M Is for Malice by Sue Grafton

M Is for Malice (Kinsey Millhone, #13)

by Sue Grafton

'M' is for Malek Construction, the $40 million company that grew out of modest soil to become one of the big three in California.

'M' is for Malek family: four sons now nearing middle age who stand to inherit a fortune - four men with very different temperaments and needs, linked only by blood and money. Eighteen years ago, one of them - angry, troubled and in trouble - went missing.

'M' is for Millhone, now hired to trace that missing black sheep brother.

And, in brutal consequence, 'M' is for murder . . .

'Another treat from the alphabet queen' Daily Mail

'An unusually compelling series of novels with a notably convincing central character' Guardian

Reviewed by funstm on

5 of 5 stars

I love Kinsey Millhone. But she's not everyone's cup of tea. I started reading the Alphabet series a few years ago - I think at the time it was up to O is for Outlaw. The idea of a mystery series each title beginning with a new letter amused me. I don't know why. I don't think it's particularly original. At least - I've seen a few others since. At the time though it was new to me and it just struck me as perfect. I flew through the series. Kinsey is riveting. She's brash and harsh and charming. She's fierce and flawed. She gets scared. She holds her own. She pushes herself to run often and tackles cases without judgement and with an open mind. Rosie and Henry are brilliant and I love the little family she builds around her.

But Kinsey Millhone isn't Jack Reacher - her speed is more Tracy Crosswhite. [b:My Sister's Grave|22341263|My Sister's Grave (Tracy Crosswhite, #1)|Robert Dugoni|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1405267054l/22341263._SY75_.jpg|41739579] Her cases aren't full of action and high speed chases - they're slowly nitpicking away until something clicks into place. She writes down all her thoughts and places her facts and ideas on 3x5 index cards - which she often shuffles and rearranges to help her solve her case. And I love it. Kinsey Millhone is great - but she's not for everyone.

For some reason I've seen reviewers compare this to Stephanie Plum - I don't know why - this is absolutely NOTHING like that. Stephanie Plum is a very different character and an extremely different type of book. That's more fluff. Kinsey Millhone is more procedural mysteries. And this series isn't current - it was first published in the 80's - there's not really technology. Messages were relayed by calling the landlines. Paper files were still the main form of storage. Not everyone will enjoy reading this. But if you like your mysteries to be more like procedurals with a determined and fierce character - Kinsey Millhone is for you.

I love Kinsey. This mystery was really good. Some of it I saw coming, other parts blew me away. I guessed about Bennet and Paul being the ones that pulled off the forgery scam. I partly guessed about Claire being alive. I did not see the whole Myrna thing coming until it was already there. Robert Dietz is back in this one. The whole romance thing between them mostly sucks. It just never hits right for me. I kind of would've preferred to see how it went with Guy. Jonah Robb is the homicide detective which was interesting. Camilla has left him and is living with and pregnant to someone else. Kinsey and his detective partner, Betsy Bower is seeing him. The chat between them was freaking hilarious.

She said, “Rumor has it you’re involved with Lieutenant Robb.”
I squinted at her in disbelief. “He told you that?”
“Someone else. I’m afraid this is a small town, even smaller when it comes to law enforcement. So it’s not true?”
“Well, I was involved, but I’m not now,” I said. “What makes you ask?” The look on her face underwent a remarkable alteration. The careful neutrality fell away and in one split second, she went from blank to blushing. I sat back in my chair, taking a new look at her. “Are you smitten with him?”
“I’ve been out with him twice,” she said cautiously.
“Ohhh, I see. Now I get it,” I said. “Listen, I’m fond of Jonah, but it’s strictly over between us. I’m the least of your worries. It’s the dread Camilla you’d better be concerned about.”
Detective Betsy Bower had abandoned any pose of professionalism. “But she’s living with some guy and she’s pregnant.”
I raised a hand. “Trust me. In the continuing saga of Jonah and Camilla, the mere fact of this infant has no bearing on their relationship. He may act like he’s cured, but he isn’t, believe me. Camilla and Jonah are so enmeshed with each other I don’t know what it would take to split up their act. Actually, now that I think about it, you probably have as good a shot at it as any.”
“You really think so?”
“Why not? I was always too caught up in my own abandonment issues. I hated being a minor player in their little theater production. We’re talking seventh-grade bonding. Junior high school romance. I couldn’t compete. I lack the emotional strength. You look like you could tackle it. You have self-esteem issues? Are you a nail biter? Bed wetter? Jealous or insecure?”
She shook her head. “Not a bit.”
“What about confrontation?”
“I like a good fight,” she said.
“Well, you better get ready then because in my experience, she’s indifferent to him until someone else comes along. And for God’s sake, don’t play fair. Camilla goes for broke.”
“Thanks. I’ll remember. We’ll be in touch.”
“I can’t wait.”

Grafton, Sue. "M" is for Malice: A Kinsey Millhone Novel (pp. 248-250). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

I can't wait to see what happens with that. I've read up to U is for Undertow but if I read what happens with them, I can't remember it. Tasha Howard makes an appearance - the lawyer cousin. She suggests Kinsey be hired to find Guy. They chat a little but mainly stick to business. I'll be interested to see where it goes. Anyway it all wrapped up nicely and I can't wait to continue on.

This is such a great series. 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

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  • 21 January, 2021: Finished reading
  • 21 January, 2021: Reviewed
  • Started reading
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  • 21 January, 2021: Reviewed