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Publisher's Summary

Thirty-four years ago, Violet Sullivan put on her party finery and left for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display. She was never seen again.

In the small California town of Serena Station, tongues wagged. Some said she'd run off with a lover. Some said she was murdered by her husband.

But for the not-quite-seven-year-old daughter Daisy she left behind, Violet's absence has never been explained or forgotten.

Now, 34 years later, she wants the solace of closure.

Don't miss the other titles in the Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mystery Series.
©2005 Sue Grafton (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This novel...presents strong character portrayals, a mosaic of motives, and a stunning climax" (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Carrie
  • Redwood City, CA, United States
  • 02-14-06

Fell Short

I really enjoyed this book up until the ending. What was the killers motive? Throughout the entire book we were taken back in time and given a look inside what happen with each character. But the author failed to complete the story by taking us back to exactly what happen in detail to Violet the night she was murdered. All I have to say is there are a lot of unanswered questions and a good story doesn't leave you hanging. Sorry, to the author because I always enjoy her books and this one look very promising, but I still want to know what was the motive.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

B O R I N G!!!!

In the years I have been a member of [almost 200 books from them] I do not believe I have ever "read" a more BORING book. This book drags 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!!!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jo Ann
  • Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 09-10-06

S is for Stereotype and sophomoric

I really enjoyed the earlier Kinsey Milhone books, especially in audio form. Judy Kaye is a good reader. But the characters in this episode were shallow and artificial. Violet is so typical as a sexually-irresistable vamp, and all the men fall like dominoes at her feet. She is the typical portrayal of the calculating woman with no other dimension or interest. Yet she is the catalyst of the story.
I like graphic sexuality if it is well-integrated. Here, it just seemed gratuitous. I was quite disappointed in this book.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

S is for Silence

I've enjoyed quite a few of Sue Grafton's books, but this one is just too XXX rated. Way to much sex and to much graphic sexual details that don't really enhance the story. I hope "T" tones that emphasis down...

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Daniele
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 01-06-06

Best so far

I have read every one of Sue Grafton's books and this was the best so far

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Corri G.
  • Lake Isabella, CA United States
  • 07-02-17

missing person mystery

I listened to this one on Audible. The narrator, Judy Kaye, was compelling. The mystery was intriguing. The characters had deprh. Kinsey takes on a missing person's case. The trick is this person had been missing around 30 years. As Kinsey begins looking into the details, things begin to happen around her: Her room may have been searched and her car sustains some damage. Rather than warning Kinsey off, of course these signs show her she has someone worried so she must be on the right track. Who is it that wants the truth to stay buried? Then the question becomes how far can Kinsey take her investigation before someone tries to stop her for good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sandra
  • St. Louis Park, MN, USA
  • 04-01-06

90% Up to Grafton Standards

This was a well-planned and intriguing story that I really enjoyed 90% of the way through, but I got the impression the author was rushing to meet a deadline at the end. I will continue to read and listen to the alphabet series, but hope the next one continues with hard-hitting, complex mystery all the way through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Listen!!!

Kinsey hasn't changed one bit. I can't wait to see if she gets a new car in "T" is for ??? Oh, I'm sorry. Did I leave you hanging? Then download this book and you hear what I'm talking about.

Only one drawback for me in this listen: there were too many characters in this story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Grafton does it again!

Grafton does not disappoint in the lastest installment of her alphabet series. Her use of flashback storytelling was quite compelling. Her characters were intriguing and it was an all-around great listen. The narrator was great too. She used different voices and I almost forgot that it was one person doing the reading. Highly recommended!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeanne
  • Tulsa, OK, USA
  • 05-11-07

A Good Read

Good mystery, but no development of other regular characters and relationships. Well read.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful