Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Review: "J" Is For Judgment by Sue Grafton (Kinsey Millhone #10)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters and mystery
Cons: I’m not judgmental enough to list cons
The Bottom Line:
A living dead man
Gives Kinsey complications
Series going strong

I Judge This to be Another Excellent Book

When Kinsey Millhone’s situation changed a couple of books back, I assumed that was the end of California Fidelity as one of her clients that gets her involved in mysteries.  So I was as surprised as Kinsey was to find them hiring her again in “J” is for Judgment, the tenth in the series.

Kinsey is hired to track down Wendell Jaffe.  Everyone believed the man died five years ago – committed suicide by jumping off his boat just before his pyramid scheme came crashing down.  However, his body was never found, and now there are reports he’s been spotted at a resort down in Mexico.  California Fidelity cares because they’ve just paid out his life insurance policy to his supposed widow to the tune of half a million dollars.

Kinsey heads out to verify the siting.  She soon locates him only to have him leave in the middle of the night.  Where did he go this time?  Will Kinsey be able to track him down?

We are once again off on a wonderful mystery.  The case introduced us to a fantastic set of characters.  Author Sue Grafton was truly gifted with the ability to create memorable characters in just a few paragraphs, and that is on full display here.  These characters leap off the page and make us care about the outcome.

Without giving too much away, we actually do get quite a bit of time in Kinsey’s native Santa Teresa, which gives us a chance to catch up with some of the series regulars.  I loved their scenes and can’t wait to see what happens next in their lives.  Meanwhile, Kinsey stumbles on some interesting information about her past.  This was treated as the sub-plot it should be, but I was a bit surprised that it was left dangling a bit, but I’m sure it will be picked up in a later book, and I’m very curious to see where this thread goes in the future.

And the mystery itself?  It was fantastic as always.  There were plenty of complications and surprises along the way as Kinsey tries to figure out exactly what Jaffe is up to and where he will surface next.  The climax wrapped things up well.

Once again, I listened to the audio version narrated by Mary Peiffer.  I love her take on Kinsey and how she brings the book to life without inserting herself into the story.  It’s a very fine line that she walks perfectly.

I keep saying it because it is true – there is a reason that Sue Grafton had so many fans.  Her books are fantastic.  If you haven’t met Kinsey, you need to fix that today.  “J” is for Judgment is another book her fans will love.

If you haven’t read them all, here are the Kinsey Millhone books in order.

This review is part of this week’s Friday’s Forgotten Books.


  1. Love the series ever since i picked up "A is for Alibi" in a used book store, *ahem* several years ago. ;)


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