Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Is For Alibi by Sue Grafton

1 Star
Two reviews in the same morning? I guess it’s your lucky day (ha-ha - NOT!). And just look at that bright and shiny 1 Star rating. That should be a sure fire way to earn me some new friends. If you’re not interested in reading through my reasons behind not liking this book, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of my reaction upon finishing . . .

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So the long story of how I began my relationship with Kinsey Millhone at this late date is as follows: In general I am not a fan of books in a series. Added on to that fact, I already sold my soul broke my own rule for Janet Evanovich and her eleventy billion Plum stories. However, friends were constantly telling me if I liked Stephanie Plum, I was sure to simply looooove Kinsey (basically because Kinsey supposedly had her shit together and wouldn’t get kidnapped every 42 seconds). I kept fighting the good fight and said I wouldn’t begin reading these books until I found “A” in hardback for wicked cheap. Well, I found A-F for a buck each and when Ed said he (and Mrs. Ed) were in for a buddy read I figured what the hell – even if I ended up hating the book I’d be entertained through the process.

My rating started out at a solid 3 Stars (which is about as good as it gets from me when it comes to a light mystery like this). The premise was familiar, but still A-Okay in my book: Nikki is a recently-released-from-prison convicted murderer who shows up seeking Kinsey’s help in order to find the true killer of her philandering husband. Kinsey takes the case and starts tracking down the various ex-Mrs. Fife’s in order to piece part the crime together. It was all very . . .

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and I was digging it.

“He was like some old tomcat, always sniffin’ around the same back porch.”

By the halfway point, though, I was really starting to struggle. There was just SO. MUCH. FILLER. This book could have easily been cut in half. Here are some examples (nickel’s worth of free advice – drink a 5 Hour Energy before reading these quotes):

“The interior was done with polished uneven red-tile flooring, mirrors floor to ceiling, and panels of raw gray wood, hung here and there with clusters of dried corn.”

“The roof was nearly flat, peppered with rocks, the iron railings sending streaks of rust down the sides of the building. The landscaping was rock and yucca and cactus plants.”

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Oh, and I can’t forget all of the jogging:

“I jogged south on Wilshire, just for variety, cutting across to San Vicente at Twenty-sixth Street.”

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And if Kinsey is supposed to have her s*&^ together, then why is she the dumbest broad EVER?!?!?! I mean, do y’all remember what happens in this book????

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I had been sitting at 2 Stars, but that ending? HELL NAH! 1 Star it is. I mean, I thought I had the whodunit it figured out right away, but I kept trying to convince myself I was wrong. I just had to be wrong. Sadly I wasn’t. As for the rest of this series? Well, it can . . .

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Men authors get grief all the time for not writing quality women characters. Ms. Grafton should be forced to wear the cone of shame for eternity for writing someone as stupid as Kinsey. Give me back my Plum novels. At least she knows she’s an idiot. Throw in some Hiassen for more guffaws, some Leonard in order to obtain some cool points, and some Lehane when I need some grit and I think I can easily live without ever taking another gander at a Kinsey Millhone mystery.

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