Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Kinsey and Me: Stories - Sue Grafton - Guest book review

Guest book review by Penny Waugh
I have read and loved the Kinsey Milhone series since A for Alibi came out in 1982, so I must say I pounced on this one and thoroughly enjoyed the Kinsey short stories and the glimpses into Sue Grafton's own life that the second half of the book give us.
However, and this is a big however, if you are unfamiliar with the series this is not the place to start. Kinsey has grown over the years, and these short stories, set mainly in the 80s when she is supposed to be about 32 years old, are quite slight though very good for showing her methods of investigation and the intuition with which she reaches her conclusions. There is little here of the detail of her life which is one of the joys of the series books and though the stories are generally good they are, by definition, brief. The last story, written at the request of a clothing company, is a good yarn and she certainly gives them her best in product placement!
The second half of the book is, thinly disguised, the story of Sue Grafton's early life which must have been painful to write and is moving and painful to read. The child of two alcoholics she was forced, practically, to bring herself up, though her father did inspire a love of books and reading in her.  She was born in the same year as I was and so I read these stories of her life up to the age of 20 with great interest, but so, I believe, would others with any interest in the author. She is unsparing of herself or indeed her family and the whole section rings true.
This is a first publication in the UK, though the stories have been previously published in the USA.

I would give this book four stars. It is slight but in the context of the Kinsey Milhone series it is most interesting. However, don't expect to get the most out of it if you are unfamiliar with the series, which I would recommend unreservedly.

Reviewed by Penny Waugh - guest reviewer - thanks very much to Penny for reading and reviewing this book for The Little Reader Library

Published by Mantle


  1. Hi Lindsay,

    I volunteer in a charity shop and have been lucky enough to have the complete alphabet A-W, donated in one one occasion. Random volumes have come in a few at a time, sell really quickly and appear to be very popular. I have never actually purchased any from the series myself, as I am unsure whether or not this is a series which needs to be read in sequence. 'Kinsey And Me' definitely sounds as though it should be read as a series finale and I am pleased that you enjoyed it.

    Enjoy the rest of your week,


  2. More wife has read several of the Kinsey Milhone books and liked them. I will recommend this to her.

    I think that it is fine, from the point of view of the reader who knows a series to write a book for those readers. If someone is interested they can just start with an earlier entry.

  3. Sounds like a series best read from the start. Great review, thanks for the recommendation.

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  5. I agree with Tracy this series needs to be read from the start. I am a fan of Sue Grafton so reading them all would not be a hardship.
    Nice guest review, thanks for sharing it.


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