I’d been looking to find a cheap copy of “one of those alphabet
mysteries” for a few years now. The problem wasn’t finding one,
it was finding the right one—that is, the first one. I like to start these
things at the beginning when possible.
My quest finally ended a month ago, leaving me to settle in and see what I
thought of this beginning volume of the popular series. I can’t say I
was that impressed by it when I finished.
I mostly had issues with the narrator. Since the narrator’s name was
Kinsey, but it was only mentioned in passing on the back cover—not in
the book itself for quite a few pages—and since the character was a private
detective, I got confused. First I assumed the character was a man because of
character traits and stereotype
s, then I wondered if he was a cross dresser
or something when a few of the details swam into focus.
It was clear to me that I shouldn’t have been this confused—if
the tone and characterization were clearer, I could have grasped it upfront.
As it was, I didn’t get truly interested in the book until too late—although
I did get into the plot eventually, I never got too attached to any of the characters.
This was probably because, even after I figured out Kinsey was indeed a woman,
I couldn’t relate to her very well.
So here’s the plot. Kinsey Millhone, a female private investigator, is
hired by a rich woman who just got out of eight years of jail for the murder
of her husband. Kinsey’s supposed to try to solve the eight-year-old murder
to prove Nikki’s innocence. The problem, of course, is that it’s
hard to find out stuff about old crimes and that Kinsey’s sources keep
getting mysteriously tampered with.
I have to say that I’ve read much better mysteries. I recommend skipping