D is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton

12th January 2023.

I first read this novel in the 1990s. While I’ve long since forgotten the story I’m enjoying Sue Grafton’s series more this time around. The stories and characters stand the test of time with ease and the writing is superlative, drawing you in from the opening lines.

This time it’s a shady character called Alvin, who wants Kinsey to deliver a cheque. Being a canny private eye, she’s suspicious, but she’s got to eat and pay the rent. When her retainer cheque bounces, she starts to uncover the truth about Alvin. He’s not who he says he is. He’s only recently come out of prison. And now he’s dead.

It should end there. But Kinsey has a cheque to deliver and an insatiable curiosity. As usual, she’s drawn into a complex trail that leads her from one suspect to the next, with danger increasing at every turn until a surprise climax you won’t see coming.

It’s breath taking storytelling at times, always intriguing, filled with Kinsey’s wry, irreverent humour and social comments, along with some terrific characters and subplots to keep you hooked.

In my opinion, this is still one of the best private eye series written and a terrific legacy from the late and greatly missed Sue Grafton.


When Alvin Limardo walks into P.I. Kinsey Millhone’s office, she smells bad news. He wants Kinsey to deliver $25,000. The recipient: A fifteen-year-old boy. It’s a simple matter. So simple that Kinsey wonders why he doesn’t deliver the money himself. She’s almost certain something is off. But with rent due, Kinsey accepts Limardo’s retainer against her better judgment…

When Limardo’s check bounces, Kinsey discovers she’s been had big time. Alvin Limardo is really John Daggett–an ex-con with a drinking problem, two wives to boot, and a slew of people who would like to see him dead. Now Kinsey is out four hundred dollars and in hot pursuit of Daggett.

When Daggett’s corpse shows up floating in the Santa Teresa surf, the cops rule the death an accident. Kinsey thinks it’s murder. But seeking justice for a man who everyone seemed to despise is going to be a lot tougher than she bargained for–and what awaits her at the end of the road is much more disturbing than she could’ve ever imagined…

Cover of D is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton

One Comment

  • Paula Williams

    I really loved that series Thank you for the reminder. I must reread them as I agree with your comment about this being one of the best private eye series ever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *