W Is for Wasted

Sue Grafton. Putnam, $28.95 (496p) ISBN 978-0-399-15898-8
Kinsey Millhone goes through a dry spell workwise in bestseller Grafton’s absorbing 23rd mystery featuring the Santa Teresa, Calif., PI (after 2012’s V Is for Vengeance). The death of a homeless man, who was found with a slip of paper in his pocket with Kinsey’s name on it, provides some wanted distraction. The man may be Kinsey’s distant relative—who, it turns out, has left her his entire life savings, putting Kinsey in the middle of a case of a more personal nature than she’s used to. Along with the murder of a fellow PI, the disreputable Pete Wolinsky, Kinsey finds little time to deal with the reappearance of her onetime boyfriend, Robert Dietz. Grafton ties together these disparate threads with her usual skill. While some of Kinsey’s longer asides could have benefited from trimming, fans will rejoice that her observations on such topics as her previous failed relationships and the quirks of her hometown are as incisive and witty as ever. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/08/2013
Release date: 09/10/2013
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