V Is for Vengeance (Signed Edition) (Kinsey Millhone Series #22)


The new Kinsey Millhone novel from the #1 New York Times- bestselling author.

Kinsey on Kinsey: "I know there are people who believe you should forgive and forget. For the record, I'd like to say I'm a big fan of forgiveness as long as I'm given the opportunity to get even first."
-from V is for Vengeance

A woman with a murky past who kills herself-or was it murder? A dying old man cared for by the son he ...

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The new Kinsey Millhone novel from the #1 New York Times- bestselling author.

Kinsey on Kinsey: "I know there are people who believe you should forgive and forget. For the record, I'd like to say I'm a big fan of forgiveness as long as I'm given the opportunity to get even first."
-from V is for Vengeance

A woman with a murky past who kills herself-or was it murder? A dying old man cared for by the son he pummeled mercilessly. A lovely woman whose life is about to splinter into a thousand fragments. A professional shoplifting ring racking up millions in stolen goods. A brutal and unscrupulous gangster. A wandering husband, rich and powerful. A spoiled kid awash in gambling debt thinking he can beat the system. A lonely widower mourning the death of his lover, desperate for answers that may be worse than the pain of his loss. An elegant but ruthless businessman whose dealings are definitely outside the law: the spider at the center of the web.

And Kinsey Millhone, whose thirty-eighth-birthday gift is a punch in the face that leaves her with two black eyes and a busted nose.

V: Victim. Violence. Vengeance.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The worst misconception about Kinsey Millhone mysteries is that you should begin reading them from the beginning of the alphabet. Exhibit "A" of that contention is the twenty-second and latest installment of Sue Grafton's resilient series. In V Is For..., poor Kinsey feels more like a victim than a victor. Any plans for her 38th birthday festivities are badly battered by an assault that leaves her with two black eyes and a misshapen nose. Even worse is the flood of new cases involving miscreants, adulterers, and a suicide that carries the unmistakable taint of murder. Fortunately, Millhone's midlife crisis is abated by good spirits and some very clever sleuthing. Too good to put off.

Publishers Weekly
MWA Grand Master Grafton’s finely tuned 22nd Kinsey Millhone novel after 2009’s U Is for Undertow finds the sharp-witted California PI filled with remorse after the apparent suicide of Audrey Vance, a woman she helped arrest for shoplifting. When Audrey’s perplexed fiancé, Marvin Striker, hires Kinsey to further investigate her death, Kinsey’s astute and relentless prying opens a Pandora’s box. Was Audrey tied to major crime lords? Are these racketeers linked to corrupt cops? Kinsey’s prickly personality and tart tongue antagonize just about everyone, including Marvin, several loan sharks, a stone-cold killer, and a hapless burglar who knows more than is healthy for him. For good measure, Kinsey gets punched in the face on her 38th birthday. An engrossing subplot involves an illicit love affair that neatly dovetails into the main story. This being 1988, Kinsey relies on her Rolodex, file cards, and land line, but her intuition is her chief asset. Readers will wish her well on her feisty and independent way to the end of the alphabet. Author tour. Nov.
Library Journal
Kinsey Millhone (U is for Undertow) doesn't look the other way when she sees trouble, so when she spots a woman shoplifting, she immediately informs store authorities. This sets off a chain of events, as the woman is soon found dead of an apparent suicide. Her fiancé doesn't believe she killed herself, and Kinsey's quest to find the truth puts her on the trail of a major shoplifting ring. Grafton's latest alphabetical mystery brings Kinsey into contact with a number of shady characters, from gangsters and gamblers to unhappy and unfaithful spouses. VERDICT Kinsey plays a smaller role in this story, which may not please some of her many fans, but Grafton's pioneering sleuth is as clever and witty as ever. [See Prepub Alert, 5/2/11.]—Linda Oliver, Colorado Springs
Kirkus Reviews
Kinsey Millhone witnesses a shoplifter at work, to the considerable cost of them both. Kinsey is minding her own business, looking through a bin of sale underpants at Nordstrom, when she spots a woman loading her handbag with quite a bit of merchandise. Like a good citizen, she alerts the salesclerk, who just happens to be her friend Claudia Rines, and Claudia alerts security. All would be well if only Audrey Vance, the shoplifter, didn't smell trouble; if only she weren't working with an accomplice who tries to complete her escape by running down Kinsey in her Mercedes; and if Audrey, the day after she's arrested and bailed out, didn't turn up dead. Audrey's fiancé Marvin Striker, who's such a nice man that he can't believe his ladylove was shoplifting, let alone involved with a highly organized ring of thieves, hires Kinsey to find out why she might have killed herself. But a second plotline has already informed readers that Audrey was murdered at the behest of her criminal associate Cappi Dante. Meanwhile, in a third plotline, society wife Nora Vogelsang realizes that her husband Channing, an entertainment attorney, has been entertaining himself with another woman and plots..,not revenge exactly, but satisfaction. Grafton U Is for Undertow, 2009, etc. pays out all three lines with patient expertise and a sharp eye for homely details. But none of them catches fire until Kinsey runs afoul of Sgt. Det. Leonard Priddy, of the Santa Teresa Police Department, and then gets squeezed by likable ex-con Pinky Ford, who just can't stay on the straight and narrow. And when the three strands of the story finally come together, one of them doesn't seem to be pulling its weight. As always, Grafton is as original, absorbing and humane as ever. The joints just creak a bit this time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399159701
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/14/2011
  • Series: Kinsey Millhone Series , #22
  • Edition description: Signed
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Sue Grafton lives in Montecito, California, and Louisville, Kentucky. V is for Vengeance is her twenty-second Kinsey Millhone novel.


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:

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