I have been reading Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone mystery series, for…let’s just say a long time. I have read every book starting with A is for Alibi up through her latest, U is for Undertow. I guess you could say I’m a chronic series reader, however when you find something good, why would you stray? The one thing that I like about this series is, even thought its been around for 28 years (that’s right as old as me), the age of the main character and era of the series stays constant, in fact only 6 years have been gained since the first book was published, so we’re currently hanging out in 1988. A year when computers didn’t exist, you had to go to the library to do old fashion research and cross-referencing, and there were no cell phones, PDAs, smart phones, or blackberries, its all old school detective work.
The most recent Millhone mystery starts with the sudden appearance of Michael Sutton, who has suddenly, remember possibly a very important detail in the disappearance of a girl from over 20 years ago. Grafton bounces between past and present to tell her story of what could have happened to Mary Claire Fitzhugh. Focusing on the lives of many different people and how they all intertwine to reveal the truth about what happened all those years ago.
While Kinsey Millhone is trying to sort out the past of others, her own past is something that has been troubling her as well. Millhone was raised by her late aunt after the death of her parents, and in recent books was reunited with her estranged family, who she always thought didn’t care for her. She finds herself doing her own detective work on her past to reveal that not everything was what she once thought it was.
For the 21st book in this series, I find it comforting that Grafton has kept Kinsey true to herself and the style of her writing is consistent. This series is a definite read in my book and you should make it part of yours as well.