28th February 2023.
In her fifth outing in the series, private investigator Kinsey Millhone finds herself caught in an elaborate fraud. It starts with a mystery deposit of $5000 into her bank account, closely followed by her report into an insurance claim for a warehouse fire being replaced by a false account. The insurance company suspends her, leaving her angry and helpless.
But not for long. With a little help from an employee at the insurance company and her usual dogged approach, she’s soon on the trail. Even the reappearance of her ex-husband doesn’t shift her focus as she strives to clear her name. And then someone from the family who owns the burned out warehouse is killed by a bomb.
Kinsey is injured and lucky to be alive. But despite her injuries she’s more determined than ever to solve the case and catch the murderer, despite the risk to herself.
I first read this novel back in the 1990s, when I was an avid fan. I don’t remember the story at all, which meant I could enjoy it all over again. It hasn’t aged and the writing and characters still feel fresh and engaging.
This is the best in the series so far, revealing more of Kinsey’s background to underpin her character traits. This time, the case is personal, which always adds extra bite to the story. It’s well-written, the pace is gentle, but never dull, and her investigation gathers momentum for a satisfying climax. Her acerbic asides and social commentary add a lovely touch of humour.
This has always been one of my favourite series and characters, but they’re definitely better second time around and I’m looking forward to reading more as the year goes on.
It was two days after Christmas when Kinsey Millhone received the bank slip showing a credit for five thousand dollars.
The account number was correct but Kinsey hadn’t made the deposit.
Then came the phone call and suddenly everything became clear. The frame-up was working and Kinsey was trapped . . .