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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Story
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 01-22-13

How did Grafton create Kinsey?

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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not so good as Her Mystery Novels

What did you like best about Kinsey and Me? What did you like least?

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!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Kinsey and Me?

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.

What does Judy Kaye bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Judy Kaye IS Kinsey Milhone!!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding blend of memoir and fiction

If you could sum up Kinsey and Me in three words, what would they be?

Memoir cum fiction

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

What about Judy Kaye’s performance did you like?

Her voice is so dynamic

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Tease

Would you try another book from Sue Grafton and/or Judy Kaye?

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.

Would you ever listen to anything by Sue Grafton again?

yes

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Phyllis
  • Canyon Lake, TX, United States
  • 06-15-14

another winner

What made the experience of listening to Kinsey and Me the most enjoyable?

Judy Kaye is the heart and soul of Kinsey

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kinsey. Real

Have you listened to any of Judy Kaye’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

JUDY KAYE IS MY FAVORITE

Who was the most memorable character of Kinsey and Me and why?

Kinsey is someone I know....

Any additional comments?

keep 'em commin'

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A weird, unsuccessful hybrid

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I WANTED to love it!

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!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Half Baked, Half Finished

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

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.

Has Kinsey and Me turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I still enjoy the whole Kinsey Millhone series and detective genre.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Judy Kaye?

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.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was an OK book to tide you over until the next full alphabet detective book by Sue Grafton.... W is for ???

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Moving

I enjoyed the stories in the first part and found the description of the family relationships in the second part meaningful. I am glad this book was recorded.

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  • Kirk
  • Anderson, IN, United States
  • 01-17-18

PAINFUL JOY

When I read of Grafton's passing on impulse I looked at everything she wrote. I was surprised, because I missed this one. I was focused on the alphabet I guess.

I feel sad for all who knew and loved her, and for those who felt like they knew and loved someone who really never existed. It is embarrassing and disconcerting to miss a fictional charter. But now they are both gone. Kinsey will continue as new people discover her stories. She existed to me in each and every book.

THEN I READ/LISTENED to this book. In my opinion the stories themselves are great. Clever,well written, fun characters, and what plot twists! I am thankful Sue Grafton did this.

The longer I listened, the more I put my IPOD down and waited a while, when they were finished there is no more Kinsey for me. I resisted listening and could not stop listening.

To Judy Kaye -- THANK YOU. You are Kinsey to me. You are among the very best in reading, picking up the tone, emotion, and flow of the story. I cannot claim to know what it means to have your Kinsey journey end. I hope to see your name again on more and more stories. Again, thank you.

Z IS FOR ZENITH. When it comes to a private eye and mystery.... That's what the Kinsey Millhone books are ... The Zenith.