G is for Gratifying:
Sue Grafton continues to deliver great stories, well told
By TERRY MATHEWS | News- Telegram Arts Editor
Nov 27, 2007 - For 25 years, author Sue Grafton has gifted her readers with one of the most consistently quirky characters in fiction. Kinsey Millhone, Grafton's fiercely independent heroine, has been at the front and center of 19 alphabetically titled stories, beginning with “A is for Alibi” in 1982.
With “T is for Trespass,” (G.P. Putnam's Sons - $26.95) due out next Tuesday, Grafton again proves why she's topped every best sellers list here at home and has been published in 26 languages and 28 countries.
For those unfamiliar with Kinsey, here's some background.
She works as a private investigator in the fictional town of Santa Teresa, Calif. She's single, having been divorced twice and broken up with boyfriend Cheney Phillips, a police officer. She lives in a studio apartment owned by retired baker and sexy senior citizen Henry Pitts.
Kinsey's parents were killed in a car wreck when she was five. Raised by her mother's sister, Kinsey didn't do well in school, but found a home in police work, and later as a private investigator.
She wears blue jeans. She runs along the beach to stay in shape, a task necessary to counter her love for greasy fast food. She cuts her hair with cuticle scissors and she owns one black dress.
Since her 1974 pale blue Volkswagen bug was crushed by a bulldozer in “S is for Silence,” Kinsey is now driving a vintage 1970 Ford Mustang, “with a gaudy Grabber Blue exterior.”
Instead of working a case out of her office downtown, this time around, Kinsey faces a challenge closer to home.
Her elderly neighbor Gus Vronksy, a prickly curmudgeon who has very few likeable traits and no nearby relatives, needs home health care after a fall.
Solana Rojas, the person hired to care for Gus, turns out to be one of the most dangerous psychopaths in recent memory.
Kinsey, Henry and Gus' niece from New York City must unravel Solana's carefully crafted plan – complete with stolen identity, violence and murder – before it's too late for Gus.
Grafton has always released books according to her timetable, refusing to give in to pressure to publish stories that weren't fully developed. She's never sold out to Hollywood, either, bless her heart.
Gratefully, nothing has changed. Grafton's storytelling skills and her ability to build suspense are in fine form here. Once began, it's difficult to put down any Grafton novel, and “T is for Trespass” is no exception.
For a complete list of Grafton's books and more information, visit www.suegrafton.com
Grafton will be at Bass Hall in Fort Worth on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. for an “On-Stage Conversation and Book Signing.” According to Melinda Mason at The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who is sponsoring Grafton’s appearance, tickets for the free event will “most likely” be available, since cancellations normally occur. Call Mason at 817-390-7579 for more information.