G is for Gumshoe by Sue Grafton

G is for Gumshoe by Sue Grafton

16th May 2023.

In the seventh book in the series, PI Kinsey Millhone has an eventful birthday. She moves into her new apartment, gets a straightforward job to track down a missing mother, and discovers a criminal’s hired an assassin to kill her.

Being feisty, determined and independent, Kinsey’s certain she can deal with the death threat until she’s attacked and then run off the road while trying to track down the missing mother. When she learns a judge, who is also on the hit list, has been killed, it’s time to call in Dietz to protect her.

Dietz is a bit of a handful, invading Kinsey’s space, but he knows what he’s doing. Their edgy relationship soon settles into a routine, until Kinsey goes off alone and almost gets killed again. The mother she found goes missing once more, setting off another puzzling mystery.

The tension remains palpable throughout the story as Kinsey battles to stay alive, solve an old murder, and accommodate Dietz. There’s plenty of humour to lighten the tone, Kinsey’s customary barbs at 1980’s living and values, and some crackling dialogue as she spars with Dietz.

It’s easily the best in the series so far, building on the characters and relationships from the previous books in the series to deliver some memorable moments. While Kinsey often has some bruising encounters in the course of her work, she seems to have more than her fair share in this story, adding to the excitement and entertainment.

Though I first read this book in the 1990s, it feels as fresh today as it did then, only more enjoyable.


For the record, the name is Kinsey Millhone. Private investigator. One hundred and eighteen pounds of female in a five-foot six-inch frame. Just turned thirty-three (after what seemed like an interminable twelve months of being thirty-two) . . .

Three things happened on May 5, the day everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Kinsey Millhone.

The repairs were completed on her apartment, and she moved back in. She was hired by Mrs Clyde Gersh to bring her mother back from the Mojave Desert.

And lastly, a real surprise. The news that she’d made one of the top slots on Tyrone Patty’s hit list . . .

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