Book Review- A is for Alibi

Thursday, 15 May 2014
Title: A is for Alibi
Author: Sue Grafton
Published: Jan 1st 1982
Publisher: St Martin's Paperbacks
Pages: 308
Series: Kinsey Milhone #1
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Detective

Rating: 3/5

PI Kinsey Milhone 32, in a pretty California town, gets her first case. Laurence Fife was a slick divorce lawyer and slippery ladies' man until someone killed him. Released from jail after 8 years, his wife Nikki wants the truth. But the trail is cold, and at the end is a chilling twist - a second eight-year-old murder and a brand new corpse. -Goodreads

This is the first in the Kinsey Millhone Detective series, and follows private investigator Kinsey as she tries to discover the real killer of a divorce lawyer eight years on from when the crime took place. I came into this novel with high hopes, it had some good reviews and I always love reading about female detectives, however it didn't really live up to the expectations. Maybe I just had higher hopes for it than it deserved, but it fell flat for me.
What I really felt was missing was the connection with the characters. As the main character, I expected to connect with Kinsey, instead I was left feeling that she lacked dimension and depth. Grafton tried to write her in a way that made her seem hard and kick ass, instead she came across as rude, cold and emotionless. Overall I didn't really like Kinsey at all. I also questioned some of her actions during the investigation, including the fact that she slept with one of the suspects, which seemed a strange decision for a private detective, and must be against the unspoken guidelines of being a detective? As the novel is written in first person, from Kinsey's point of view, I had hoped that this would allow for a better insight into how she went about solving the mysteries, and her train of thought throughout the novel. However there was very little thoughts and feelings in the narrative, it read as though she was just giving a statement of what happened, just including the facts and nothing else.
I also thought the "mystery" aspect was pretty average. I knew who had committed the crime from about half way through the novel, and it seemed obvious to me, and kind of disappointing that Kinsey didn't notice it. 
I also felt that the novel was missing some of the mystery and suspense that I expect from a mystery novel, it all seemed rather simple, there was no great twist to the novel to surprise me. 
However there were some things that I liked about the novel. Due to the fact that Kinsey's narrative lacked feelings, it included lots of descriptions, many of which I really liked reading. I also liked the ending of the book, the last couple of chapters were fast paced, and action filled, they took me no time to read, compared to the rest of the novel which was a little slow. I also enjoyed the various strands of the story and characters that were included in the novel, and how they all linked together.
Overall I gave this novel 3/5 as I thought it was an ok detective novel, but nothing special,and I don't think I will be continuing with the series.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning, how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because through them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from United Kingdom? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in United Kingdom in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez


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