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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Story

Vintage Sue Grafton, great narrator

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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"W" is for Whiny

What did you like best about W Is for Wasted? What did you like least?

I don't remember Kinsey being so whiny in the past. The character was so bad this time I almost didn't finish it.

Would you recommend W Is for Wasted to your friends? Why or why not?

No, I wouldn't recommend the book. Overall, it was pretty boring.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator is too old for Kinsey's voice.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Depends on who played Kinsey.

Any additional comments?

I've always enjoyed these books in the past but this one was really hard to get through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Angie
  • Fresno, CA, United States
  • 10-04-13

Disappointing Narration

What made the experience of listening to W Is for Wasted the most enjoyable?

Nothing. This is the first Sue Grafton book I have purchased in audio format and I was very disappointed in the narrator. I have read every book from A to W and feel that I was cheated out of what could have been a more enjoyable performance. I understand that Kinsey should be early to mid-thirties in age; however, the narrator sounds more like mid-fifties and it made the entire storyline very difficult for me to believe. I will not purchase another audio book in this series (thank goodness it's almost done) and am sorry I did this one because now when I read the remaining books I will hear that unbelievable voice as Kinsey and it was HUGE disappointment to me.

What was one of the most memorable moments of W Is for Wasted?

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I have all the others because being my first audio book in this series, I was very disappointed in the narrator.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Judy Kaye?

Someone...ANYONE.... who sounded as young as Kinsey is supposed to be. Judy Kaye sounds like she's in her mid-50's and not mid-30's which is what I believe should be Kinsey's age.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I can't think about that now because I was so disappointed in the narrator.

Any additional comments?

I will not be purchasing any more Sue Grafton audio books with Judy Kaye as the narrator, and will be sure to check for her name in my other purchases as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia
  • NOLENSVILLE, TN, United States
  • 09-24-13

W is for waited for this awesome book

Would you listen to W Is for Wasted again? Why?

Yes, because I like the way Sue Grafton writes and I may have missed something the first time.

What did you like best about this story?

The way Kinsey has found more family in a crude way. And the way she finds out what she is looking for in an investigation.

Which character – as performed by Judy Kaye – was your favorite?

Kinsey

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

More like laugh and fuss.What I mean by fuss is when you knew the answer and Kinsey would leave you hanging to wait til she got around to what she wanted you to know.

Any additional comments?

I can't wait til the next books come out to finish the alphabet X, Y & Z. Then on to more of Kinsey Millhone in a different setting at least I hope she keeps going. I have all of this series so far.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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W is for Waste of Time

What disappointed you about W Is for Wasted?

This is a shadow of Grafton's previous books -- it's tedious, wordy, the mystery is not very compelling . . . the characters are flat.

Would you ever listen to anything by Sue Grafton again?

Maybe. I am a long time fan. In the past, I've been quick to purchase her mysteries.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from W Is for Wasted?

The scene where the lawyer strips in her office and then dresses in business attire. Why? If a lawyer walked into her office and took off all her clothes I'd run for the hills!

Any additional comments?

I hope Ms. Grafton wakes up and writes a better book next time!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lamagna
  • Tempe, AZ, United States
  • 09-18-13

Love, love, love Kinsey!

This book has once again reminded me why I adore this series! Kinsey is someone I want to know and a friend I want to have. The details are perfection, and the narrator is perfect. Thanks you Sue Grafton for bringing Kinsey into my life once again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 11-28-16

My first listen in the Kinsey Millhone series

I listened to W is For Wasted 2 years ago to see what Kinsey Millhone was all about. It is a wonderful novel and Sue Grafton is an outstanding mystery/thriller author. In this complex story Millhone deals with 2 deaths. Judy Kaye's narration is superb.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Slow

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I have always loved SG's book but this was painfully slow. And Kinsey's lack of a spine is annoying. Have read or listened to all the Alphabet books but this is the last I'm buying. Could listen to Judy Kaye forever, though.

What was most disappointing about Sue Grafton’s story?

Slow development. Uninteresting characters. Sue being taken advantage of w/o question.

Which scene was your favorite?

Can't think of any. Difficult to finish.

Any additional comments?

Sorry, really looked forward to this but disappointed.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Telfair
  • Shepherdstown, WV, United States
  • 10-03-13

"W" is for "Why?"

Grafton rejuvenated her Kinsey Millhone series during the past few entries. That momentum kind of gets lost in "W".

Although the story lines are cleverly brought together, there's a sluggishness to this one. Kinsey puts up with a lot of stuff that Kinsey just wouldn't put up with - and that results in some frustration for the reader. I kept wanting to just "smack her upside the head"! There is one particularly obvious (and pointless) red herring. And, although Grafton presents a realistic and nonjudgmental view of the homeless, other seemingly-important characters and topics just sort of disappear along the way.

Hopefully, we'll see Kinsey rebound again at the very last of the alphabet.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Liked it, in spite of the narrator

I'm a long time fan of the whole series. This one was good. Perhaps it lacked a little of the vitality the books had back in the beginning, but after all, Ms. Grafton has nearly made it through the alphabet at this point. This was also the first I have listened to, rather than reading. I think I might stick with the written version in future. I had probably imagined them differently in my mind for too long.

The author took on the interesting challenge of interposing two mysteries, and the reader knows they must be connected, but not how, till well into the book. Kinsey Millhone, whom we have known from A through V as a virtual orphan is presented with new family. Unfortunately she doesn't get to know one before he turns up dead, at which point she is presented with her ensuing tasks as a private investigator.

It is fun to read these Kinsey Millhone books, and over time we've all gotten to know the cast of characters. I felt that some of them are beginning to feel the least bit stale and take up a little too much "filler" space now, but that didn't detract from the story.

My main complaint was that the narrator seemed uneven. Usually reading quite smoothly, occasionally would have the jarring effect of mis-reading a line, or whole character in a way that just sounded "off." I was a little surprised that it wasn't better directed or produced. I would have expected more for a series this popular.

But all in all, it was wonderful finally to get to read the long-awaited "W" episode in this alphabet mystery series. Nothing could take away the pleasure of going on another adventure with Kinsey.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful