W is for Wasted
By Sue Grafton
(Marian Wood Books/Putnam, Hardcover, 9780399158988, 496pp.)
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
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Of the #1 New York Times–bestselling Kinsey Millhone series, NPR said, “Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters.”
Two dead men 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.
SUE GRAFTON lives in Montecito, California, and Louisville, Kentucky.
Praise for W IS FOR WASTED
“Grafton is a writer of many strengths—crisp characterizations, deft plotting, and eloquent dialogue among them—and she has kept her long-running alphabet mystery series fresh and each new release more welcome than the last. Her greatest skill may be the way she melds disparate, unwieldy, often difficult subjects into a cohesive whole that satisfies as both entertainment and art. It's one thing to write a bestseller (or 23), but quite another to do so while addressing larger societal ills. Achieve both, and you reach the pinnacle of the profession—as Grafton has. Her work is layered, textural, sensate—ingenious and satisfying in any genre. . . Lesser authors churn books out; Grafton continues to knock them out of the park.”—Louisville Courier-Journal
“‘W is for Wasted’ is further proof – as if it were needed – of Grafton’s immense talent. And her ability to give equal weight to the story of the detective and the detective story sets her apart in the world of crime fiction.” ––Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Kinsey Millhone, the well-nigh immortal sleuth in this enduring series, still has time to play her rebel role simply by living a spartan existence in a world of greedy narcissists…How sweet it is to see the California private eye back in her garage apartment…It’s also fun to watch her at work, taking notes on index cards, typing reports on a Smith-Corona and here’s what really matters—communicating with people face-to-face.” ––New York Times Book Review
“Involving, amusing and fast-paced.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Nearing the conclusion of this celebrated series, Grafton continues to shape Millhone’s character, toughened by circumstance but still both understanding and forgiving.”—Booklist
“Grafton has lost none of her ability to bring her character vividly to life: Kinsey is as witty and engaging as ever, although somewhat more subdued and thoughtful owing to the emotionally charged tasks she has to perform. As Grafton nears the end of her long-running alphabet series, readers of mystery and suspense and Grafton’s many fans will delight in and savor this latest addition.”—Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for Sue Grafton
“After three decades Grafton’s iconic detective remains a quirky delight. With the help of McDonald’s pit stops and her single no-wrinkle black dress, Kinsey is sure to keep up the good fight through W, X, Y and Z—taking punches for the little guys and keeping the bad ones at bay.” —People
“Millhone’s complexity is mirrored by the novels that document her cases: books that nestle comfortably within the mystery genre even as they push and prod its contours.”—The Wall Street Journal
“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.”—The Washington Post
“Grafton purposively begins with a standard situation . . . and then sets about breaking every cardinal rule of the mystery novel.”—The Los Angeles Times