man of courage and intelligence, but one who also happened to be homeless, one of those rascally urban dwellers must of us would prefer not to see at all. Many of the main characters in this book were homeless -- some of them obnoxious, some physically or mentally ill, others just down on their luck. What made Grafton's tale unique is the respect she showed them all -- not pious or groveling, not pity, not laden with "it wasn't their fault" excuses, but rather with the simple acknowledgement that they exist, they live among us, that they are, in many ways, no different from the rest of us, and are therefore deserving of respect.
I greatly appreciated that straightforward treatment. A lesser writer would have turned this plot into a screed against these undesirables for weakness in succumbing to their various addictions, or alternatively into a diatribe against "the rich" who allegedly bear responsibility for the situation. Grafton did neither. She just told a story, without having Kinsey render up any judgments at all, let alone claiming to understand any of their personal situations, and certainly not offering any solution to the whole issue of the "homeless", whatever it might be. In fact, when one character launches into a divisive rant, Kinsey stops him immediately. "Please, keep politics out of this." Very smart -- it kept the book fresh and interesting.
All that said, "W" is not a heavy book -- in fact, it's a delight to see Kinsey doing something few of us ever thought she'd ever do. Kinsey -- not a warm and cuddly person, by any standard -- falls in love with a cat. And not just Kinsey, either, but Henry also cozies up to the formerly-homeless feline. Fun to see character growth like that -- Kinsey, ready to put her life on the line for an animal? Amazing.
Another fun thing was that a goodly part of the book takes place in Bakersfield, CA, and of course since the entire series is set in the mid to late 1980's, we get to experience the Bakersfield of that time. I remember Bakersfield in 1986, and obviously so does Sue Grafton. She even remembered to include the Basque restaurants and the country music pubs. Fun to read those parts -- and even more fun to see Grafton capturing the unique Bakersfield population just as I remember it, too. Although they're just three hours apart, Bakersfield is about as different from "Santa Theresa" -- Santa Barbara -- as any two cities can be, but it's obvious both Grafton and Kinsey are at home in either one.
I'll listen to this book again and again, as I do all of Grafton's 'alphabet' books -- the biggest problem of which is that there are now only three left. The good news is, all of them are now available on Audible, some read by Judy Kaye, some by Mary Peiffer. Both narrators are excellent and make all the books worthy of many listens.