I Is for Innocent (Kinsey Millhone Series #9)

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Overview

A Kinsey Millhone Mystery. . .

Fired by the insurance agency for whom she investigates, Kinsey is forced to take on a last-minute murder investigation in which the ex-husband of a murdered artist claims that David Barney, her current husband, is guilty as sin. Barney gets to Kinsey and insists he's innocent. But if he is, who's guilty? In trying to learn who's been getting away with murder, Kinsey may be ...

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Overview

A Kinsey Millhone Mystery. . .

Fired by the insurance agency for whom she investigates, Kinsey is forced to take on a last-minute murder investigation in which the ex-husband of a murdered artist claims that David Barney, her current husband, is guilty as sin. Barney gets to Kinsey and insists he's innocent. But if he is, who's guilty? In trying to learn who's been getting away with murder, Kinsey may be courting her own....

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  • Tagged! Interview: Sue Grafton
    Tagged! Interview: Sue Grafton  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After the pace and invention of ``H'' Is for Homicide, Grafton sets Kinsey Milhone on a quieter, more cerebral path in the ever-appealing PI's newest abecedarian adventure, again set in Santa Teresa, Calif. When fellow PI Morley Shine dies of a heart attack, Kinsey takes over the task of gathering evidence for a local lawyer who is prosecuting architect David Barney. Six years earlier, Barney was acquitted of murder charges in the still-unsolved death of his wealthy estranged wife Isabel, killed by a bullet fired through the peephole of her front door. Now Isabel's first husband, Ken Voigt, hoping to strip the architect of the fortune he inherited, is charging Barney with Isabel's wrongful death in a civil court, where less stringent evidence is required for conviction. Quickly finding holes in Shine's investigation, Kinsey uncovers a slew of suspects in Isabel's murder, including Voigt's second wife, Barney's first wife, Isabel's less attractive twin sister and even her best friend. Kinsey determines that Shine's death was not straightforward, solves the mystery of another years-old death and comes under direct fire herself before she finally, nearly too late, figures out who is the threat. There's much to enjoy here as Kinsey's octogenarian landlord Henry endures a visit from his fastidious older brother and romance blooms for neighborhood tavern owner Rose. But Kinsey may be voicing fans' hopes for ``J'' when she reflects midway through this case: ``I wanted to feel like the old Kinsey again . . . talkin' trash and kickin' butt.'' 300,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Mystery Guild main selections. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
California's formidable p.i. Kinsey Millhone ("A" Is for Alibi, etc.), fired from her comfortable berth with Fidelity Insurance, now rents office space from busy Santa Teresa lawyer Lonnie Kingman. His usual outside investigator Morley Shine has died of a heart attack, and he hires Kinsey to take over the case that Morley was working on. It involves the upcoming trial of David Barney, acquitted of the six-year-old murder of his wife, Isabelle, but now being sued for wrongful death in civil court by Isabelle's first husband, Ken Voigt. Voigt, represented by Lonnie Kingman, is sure that Barney killed Isabelle and wants to keep her considerable fortune out of his hands. Lonnie thinks he has a strong case, buoyed by damning new evidence from drifter Curtis McIntyre. But what Kinsey finds as she begins to probe is a surprising number of people with reasons to hate Isabelle—among them Voigt's second wife, Francesca, and Isabelle's business mentor Peter Weidmann and his overprotective wife, Yolanda. She also uncovers curious gaps in Morley's files and begins to question his "heart attack," as Lonnie's seemingly solid case collapses bit by bit, with her own life on the line in the gritty finale. A sober, resolute Kinsey, romanceless at the moment, and a clever, meaty puzzle—for which the publisher plans a 300,000 first printing. Rack up another winner for Grafton. (Literary Guild Split Dual Selection for July)
From the Publisher
PHENOMENAL PRAISE FOR THE MYSTERY NOVELS OF #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR SUE GRAFTON

“Exceptionally entertaining…an offbeat sense of humor and a feisty sense of justice.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Millhone is an engaging detective-for-hire…P.I. Kinsey Millhone and her creator…are arguably the best of [the] distaff invaders of the hitherto sacrosanct turf of gumshoes.”—The Buffalo News

“Once a fan reads one of Grafton’s alphabetically titled detective novels, he or she will not rest until all the others are found.”—Los Angeles Herald Examiner

“Millhone is a refreshingly strong and resourceful female private eye.”—Library Journal

“Tough but compassionate…There is no one better than Kinsey Millhone.”—Best Sellers

“A woman we feel we know, a tough cookie with a soft center, a gregarious loner.”—Newsweek

“Lord, how I like this Kinsey Millhone…The best detective fiction I have read in years.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Smart, tough, and thorough…Kinsey Millhone is a pleasure.”—The Bloomsbury Review

“Kinsey is one of the most persuasive of the new female operatives…She’s refreshingly free of gender clichés. Grafton, who is a very witty writer, has also given her sleuth a nice sense of humor—and a set of Wonder Woman sheets to prove it.”—Boston Herald

“What grandpa used to call a class act.”—Stanley Ellin

“Smart, sexual, likable and a very modern operator.”—Dorothy Salisbury Davis

“Kinsey’s got brains and a sense of humor.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449221518
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Series: Kinsey Millhone Series , #9
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.94 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Sue  Grafton

SUE GRAFTON entered the mystery field in 1982 with the publication of 'A' IS FOR ALIBI, which introduced female hard-boiled private investigator, Kinsey Millhone, operating out of the fictional town of Santa Teresa, (a.k.a. Santa Barbara) California. 'B' IS FOR BURGLAR followed in l985 and since then, she has added 18 novels to the series, now referred to as 'the alphabet’ mysteries. In addition, she’s published eight Kinsey Millhone short stories, and with her husband, Steven Humphrey, has written numerous movies for television, including “A Killer in the Family” (starring Robert Mitchum), “Love on the Run” (starring Alec Baldwin and Stephanie Zimbalist) and two Agatha Christie adaptations, “Sparkling Cyanide” and “Caribbean Mystery,” which starred Helen Hayes. 

She is currently at work on the next alphabet mystery, U IS FOR…

Biography

Sue Grafton is published in 28 countries and 26 languages -- including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian. She's an international bestseller with a readership in the millions. She's a writer who believes in the form that she has chosen to mine: "The mystery novel offers a world in which justice is served. Maybe not in a court of law," she has said, "but people do get their just desserts." And like Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, Robert Parker and the John D. MacDonald—the best of her breed—she has earned new respect for that form. Her readers appreciate her buoyant style, her eye for detail, her deft hand with character, her acute social observances, and her abundant storytelling talents.

But who is the real Sue Grafton? Many of her readers think she is simply a version of her character and alter ego Kinsey Millhone. Here are Kinsey's own words in the early pages of N Is for Noose:

"So there I was barreling down the highway in search of employment and not at all fussy about what kind of work I'd take. I wanted distraction. I wanted some money, escape, anything to keep my mind off the subject of Robert Deitz. I'm not good at good-byes. I've suffered way too many in my day and I don't like the sensation. On the other hand, I'm not that good at relationships. Get close to someone and the next thing you know, you've given them the power to wound, betray, irritate, abandon you, or bore you senseless. My general policy is to keep my distance, thus avoiding a lot of unruly emotion. In psychiatric circles, there are names for people like me."

Those are sentiments that hit home for Grafton's readers. And she has said that Kinsey is herself, only younger, smarter, and thinner. But are they an apt description of Kinsey's creator? Well, she's been married to Steve Humphrey for more than twenty years. She has three kids and two grandkids. She loves cats, gardens, and good cuisine—not quite the nature-hating, fast-food loving Millhone. So: readers and reviewers beware. Never assume the author is the character in the book. Sue, who has a home in Montecito, California ("Santa Theresa") and another in Louisville, the city in which she was born and raised, is only in her imagination Kinsey Millhone -- but what a splendid imagination it is.

Biography from author website

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    1. Hometown:
      Montecito, California and Louisville, Kentucky
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 24, 1940
    2. Place of Birth:
      Louisville, Kentucky
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, University of Louisville, 1961
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 65 )
Rating Distribution

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(28)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(2)

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(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 66 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    One of the best in the series

    I've been re-reading Grafton's series and I like this book the most so far. Great pacing, interesting premiss, and many motives for the murder. Ending was high energy. Fun read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    I is for Innocent

    I really enjoyed this one more then the previous titles. Kinsey really has her work cut out for her when a fellow private detective dies of a heart attack and she has been selected to take over his accounts. When she gets his files they are mismatched and some are missing. She gets to work and soon finds out he was getting too close to the truth and he may not have died from his bad eatting habits at all. The main case she is working on is the murder of Iz Barney a few people had a motive, but David Barney Iz's husband is the one on trial. As you go through this book you will get tripped up on who actually murdered Iz and when you find out you might be surprised.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2004

    I IS FOR INTRIGUING

    I IS FOR INNOCENT IS ONE OF SUE GRAFTON'S BETTER STORIES. SHE THROWS THE READER OFF TRACK, BUT IN THE END COMES BACK TO THE OBVIOUS KILLER, DAVID BARNEY.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I thought this was pretty good and it took me a minute to figure

    I thought this was pretty good and it took me a minute to figure it out.

    Lonnie Kingman is in a bind. He's smack in the middle of assembling a civil suit, and the private investigator who was doing his pretrial legwork has just dropped dead of a heart attack. In a matter of weeks the court's statute of limitations will put paid to his case. Five years ago David Barney walked when a jury acquitted him of the murder of his rich wife, Isabelle. Now Kingman, acting as attorney for the dead woman's ex-husband and their child (and sure that the jury made a serious mistake), is trying to divest David Barney of the profits of that murder. But time is running out, and David Barney still swears he's innocent.

    Patterned along the lines of a legal case, "I" Is For Innocent is seamlessly divided into thirds: one-third of the novel is devoted to the prosecution, one-third to the defense, and a final third to cross-examination and rebuttal. The result is a trial novel without a trial and a crime novel that resists solution right to the end.

    When Kinsey Millhone agrees to take over Morley Shine's investigation, she thinks it is a simple matter of tying up the loose ends. Morley might have been careless about his health, but he was an old pro at the business. So it comes as a real shock when she finds his files in disarray, his key informant less than credible, and his witnesses denying ever having spoken with him. It comes as a bigger shock when she finds that every claim David Barney has made checks out. But if Barney didn't murder his wife, who did? It would seem the list of candidates is a long one. In life, Isabelle Barney had stepped on a lot of toes.

    In "I" Is For Innocent, Sue Grafton once again demonstrates her mastery of those telling details that reveal our most intimate and conflicted relationships. As Kinsey comments on the give-and-take by which we humans deal with each other, for better and sometimes for worse, the reader is struck yet again by how acute a social observer Ms. Grafton can be. Frequently funny and sometimes caustic, she is also surprisingly compassionate-- understanding how little in life is purely black and white. Except for murder.

    Somewhere out there, a killer waits to see just what Kinsey will find out. Somewhere out there, someone's been getting away with murder, and this time it just might turn out to be Kinsey's.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2001

    Can't Stop Now

    ¿I¿ is for Innocent was a fast paced mystery that has interesting, realistic characters, that are fun to know. The action of the story keeps you reading and will not let you go until you are done. The beginning of ¿I¿ is for Innocent starts slower, but picks up quickly as the story proceeds. This was a great way for the action of the book to develop. The pace keeps you looking to what will happen next. You naturally try to figure out when something important will happen. The characters are so real you feel as if you have known them for years. P.I. Kinsey has the sarcasm of a true smart aleck, a quality that adds humor and relief to the drama of the mystery. Henry, the loving neighbor, and his hypochondriac brother, William, make you feel all warm and mushy inside. Along with the master mind David Barney and overeating Rhe Parsons you have a whole bunch of individuals that when put together make this books so much fun to read. The way the mystery unfolds, holds your attention until the very end of the novel. It keeps you wondering who is the killer, when is Kinsey going to figure it out, why all of this is happening. There is no way you can put this book down until Kinsey writes her at letter in the prologue. ¿I¿ is for Innocent is a thrilling mystery that keeps you wondering and guessing at what is going to happen next. I love this murder mystery; its wild and it will keep you at the end of the chair.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2001

    Grafton Does It Again!

    It's by Sue Grafton featuring her leading character Kinsey Millhone. Enough Said.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2014

    A good step away from the formula.

    A very good read that is not easily predictable with a page from O'Henry. Very different from "A" to "H". I enjoyed this book.

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  • Posted November 24, 2013

    I is for Innocent by Sue Grafton is another win for Kinsey Millh

    I is for Innocent by Sue Grafton is another win for Kinsey Millhone.  Although this one was a bit more violent than the others, I completely enjoyed the story line.  Kinsey is a terrific detective, so it was fun to read how she put the pieces together after following a fellow PI.  I love this series.  I just cannot get enough.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Awesome book

    This book was so good. I love this series and plan to read the rest of the series. If you like a cozy mystery this book for you.

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  • Posted May 3, 2013

    Wearing thin.

    The long and detaile descriptons of trivia are becoming tiring bu they are easily skipped. The rest of the tale is still interesting so I'll stick to it for a whle longer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    A Must Read

    These Sue Grafton alphabet books are what I call "potato chip books" you can't just read one you must read them all.
    Remind me of the John D McDonald, Travis McGhee series fub and easy to read quickly.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Good clean fun

    Kinsey and her antics will keep you entertained and laughing. I think we all know someone like her

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  • Posted June 4, 2011

    Well done!

    I am really enjoying the kinsey series. This book was really good and hard to put down. Now i'm off to read the 'J' book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    Kinsey Milhone Series

    I purchased this book to fill out the missing titles from the alphabet series that I had not yet read.
    Enjoyed the atory.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Sue Grafton does a great job in this series

    Just like all the letters before "I" this book is great. It is a good book to sit down with on a cold night in front of the fireplace. I cant wait to start the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2001

    My likes and dislikes of 'I' if for Innocent

    My Likes and Dislikes of ¿I¿ is for Innocent ¿I¿ is for Innocent is a somewhat unique book. Sue Grafton has a unique style and way of writing. The title throws the reader off and makes you think, ¿Who could the murderer be?¿ The uniqueness of the book could be looked at for the fact that Sue Grafton put a female detective in the story instead of the common male detective that we see so much off. She is basically stating that Kinsey, the detective, can do as much as Dick Tracy or Sherlock Holmes or in other word females get the job done just as good as males. I really liked the pace of the story and the intriguing characters that she wrote into the book. Sue had such detailed descriptions of the characters that I could picture them in my mind without a blur. Curtis McIntyre was a personal favorite character of mine. He was fixated on the fact that he thought that Kinsey wanted to date him but in actualization he appalled her. I also liked the fact that there were lots of suspects in the novel and it added a lot more suspicion into the book. Some negative aspects of this book could include David Barney¿s alibi. It just seemed to unrealistic to me and to actually get away with the way he went about his alibi was taking a lot of chances. There was the sub-plot of the hit-n-run that really didn¿t need to be drug out the way it was. This book had a slow beginning but later picked up throughout the book. The attitude of Laura Barney was something that had bothered me. She was so negative towards everything and that just wasn¿t to my approval.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2000

    K could be for Kinsey

    The lawyer from whom Kinsey Milhone rents office space gives her an assignment to investigate the murder of an artist. The victim's ex-husband claims the new husband did it. The new husband, who was aquitted of the murder six years earlier, swears he did not do. Kinsey soon finds herself with plenty more suspects. The victim's twin sister, the ex-husband's second wife, and the second husband's first wife. Their motives range from jealousy to greed or just plain hatred. As usual Kinsey finds her own life in danger as she proceeds with the investigation, getting closer to the truth. Grafton simply gets better as works her way through the alphabet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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