"A" is for Alibi: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

by Sue Grafton
3.7 428

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"A" Is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone Series #1) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 428 reviews.
bravewarrior More than 1 year ago
I am finishing this on the first day of 2011. This book was written in 1982 and it is nice to read something that is modern, but before the convenience of cellphones. I am planning to continue with the series and I am interested how Kinsey Millhone will age. Right now she is in the era of answering services (Google it) and $19.99 hotels. You have to read the book as a period piece if you are young. It is a really great mystery that had a lot of red herrings. I was fooled more than once. There's one suspect telling complete lies, a few not "telling the whole truth", and a witness not willing to tell what they saw. Kinsey has to sift though all that. I'm like a sponge believing all the half-truths and only thinking I knew the murderer by almost halfway through. I was way wrong. The fourth line of the book, Grafton tells you she shot someone and the rest of the book is what lead up to it. Make sure your sitting down when you read the ending.
Psychoticandhappy More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book on a whim. I didn't have a lot of expectations, just wanted a quick read for the airport. Needless to say I devoured this book and quickly started on the next. Before I was halfway through the next I had already purchased C, D, E and F. I am not always fond of female lead characters, maybe because they are not always portrayed in a favorable light. But Kinsey could be me or one of my sisters or friends. I am definitely glad that I followed that whim because it lead me to a great character and some great reading.
BolivarJ More than 1 year ago
"My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm a private investigator, licensed by the state of California, I'm thirty-two years old, twice divorced, no kids. I don't have pets, I don't have houseplants I spent a lot of time on the road and I don't like leaving things behind. Aside from the dangers of my profession my life has always been ordinary, uneventful and good. I meet most people in the course of my work, and if I can't get emotionally involved there, then where else can I go? P.I. is my whole life, most of the time I'm alone, but why not? I'm not unhappy and I'm not discontented" K. Millhone. A is for Alibi, A is for astounding! In the first installation of the Millhone franchise, Grafton sets the tone at its highest for what is to be one of the few mystery series that has aged well for almost three decades. In A is for Alibi, P.I. Kinsey Millhone's character takes a life of her own, and connects with the readers in the first paragraph. Grafton does a brilliant job developing Kinsey as a main character of this story, and in the process she manages to create all the secondary characters: Libby Glass, Charlie Scorsoni, Gwen Fife, Sharon Napier, Lyle Abernathy and Marcia Threadgill among others that give this novel the esense to make it original and likable. In the first installment, Grafton's first attempt to captivate readers is a triumph, the plot is simple, Nikki Fife was convicted of killing her husband eight years ago, now on parole she hires P.I. Kinsey Millhone to find the real killer. And as Kinsey brainstorms to find the killer it becomes more difficult than she tough it was " From the first, this has been a case where motive and alibi where oddidly overlapped. Alibi: An account of the suspect's whereabouts at the time a crime has been committed and is offered up as a proof of innocence. But here it didn't matter where anyone was, it only matter if someone had a REASON to have someone else dead, access to the victim and intent to kill" A is for Alibi is a journey that takes Kinsey to cross path with a genuine cast of characters and showcases Grafton's magnificent writing style and originality for her novels. Having taken place in the early eighties and introducing Kinsey, investigating a cold case murder, overlapped with an insurance fraud claim makes her job more difficult, but Graftons is at ease in her efortless writing. As a result, Kinsey shines throughout the whole story. A is for Alibi is great because it just doesn't introduce a great character, Kinsey Millhone, but also welcomes Grafton's series of novels as a writer. In the Millhone's series opening act- Grafton- "looks at society, murderers, and those who commit minor crimes whose motivation is less, but all beyond greed. The new standards of morality and how we judge people based on them, and most important, the notion of justice that justifies the need for revenge and payment of old debts." A is for Albi is written in a simple tone, yet Grafton takes nothing for granted, a page turner. Great story, well written plot with twists, turns and an exceptional and shocking ending.
booksonmynook More than 1 year ago
really liked this book. this was my first book by Sue Grafton. It was different than the other books I've read before, but great nonetheless
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't believe I have never read any of Sue Grafton's books. Kept you guessing until the end. I will be reading more of her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seemed like forever before the book became a "page turner". Also, too many characters to keep straight.
emilywilliams81 More than 1 year ago
And Sue Grafton's series as well as a few other authors were recommended as good reads for getting started. I agree with the positive folks on here in saying that her detail to the detective work is well done and if some of the reporting is unrealistic well it is fiction. Another book is more on the financial side of mysterious but it's a book called Deadly Portfolio: A Killing in Hedge Funds by Jon J. Hohn. Just like Grafton the pages turn and the stories behind the people and blending of families is fabulous. So far I'm enjoying this genre.
Lover__of_words More than 1 year ago
The first quarter of the book was a bit boring in my opinion. I felt the author spent too much time and space describing little unimportant things. After that it picked up and was very interesting. I suspected every character was the murderer and had no idea who it really was until the end, which I loved by the way. I even started enjoying the way she described everything. I was very anxious at the end. Also I started comparing the main character to myself. The characters were well depicted, though I have to admit I had a little trouble remembering who certain characters were, but I think that was just because there were a lot of characters. In the end, I very much enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the genre. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
Read this years ago and enjoyed it just as much this time. A great mystery with an ending that took me by surprise. Set in the 1980's. Refreshing look at a time before cell phones or other high-tech devices. Great character development. As with all mysteries, she tends to refer to characters by either just their first or last name. This can get a bit confusing unless you pay close attention to the full name of each character as it is introduced. Sue Grafton incorporates a bit of humor into her stories which helps keep a balance between the light and dark aspects of the story. I've read every book in Kinsey Milhone series and it's definitely worth the read. Many of the characters are in the follow-up stories as well. When you begin reading each subsequent book in this series, you feel as if you're visiting old friends.
hamonhaus More than 1 year ago
I plan to read the entire series. The "Lady Detective" hero is believable and interesting. Plenty of gum-shoe endeavor that helps me stay in step and kind of solve the mystery along with her. I admit to formerly having hang-ups with a "female" perspective. That's not evident at all with kinsey.
TEST NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
This is great book. Sue Grafton is great at puttiing in great details to keep story flowing
Anonymous 5 months ago
This book is always a great read even though I have read it many times. One of my favorite series! Enjoy.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first Sue Grafton mystery to read. It was good but I had a little trouble keeping all of the women characters straight. I' m not sure that I'll read more in the series.
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Annie and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog I picked up this book on a whim. Mainly because the titles stuck out to me. The Kinsey Millhone series, or more famously known as the alphabet mysteries, follows a private investigator as she solves a bunch of cases. In A IS FOR ALIBI begins when the wife of a divorce lawyer is finally released from jail after 8 years paying for a crime she claims she did not commit. She has come to Kinsey for help to try and find the real murderer. The series takes place in a fictional California town of Santa Teresa. This book was actually initially released in 1982. I wasn’t even born yet so part of the allure of this book and reading about all the things that happened then. It’s a book that stands out to me because Kinsey doesn’t have the tools that PI books written now have. She must rely on her instinct and manual research to come to a conclusion and I enjoyed watching how she worked. Kinsey kind of reminds me of another well-loved character of Mystery books – Eve Dallas. If you’re a fan of the In Death series, you absolutely need to read this series. There is less romance in this series as a whole (although there’s a taste of it in this book), but Kinsey’s drive and tenacity reminds me a lot of Eve. Like Eve, Kinsey is a strong, independent woman – and I really want to stress the independent part. She doesn’t need anyone to do her job well and I really like that in a character. It makes me happy to see a female author write such strong heroines. As my first book by Sue Grafton I have to say how excited I am to have discovered this series. Not only is the alphabet idea so smart but her writing is really stellar. Grafton weaves an intricate story, keeping readers on their toes as Kinsey tries to find a killer. I know most people’s complaint about this book is that Kinsey comes off as emotionless. She drinks frequently and does things that most women would never, ever even think of doing. However, that isn’t a sign of weak characterization to me. In fact, those very things are what most heroines these days are made of. Grafton just anticipated all that and wrote it early on. That’s why the series is still able to go on for as long as it has. If you haven’t read this series yet, try at least one. I love to listen to the audiobooks whenever I need a refresher. A series like this is a great way to read outside the genre if you’re a Romance buff like me.
HaveninFla More than 1 year ago
I am rereading the Milhone series from the beginning, and it's great to see Grafton was so strong from the outset.
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kmc827 More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a good series to start this is it. You don't really know until near the end which is how it should be,and Kinsey is very likeable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Riveting!
teasinme More than 1 year ago
the beginning of the series introduces us to kinsey millhone. she is a private invesigator. in this story she is hired to help someone who spent 8 years in jail for murdering her husband. she had to find out who really killed him. but while looking for answers, she finds another 8 year old death and more witnesses start dieing
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Starting at the Very Beginning   Laurence Fife was not well liked when he was alive.  He was a ruthless divorce lawyer who always won big for his clients.  In his personal life, he had an ex-wife and was constantly cheating on his current wife.  So when he was murdered and his current wife was convicted of the crime, no one was super surprised.   But that was eight years ago, and Nikki Fife is now out on parole.  In all this time, she’s always maintained her innocence, and now she wants to hire PI Kinsey Millhone to prove it.  Kinsey isn’t sure about taking on a case that old, but when she starts poking around, she finds another murder that might be connected.  Is Nikki innocent?  Can Kinsey pick up on the cold trail?   I must admit, this has been on my list of books to read for a long time, and I’m glad I finally got a chance to pick it up.  While the plot did fall victim to a few PI clichés along the way, it still kept me entertained and guessing until the suspenseful end.  The characters were likable and developed enough to make us care.  And it was kind of fun being back in the world of the 1980’s, at least for the length of this book.   It’s easy to see why Kinsey and her creator have had such a long and successful career.  I hope to get to the next in the series soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago