Friday, November 25, 2016

Book Review: E is for Evidence by Sue Grafton (Kinsey Millhone #5)

: 5 out of 5
Pros: Entertaining, creative mystery; strong characters
Cons: A couple very small niggles near the end
The Bottom Line:
Kinsey caught in web
And she must clear her own name
In fun fifth novel

A PI with Herself as a Client

I think one thing I’m enjoying about the Kinsey Millhone series is that, as a PI, she gets involved in mysteries that don’t start out as murder mysteries.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, a murder happens, but there is so much mystery beforehand that E is for Evidence doesn’t really need it.

It’s right before Christmas when the case file lands on Kinsey’s desk.  While she does work for herself, she still takes on quite a few cases for California Fidelity Insurance, where she rents some office space, and they’ve hired her to look into a fire.  She heads out on Christmas Eve and everything appears to be routine.

However, after the holiday, she is called into explain her report in person.  As she looks over the file, she sees pages that are different from what she based her report on.  When words like insurance fraud and accessory start being thrown around, Kinsey realizes she needs to find out what is happening before she finds herself arrested.  Is it a case of insurance fraud?  Is Kinsey the target for something?  Or is she an innocent bystander?

See what I mean?  We’ve got a great mystery on our hands even before murder enters the picture.  Of course, it does complicate things before we reach the end, and I was drawn into the book even more when that happened.  The plotting is tight, although I did have a small niggle or two with how things unfold near the end.  The climax, on the other hand, is absolutely wonderful.

There aren’t a ton of series regulars in the book since Kinsey is a loner.  However, even those that are in her life hardly show up because of the after Christmas setting of much of the action.  It was actually interesting seeing how that impacted Kinsey and her thoughts about her life; I enjoyed that character development.  Of course, we get some great new characters here that entertain while also providing the misdirection they need to as suspects.

Once again, I listened to the audio production of the book.  Mary Peiffer did another outstanding job bring the characters and story to life.  I love her narration, and I look forward to it as much as revisiting the characters.

So if you’ve missed E is for Evidence, I highly recommend it.  It’s an engrossing mystery with a strong cast of characters sure to keep you turning pages until you reach the end.

Interested in more of Kinsey's cases?  Here are the Kinsey Millhone mysteries in order.

This book is part of this week's Friday's Forgotten Books.

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