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Kinsey and Me: Stories

di Sue Grafton

Serie: Kinsey Millhone (short stories)

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5563533,671 (3.58)36
Includes stories that detail Alphabet series heroine Kinsey MIllhone's origins, as well as true tales of the author's past.
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Kinsey and Me (2013, 1992)) by Sue Grafton. This book was originally published in a limited run in 1992.
Here is a collection of short stories, nine featuring Sue Grafton’s alter ego, Kinsey Millhone. The second half of the book are her Kit Blue stories, Grafton writing about her younger years and her parents deaths. The first half is stories of the always 1980’s sleuth Kinsey and some nice little tales of deception, cheating and showing just how smart Millhone is. This is what Grafton’s followers expect and each tale is a nice visit into the past.
The thirteen stories of the Kit Blue are drawn from the late writer’s younger years. We may never know how much is fiction versus reality, but the tales are enlightening. Sue Grafton’s parents were alcoholics. She and her sister’s younger years are explored, reflecting how they managed to deal with the troubled life their parents presented for them. The settings are with both parents and later dealing with the followup to first one then the other’s deaths.
The Millhone stories are very good for the short story genre and allow us to go back into the Alphabet series without spending the time to read each book. It is the second half, the “Me” of the title, that is the part that really carried me. Writing about your troubles, be it in a diary that no one else will ever see, or into the short story form for the world to view, is a cathartic event. Exposing the past with all it’s warts and dismay allows the writer to come to terms with the those events and hopefully pass from them into a happier future.
No matter, this was a nice visit with an old friend. AndI will miss Sue Grafton, her work and her characters. ( )
  TomDonaghey | Aug 20, 2021 |
Fiction
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |

I think Sue Grafton was an amazing woman. It was really great to hear how Kinsey developed, especially in regards to Ms Grafton’s own life. In a way, it’s almost fitting that the series has to end on the “Y” since it took Kinsey so long to age. I appreciate and respect her desire to not want anyone to finish the series without her.
I enjoyed the Kinsey short stories that I had not heard before and I will definitely miss hearing what happens with the rest of Kinsey‘s story. But I think I know her well enough to make my own ending for her, as I hope many others will do also. ( )
  purple_pisces22 | Mar 14, 2021 |
I have been reading Sue Grafton for the past several years and loved all of her alphabet series starring her P.I. Kinsey Milhone. Sue Grafton's newest offering features several short stories starring Kinsey Milhone.

For fans who have missed Ms. Grafton's novels told from Kinsey's point of view this is definitely a novel you want to read. With Ms. Grafton's heroine investigating everything from a missing mother of three to the unexpected murder of a man whose body's gone missing you will definitely be hard pressed to figure out whose done it in these short stories. Out of the short stories the only one I didn't care for was the last one in the collection starring the two brothers', this story unlike the other ones was merely a few pages and didn't have as much detail as the other stories.

Additionally, Ms. Grafton includes a preface explaining where she first got her ideas of writing about Kinsey Milhone and her past childhood and marriages and how all of her experiences helped to shape the Kinsey Milhone persona.

The only thing that I really didn't care for in this collection is the character of Kit Blue. I have never heard of this character before and to have this character who came out of the blue and whose character appeared in the latter half of the stories in this novel. Since I understood this to be a collection of short stories starring Kinsey Milhone I was very disappointed by the inclusion of this character.

I would still recommend this short story collection to long time fans of Sue Grafton! ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
BOTTOM-LINE:
Kinsey is okay, Kit works well as a collection.
.
PLOT OR PREMISE:
The book is a collection of two sets of stories -- the first set are Kinsey Millhone series set throughout the Alphabet series in time; the second set are about Kit Blue.
.
WHAT I LIKED:
"The first part, with Kinsey Millhone, includes an introduction about how she created Kinsey (4/5), nine shortstories, and a conclusion about the history of the genre of the hard-boiled PI (3/5). The shortstories are fun to read, but there isn't much ""Kinsey"" in them. Too little time to dwell, mostly focused on ""wham bam, here's a clue, here's a solution"". One I rate at 4/5, five more at 3/5, and another three that aren't very good at all.
- Between the Sheets -- great opening where woman shows up to confess to murder she hasn't reported yet, and when she goes back, the body is gone (3/5);
- Long Gone -- missing wife, lots of kids, clues are pretty obvious (3/5);
- The Parker Shotgun -- cool premise, quick solution, fair with the clues (4/5);
- Non Sung Smoke -- Find a one-night stand, have him get killed, throw in some drugs (3/5);
- Full Circle -- Cute ending to a simple case of who killed a young woman in a horrific car accident that Kinsey witnessed (3/5); and,
- A Little Missionary Work -- Two celebrities ask for Kinsey's help with a fake kidnapping, but Kinsey reverses the con in the end (3/5).
.
The second part includes an introduction about Grafton's not-so-idyllic early life, and how ""Kit Blue"" is a younger version of herself (3/5). The remaining thirteen stories work quite well as a collection of slices of Kit's life, although individually I rate one as 5/5, five as 4/5, and three as 3/5, with another four below the line:
- That's Not An Easy Way To Go -- Kit realizing she's become the mother to her alcoholic mother (4/5);
- Lost People -- Kit reflecting on her alcoholic parents, displaced from their own lives (3/5);
- Clue -- Slice of life with mother visiting and Kit's relief when she leaves (3/5);
- Night Visit, Corridor A -- Kit visiting mother in hospital (4/5);
- April 24, 1960 -- Kit dealing with news of her mother's death on Kit's birthday, and being irritated by her husband trying to comfort her (4/5);
- The Closet -- Kit cleaning out her mother's closet after she's gone and trying to figure out what it represents, if anything (4/5);
- Maple Hill -- Kit walking through an empty house saying goodbye to all of it (5/5);
- Jessie -- a housewoman talking about Kit's mother (4/5); and,
- A Letter From My Father -- Kit reading a letter and sharing her own views of their life together (3/5)."
.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
"Three of the Kinsey stories aren't great:
- Falling Off The Roof -- A mystery book club with murder on its mind (1/5);
- A Poison That Leaves No Trace -- Quick case of a dead sister looking to know if her niece killed her mother (2/5); and,
- The Lying Game -- old trope about a liar and a truthteller, you can only ask one question (1/5).
.
Four of the Kit Blue slices don't stand alone very well:
- A Woman Capable of Anything -- Kit Blue watching a sleeping alcoholic mother (1/5);
- A Portable Life -- Kit coming to terms with the past being destroyed (1/5);
- The Quarrel -- Kit listening to her father explain his new wife's behaviour (2/5); and,
- Death Review -- Kit's working in a hospital as a medical secretary, spotting glimpses of her mom in the other patients (2/5)."
.
DISCLOSURE:
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow her on social media. ( )
  polywogg | Mar 24, 2019 |
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A mystery short story is a marvel of ingenuity.
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Includes stories that detail Alphabet series heroine Kinsey MIllhone's origins, as well as true tales of the author's past.

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