Sue Grafton

When I heard that Sue Grafton died, my first thought, beyond intense sadness, was to go to my bookshelves and pick up “A” is for Alibi. Since the day I first read it, back in 1982, I’ve kept that book nearby. I never met Sue Grafton, yet I can say that she and Kinsey Millhone were my close friends.  Reading through the book today, 36 years after the first time, I’m struck by how vivid Kinsey still is. She’s a living, breathing and very funny person. Some of my favorite lines: “The day before yesterday I killed someone and the fact weighs heavily on my mind. I’m a nice person and I have a lot of friends.” While making coffee: “The gurgling sound was comforting, like the pump in an aquarium.” Of her VW Beetle: “I like my cars cramped and this one was filled with law books, a briefcase where I keep my little automatic, cardboard boxes , and a case of motor oil given to me by a client.” “In addition to the junk, I keep a packed overnight case back there, too, for God knows what emergency. I wouldn’t work for anyone who wanted me that fast.” And my favorite: “The basic characteristics of any good investigator are a plodding nature and infinite patience. Society has inadvertently been grooming women to this end for years.” 

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