Can you believe that I had never read any of the Kinsey Millhone books? Pretty much everyone can probably recognize that mystery is far and away my favorite genre, right? And yet, somehow, I had managed to studiously avoid reading a single one of Grafton's wildly popular and incredibly long series about California P.I. Kinsey Millhone.
I think this is because somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I had become convinced that this series was very similar to the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum mysteries (it's probably because of the title conceit - Grafton uses the alphabet, Evanovich uses numbers). About ten years ago (maybe more, it's hard to remember) I read about 10 Stephanie Plums in about 10 weeks, and then realized that they really did grate on my nerves, and that Grandma Mazur was an inadequate reason to continue subjecting myself to Stephanie's crotch quivers over Ranger/Joe. I looped Grafton in with this distaste.
Which is really too damned bad, because at least this first book, while brisk and entertaining like Evanovich's books, does not possess the thing that got on my last nerve about Stephanie, which is my ultimate dismissal of any possibility that she would last more than one book without getting murdered. Stephanie Plum is TSTL. Kinsey Millhone is not.
So, I am pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Grafton's prose is clean, the mystery, while a bit overly convoluted, is realistic enough that I did roll my eyes so hard that they broke, and the Kinsey is a likeable protagonist.
I was pretty sure that Obsidian Blue was a fan of the series, so when I decided to dive in, I asked her if she wanted to join me for a read-along in the tradition of our Poirot Project and our failed attempt at co-reading the Prey books, which just resulted in us having a vomit fest. Hopefully this one will be more successful! It's a reread for Obsidian, and a new read for me! We've not set a specific pace, and it makes sense to just let things unfold as they will!