S Is for Silence (Kinsey Millhone Series #19)

S Is for Silence (Kinsey Millhone Series #19)

by Sue Grafton

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Overview

California private investigator Kinsey Millhone is hired to solve a decades-old cold case in this “undeniably entertaining” (Los Angeles Times) #1 New York Times bestseller from Sue Grafton.

Cases don't get much colder than that of Violet Sullivan, who disappeared from her rural California town in 1953, leaving behind an abusive husband and a seven-year-old named Daisy. But PI Kinsey Millhone has promised the now adult Daisy she'll try her best to locate Violet, dead or alive. All signs point to a runaway wife—the clothes that disappeared; the secret stash of money Violet bragged about; the brazen flirtations she indulged in with local men, including some married ones.

Kinsey tries to pick up a trail by speaking to those who remember Violet—and perhaps were more involved in her life than they let on. But the trail could lead her somewhere very dangerous. Because the case may have gone cold, but some people's feelings about Violet Sullivan still run as hot as ever...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399575204
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Series: Kinsey Millhone Series , #19
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 61,548
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton is published in 28 countries and 26 languages—including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian. Books in her alphabet series, begun in 1982, are international bestsellers with readership in the millions. And like Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Robert Parker, and John D. MacDonald—the best of her breed—Sue Grafton has earned new respect for the mystery 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.

Sue divides her time between Montecito, California and Louisville, Kentucky, where she was born and raised. She has three children and two grandchildren. Grafton has been married to Steve Humphrey for more than twenty years. She loves cats, gardens, and good cuisine.

Hometown:

Montecito, California and Louisville, Kentucky

Date of Birth:

April 24, 1940

Place of Birth:

Louisville, Kentucky

Education:

B.A. in English, University of Louisville, 1961

Read an Excerpt

1

LIZA Saturday, July 4, 1953

When Liza Mellincamp thinks about the last time she ever saw Violet Sullivan, what comes most vividly to mind is the color of Violet's Japanese silk kimono, a shade of blue that Liza later learned was called "cerulean," a word that wasn't even in her vocabulary when she was fourteen years old. A dragon was embroidered in satin-stitch across the back, its strange dog-shaped face and arched body picked out in lime green and orange. Flames twisted from the dragon's mouth in curling ribbons of blood red.

That last night, she'd arrived at the Sullivans' house at 6:00. Violet was going out at 6:15 and, as usual, she wasn't dressed and hadn't done her hair. The front door was open and as Liza approached, Baby, Violet's three-month-old buff-colored Pomeranian, started yapping in a shrill little doggy voice while she pawed at the screen, punching holes here and there. She had tiny black eyes and a black button nose and a small pink bow affixed to her forehead with stickum of some kind. Someone had given Violet the dog less than a month before, and she'd developed a fierce attachment to it, carrying the dog around in a big straw tote. Liza disliked Baby, and twice when Violet left the dog behind, Liza put her in the coat closet so she wouldn't have to listen to her bark. She'd gotten the idea from Foley, who disliked the dog even more than she did.

Liza knocked on the door frame, a sound barely audible above the dog's yap-yap-yap. Violet called out, "Come on in. I'm in the bedroom!"

Liza opened the screen door, pushed the dog aside with her foot, and walked through the living room to the bedroom Violet and Foley shared. Liza knew for a fact that Foley often ended up sleeping on the couch, especially when he'd been drinking, which he did almost every day, and even more especially after he'd busted Violet in the chops and she'd stopped speaking to him for two days or however long it was. Foley hated it when she gave him the silent treatment, but by then he'd be sorry he'd slugged her and he wouldn't have the nerve to protest. He told anyone who would listen that she brought it on herself. Anything bad that happened to Foley was someone else's fault.

Baby pattered into the bedroom behind her, a fluff ball of nervous energy with a party favor of a tail. She was too small to jump up onto the bed, so Liza scooped her up and put her there. Violet's tow-headed daughter, Daisy, was lying on the bed reading the Little Lulu comic Liza had given her the last time she sat, which was the night before last. Daisy was like a cat-always in the room with you but busy pretending to be doing something else. Liza took a seat on the only chair in the room. Earlier in the day when she'd stopped by, there had been two brown paper bags sitting on the chair. Violet said it was stuff going to the Goodwill, but Liza recognized a couple of Violet's favorite things and thought it was odd that she'd give away her best clothes. Now the brown bags were gone and Liza knew better than to mention them. Violet didn't like questions. What she wanted you to know, she'd tell you outright, and the rest was none of your business.

"Isn't she adorable?" Violet said. She was talking about the dog, not her seven-year-old child.

Liza didn't comment. She was wondering how long it would take to suffocate the Pomeranian while Violet was out. Violet was sitting on the bench at her makeup table, wearing the bright blue kimono with the dragon across the back. As Liza watched, Violet loosened the tie and shrugged the wrap aside so she could examine a bruise the size of Foley's fist that sat above one breast. Liza could see three versions of the bruise reflected in the trifold mirror that rested on the vanity. Violet was small and her back was perfect, her spine straight, her skin flawless. Her buttocks were dimpled and ever so slightly splayed where they pressed down against the seat.

Violet wasn't at all self-conscious about Liza seeing her undressed. Often when Liza came to sit, Violet would emerge from the bathroom naked, having dropped the towel so she could dab behind her knees with the violet cologne she used. Liza would try to keep her gaze averted while Violet strolled around the bedroom, pausing to light an Old Gold that she'd leave on the lip of the ashtray. Liza's gaze was irresistibly drawn to the sight of Violet's body. No matter where Violet went, eyes were drawn to her. Her waist was small and her breasts were plump, drooping slightly like sacks filled nearly to capacity with sand. Liza's boobs were barely sufficient for her AA brassiere, though Ty would close his eyes and start breathing hard every time he felt her up. After they kissed for a while, even if she resisted, he'd find a way to unbutton her shirt, nudging aside her bra strap so he could cup a budding breast in his palm. Then he'd grab Liza's hand and press it between his legs, making a sound somewhere between a whimper and a moan.

In her church youth group, the pastor's wife often lectured the girls about heavy petting, which was not recommended, as it was the quickest road to sexual intercourse and other forms of loose behavior. Oh, well. Liza's best friend, Kathy, was currently taken up with the Moral Rearmament Movement, which preached Absolute Honesty, Absolute Purity, Absolute Unselfishness, and Absolute Love. The last was the one that appealed to Liza. She and Ty had started dating in April, though their contact was limited. He couldn't let his aunt hear about it because of things that happened at his last school. She'd never been kissed before, had never done any of the things Ty introduced her to in their times together. Of course, she'd drawn the line at going all the way, but she couldn't see the harm in Ty fooling with her boobs if it made him feel good. This was exactly Violet's point of view. When Liza finally confessed what was going on, Violet said, "Oh please, Sweetie, what's it to you? Let him have his fun. He's a good-looking boy, and if you don't give in to him some other girl will."

Violet's hair was dyed an astonishing shade of red, more orange than red and not even intended to look real. Her eyes were a clear green, and the lipstick she wore was a pinky rose shade. Violet's lips formed two wide bands across her mouth, as flat as the selvage on a remnant of silk. Her pale skin had an undertone of gold, like fine paper in a book printed long ago. Liza's complexion was freckled, and she tended to break out at "that time of the month." While Violet's hair was as silky as an ad for Breck shampoo, Liza's ends were crinkled and split from a miscalculation with the Toni Home Permanent Kathy'd given her the week before. Kathy had read the directions wrong and fried Liza's hair to a fare-thee-well. The strands still smelled like spoiled eggs from the lotions she'd applied.

Violet liked going out, and Liza babysat Daisy three and four times a week. Foley was gone most nights, drinking beer at the Blue Moon, which was the only bar in town. He worked construction, and at the end of the day, he needed to "wet his whistle" was how he put it. He said he wasn't about to stay home babysitting Daisy, and Violet certainly had no intention of sitting around the house with her while Foley was out having fun. During the school year, Liza ended up doing her homework at the Sullivans' after Daisy was in bed. Sometimes Ty came to visit, or Kathy might spend the evening so the two could read movie magazines. True Confession magazine was preferable, but Kathy was worried about impure thoughts.

Violet smiled at Liza, their eyes connecting in the mirror until Liza looked away. (Violet preferred to smile with her lips closed because one of her front teeth was chipped where Foley'd knocked her sideways into a door.) Violet liked her. Liza knew this and it made her feel warm. Being favored by Violet was enough to make Liza trot around behind her like a stray pup.

Breast inspection complete, Violet shrugged herself back into the kimono and tied it at the waist. She took a deep drag of her cigarette, then rested it in the ashtray so she could finish putting on her face. "How's that boyfriend of yours?"

"Fine."

"You be careful. You know he's not supposed to date."

"I know. He told me and that is so unfair."

"Unfair or not, his aunt would have a fit if she knew he was going steady, especially with someone like you."

"Gee, thanks. What'd I do to her?"

"She thinks you're a bad influence because your mother's divorced."

"She told you that?"

"More or less," Violet said. "I ran into her at the market and she tried to pump me for information. Someone saw you with Ty and ran blabbing straight to her. Don't ask who tattled because she was very tight-lipped. I told her she was nuts. I was polite about it, but I made sure she got the point. In the first place, I said your mother wouldn't let you date at your age. You're barely fourteen...how ridiculous, I said. And in the second place, you couldn't be seeing Ty because you spent all your spare time with me. She seemed satisfied with that, though I'm sure she doesn't like me any better than she likes you. Guess we're not good enough for her or her precious nephew. She got all pruney around the mouth and went on to say that at his last school, some girl got herself in trouble, if you get my drift."

"I know. He told me he felt sorry for her."

"So he did her the big favor of screwing her. Wasn't she the lucky one?"

"Well, it's over now anyway."

"I'll say. Take it from me, you can't trust a guy who's hellbent on getting in your pants."

"Even if he loves you?"

"Especially if he loves you, and worse if you love him."

Violet picked up a wand of mascara and began to sweep her lashes, leaning into the mirror so she could see what she was doing. "I've got Cokes for you in the fridge and a carton of vanilla ice cream if you and Daisy want some."

"Thanks."

She recapped the wand and used a hand to fan her face, drying the dramatic fringe of black goo. She opened her jewelry box and selected six bracelets, thin silver circles that she slipped over her right hand one by one. She shook her wrist so they jingled together like tiny bells. On her left wrist she fastened her watch with its narrow black-cord band. Barefoot, she got up and crossed to the closet.

There was very little evidence of Foley in the room. He kept his clothes jammed in a pressed-board armoire shoved in one corner of Daisy's room, and as Violet was fond of saying, "If he knows what's good for him, he better not complain." Liza watched while she hung the kimono on a hook on the inside of the closet door. She was wearing sheer white nylon underpants but hadn't bothered with a bra. She slipped her feet into a pair of sandals and leaned down to fix the straps, her breasts bobbling as she did. Then she pulled on a lavender-and-white polka-dot sundress that zipped up the back. Liza had to help her with that. The dress fit snugly, and if Violet was aware that her nipples showed as flat as coins she made no remark. Liza was self-conscious about her figure, which had begun developing when she was twelve. She wore loose cotton blouses-usually Ship'n Shore-mindful that her bra and slip straps sometimes showed through the fabric. She found this embarrassing around the boys at school. Ty was seventeen and, having transferred from another school, didn't act stupid the way the others did, with their mouth farts and rude gestures, fists pumping at the front of their pants.

Liza said, "What time are the fireworks?"

Violet reapplied her lipstick and then rubbed her lips together to even out the color. She recapped the tube. Whenever it gets dark. I'm guessing nine," she said. She leaned forward, blotted her lipstick with a tissue, and then used an index finger to clean a line of color from her teeth.

"Are you and Foley coming home right afterward?"

"Nah, we'll probably stop by the Moon."

Liza wasn't sure why she'd bothered to ask. It was always like that. They'd get home at 2:00 A.M. Liza, dazed and groggy, would collect her four dollars and then walk home through the dark.

Violet took the bulk of her hair, twisted it, and held it high on her head, showing the effect. "What do you think? Up or down? It's still hotter than blue blazes."

"Down's better."

Violet smiled. "Vanity over comfort. Glad I taught you something." She dropped her hair, shaking it out so the weight of it went swinging across her back.

That was the sequence Liza remembered-beginning, middle, and end. It was like a short loop of film that ran over and over. Daisy reading her comic book, Violet naked, and then being zipped into the polka-dot sundress. Violet lifting her bright red hair and then shaking it out. The thought of Ty Eddings was wedged in there somewhere because of what happened later. The only other brief moment that stayed with her was a time jump of maybe twenty minutes. Liza was in the cramped, not-quite-clean bathroom with its moldy-smelling towels. Daisy, her fine blond hair caught up in a barrette, was taking her bath. She was sitting in a cloud of bubbles, scooping them up and draping them across her shoulders like a fine fur coat. Once Liza had Daisy bathed and in her baby doll pajamas, she'd give her the pill Violet left for her whenever she went out.

The air in the bathroom was damp and warm, and smelled like the pine-scented bubble bath Liza had squirted into the rush of running water. Liza was sitting on the toilet with the lid down, watching to make sure Daisy didn't do something dumb, like drown or get soap in her eyes. Liza was already bored because babysitting was tedious once Violet left the house. She did it only because Violet asked, and who could turn her down? The Sullivans didn't have a television set. The Cramers were the only family in town who owned one. Liza and Kathy watched TV almost every afternoon, though lately Kathy had been sulky, in part because of Ty and in part because of Violet. If Kathy had her way, she and Liza would spend every waking minute together. Kathy had been fun at first, but now Liza felt like she was suffocating.

As Liza leaned over and swished a hand in the bathwater, Violet opened the door and stuck her head in, holding Baby in her arms. The dog yapped at them, bright-eyed and happy in a braggy sort of way. Violet said, "Hey, Lies, I'm off. See you kids later."

Violet liked to call her "Lies," a shortened form of "Liza" but spelled differently, or at least as Liza pictured it.

Daisy tilted her face up, puckering her lips. "Kiss!"

Violet said, "Kiss, kiss from here, Honeybunch. This lipstick's fresh and Mama doesn't want it messed up. You be good now and do everything Liza says."

Violet blew Daisy a kiss. She pretended to catch it and then blew it back, her eyes shining at the sight of her mother, who was looking radiant. Liza waved, and as the door closed, a waft of violet cologne entered the room on a wisp of chill air.

--from S Is For Silence by Sue Grafton, Copyright © 2005 Sue Grafton, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., all rights reserved, reprinted with permission from the publisher"
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "S is for Silence"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Sue Grafton.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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S Is for Silence (Kinsey Millhone Series #19) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 154 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Santa Teresa, California private detective Kinsey Millhone has more work than she can handle but when Daisy Sullivan asks for her help, she can hardly refuse. Daisy wants to know what happened to her mother Violet who disappeared thirty four years ago on July 4, 1953. Most of the people in the town where she lived regarded her as trailer trash, a married battered wife who would sleep with whoever available. --- Opinion is divided between whether she stepped out with a man or someone killed her. She was last seen driving away from a gas station in the flashy new car her husband Foley bought for her. If Violet is dead, most people believe Foley is her killer because he was known to beat her up and the violence escalated the more she stepped out on him. Kinsey¿s investigation finds more suspects with motives who could have killed Violet and one of them is going out of their way to scare her off the case. A stubborn Kinsey risks her life to unearth the truth. --- This is the nineteenth Kinsey Millhone mystery and it is very different from the other books in the series. Chapters switch from the first person with Kinsey as the narrator in the present to the third person for chapters in 1953. Surprisingly, this plot device works so smoothly that readers don¿t really notice the difference. This is a great who done it one that shows step by step a Kinsey Millhone investigation. Sue Grafton writes some of the best mysteries in the new millennium with characters that never grow stale. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Longtime readers of the Kinsey Millhone books will quickly notice the introduction of sporadic third person narrative throughout the book. It worked well for this story with a plot that ranks high on my list of Kinsey favorites.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge Sue Grafton fan but was a bit disappointed in this one. There were so many characters it was somewhat difficult to keep track of who was who. I agree with one reviewer who stated that the ending left them going "huh?" Not only was the murderer unexpected but it just didn't make sense. This person had the least involvement with the victim over the years. Missed the lack of the Kinsey Milhone usual cast of characters. No mention to her old friends such as Henry, Rosie, etc. In fact, Kinsey herself seemed to be really lacking in this book. Not her best but still worth reading if you are a fan of the Alphabet Murders.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of my favorites! I really enjoyed the flashbacks to fill in the story background. Violet Sullivan while not the ideal wife and mother is handsdown the most beautiful women in her small town. One fourth of July she suddenly goes missing. Some townspeople say she was killed by her abusive drunken husband while others believe she just ran off on her little girl Daisy to get away from the beatings. Either way no one has heard from her in over 30 years. Can Kinsey find out the truth or will the silence continue?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Kinsey Millhone Series I have read all upto and including this one ready for T!
Slim20 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this one. I loved that it jumped from present day back to 1953 when Violet "vanished". It was very well written. Though I wish we could have found out more about how the characters ended up in the end. Thirty-four years ago, Violet Sullivan put on her party finery and left for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display. She was never seen again. In the small California town of Serena Station, tongues wagged. Some said she'd run off with a lover. Some said she was murdered by her husband. But for the not-quite-seven-year-old daughter Daisy she left behind, Violet's absence has never been explained or forgotten. Now, thirty-four years later, she wants the solace of closure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book in a great series. Kinsey's fan will not be disappointed.
lr1129 More than 1 year ago
I've read most of Grafton's books, and this is by far one of my favorites. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I liked how she varied her typical format. The flashbacks give a depth to the characters that is lacking in some of the other books and adds to the suspense. A definite thumbs up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
S is for Silence was a real page turner and a far better read than R is for Richochet. Nice to know Sue Grafton hasn't lost her touch. Unfortunately, the ending left me thinking, 'huh?'. The guilty party made absolutely no sense at all --no compelling motive and certainly no motive for the ultimate brutality to Violet. What the heck was Grafton thinking and where was her editor??
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
a+tough+one+to+keep+track+of+all+the+names.++good+story.
Anonymous 10 months ago
great as always. one of the best authors.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Fast paced ending. Although many characters, was able to keep track of the storyline. Would definitely recommend to anyone liking a murder/mystery.
Mahuenga More than 1 year ago
Grafton has entertained her fans from A to Y (unfortunately, she has passed away last year). Her authorial vision of private eye Kinsey Milhone, whose neighborhood and world of work we become comfortably familiar with, is all played out in a span of a few years during the 1980s in an imaginary California coastal town. I have read and enjoyed the entire series, and have read some of the books more than once. I believe I read this one three times, and in my opinion it is Grafton’s best work. Stylistically, it reminds me of the the movie Pulp Fiction, with out-of-time, out-of-sequence scenes that build a captivating story, yet remain true to Milhone’s investigative style. If you have never read anything else by Grafton, this book is a must read. The character Violet Sullivan is absolutely unforgettable.
ThePolyBlog More than 1 year ago
BOTTOM-LINE: The story is okay, but the characters are depressing. . PLOT OR PREMISE: It's a 35-year-old cold case of a missing mom, and the now 40-year-old daughter wants to know what happened to Violet. . WHAT I LIKED: Daughter Daisy needs to know what happened so she can move forward in her messed-up life -- did Dad kill her? Did she run away? And why did she take the DOG but not her daughter? The people with info include the husband aka Daisy's Dad, a babysitter who saw her get ready to go out, a best friend, a brother, a car salesman, some men at the local bar, etc. The story bops back and forth from the past to the present, like most cold cases do. And the tension ramps up when Kinsey finds out that not everyone seems to like her looking for Violet...either that or they just don't like the tires on her car. . WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The characterizations of the kids and what they're thinking or feeling back in '53 seem "off", more like adults guessing how they feel or act, and the interactions come off really clumsy. And I don't think there is a single character that I actually like. . DISCLOSURE: I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow her on social media.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not often does the inclusion of such sexy scenes and storyline mean much, but this read is delightfully different. The intricate way in which the characters interact and the story continues and the past and the present meet, make this truly one of the best of Sue Grafton's novels. I think she also enjoyed writing it as much as I enjoyed reading it, and, you all will be surprised by the ending. Think you have it figured out? Nope.
mmignano11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this audiobook. Having started the series with A and jumping to S I found the author much more adept at her craft. Her characters were much more well-developed. Each of them had a reason for being in the story, and helped to create a backdrop for the mystery of a long-ago murder in a small town. When a young woman asks Kinsey Milhone to look into the murder of her mother, a notorious town flirt, Kinsey uncovers much more than she bargained for. There are always more secrets contributing to events than there appears to be at first look. Every person Kinsey talks with, gives her another piece of the puzzle, and it is up to her to put them all together. Of course, as with any good mystery, the closer she gets, the closer the danger gets to her. If you think you'd like a mystery with a town full of suspects, get the book or listen to the audiobook. I will be looking forward to another Kinsey Milhone mystery.
sleahey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This series entry seems to be endless, with much more detail and repetition than is necessary or effective. There were more than enough red herrings and unappealing characters to go around, but I just wanted the author to get on with it and finish up already!
kaulsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At last! Grafton returns to writing a book that holds the reader!In this case, she had to figure out a way to keep the reader in the loop of what it was like in small town California in the 1950s (when investing in television seemed like a waste of money). I doubt that it will work a second time, but it was interesting this time around.The ending was a bit hard to quite believe, but after such a fun book, I was willing to suspend my normal skepticism.
BellaMiaow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was extremely disappointed in the end of this book. In fact, it was so very out of keeping with the rest of Grafton's work that the next time I'm in a brick-and-mortar store, I intend to pick up a print copy and check to see if the ebook I read didn't leave out something important. There was no explanation as to how the murder was accomplished, or why. The reader was given no satisfaction at all. I started reading "T" is for Trespass, but if this book is typical of what Grafton is turning in now, it will be the last time I read anything of hers.
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Line: When Liza Mellincamp thinks about the last time she ever saw Violet Sullivan, what comes most vividly to mind is the color of Violet's Japanese silk kimono, a shade of blue that Liza later learned was called "cerulean," a word that wasn't even in her vocabulary when she was fourteen years old.On Saturday, July 4, 1953, most people in Serena Station, California, planned to spend at least part of their evening watching the fireworks display. Violet Sullivan was not one of them. She made arrangements for her usual babysitter, got dressed up, loaded her three-month-old Pomeranian puppy into her purse, and drove off in a cloud of dust in her brand-new Bel Air. She never came back.Although they did search for her, most people assumed that the vivacious Violet had run off with the latest man who'd caught her fancy. Trouble is, she left a young daughter behind who grew up with a lot of problems due to her mother's disappearance. Reluctantly, Kinsey Millhone agrees to work for Daisy, even though she privately thinks she's not going to get anywhere with the 34-year-old cold case.Of course we know that once Kinsey starts investigating, she's going to get somewhere. Grafton veers away from Kinsey's usual first person narrative to intersperse flashbacks from the various people in town who knew the missing woman. As the story progresses, the reader begins to understand that all these people have their own reasons for wanting Violet dead.Hopefully I won't be tarred and feathered by the legions of Millhone fans when I say that previously the only book in the series I'd read was A is for Alibi. For some reason that I can't remember, Kinsey and I didn't really hit it off, but I'm happy to say that I appreciate her a lot more now that I've read S is for Silence. Did I feel as though I was missing a lot of detail, not having read B through R? No. I fell right in step with her as she began digging away at the facts in this case.The flashbacks populated the town for me and gave me a real sense of the way Violet interacted with everyone. Without those glimpses into 1953, the story would have been skeletal indeed. As it was, I became quite caught up in the book and its characters. I was able to narrow down the field of those who wished Violet ill, but never got around to choosing my chief suspect.Many times in reading crime fiction, it's not just about whodunit. Sometimes the how and the why are even more important, and once in a while the characters make a reader forget everything else. Where S is for Silence is concerned, the who led to the how and then to the why, and then I just concentrated on a private investigator who doesn't know how to quit... and the daughter, abandoned so long ago, who deserved truth and justice.
tloeffler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kinsey Milhone is asked to look into the disappearance of a woman 34 years ago by her daughter who was 7 at the time. In an unusual twist for these books, it is not all told from Kinsey's perspective, but includes flashbacks. A compelling read, as always, with a mildly disappointing ending.
JenSay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the better Kinsey Millhone stories. I appreciated the actual mystery in this book. Often times I get frustrated with this series because it seems that every other page is Kinsey pulling on her sweats for a 3 mile run, and dinner at Rosie's. This had some actual detective work.
cransell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A solid addition to the alphabet series. Entertaining.
rosalita on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sue Grafton chugs relentlessly toward the end of the alphabet. S turned out to be a perfectly serviceable entry in the series, which I experience a little differently than I do other series. For instance, I have devoured repeatedly all of the Nero Wolfe books by Rex Stout, and the characters are so vividly drawn that I like to think of them as living outside of the books. Kinsey Millhone, on the other hand, seems like a very cool chick, and someone that I think I would enjoy hanging out with. But the connection isn't as intense; I don't seek out the latest Grafton as soon as it's published, but I'll make a point of eventually catching up at the library.Anyway, the series went through kind of a "dark" period somewhere in the middle of the alphabet, when we learned a whole bunch about Kinsey's childhood and past history. The last few, though, have reverted back to a lighter feel, and S in particular has virtually no detours into Kinsey's personal life at all. It's not bad, necessarily (though I sorely missed visiting with her octogenarian landlord Henry).Overall, I'd say if you've read and enjoyed the previous vowels and consonants in the series, you'll probably enjoy this one as well. I don't think this one will inspire many newcomers to start all over back at A, though.