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Archive for the ‘C. W. Grafton’ Category

I truly was not going to blog about Kinsey and Me Stories, figuring that the stories in the book were typical KinseyAndMeSue Grafton/Kinsey Millhone stories. And for the first two thirds of the book this is true. In Part 1: Kinsey, in true Grafton/Millhone style, Ms. Grafton has crafted interesting, fun short stories featuring Kinsey. In an introduction to this section, she talks about how difficult short stories are to write and I whole-heartedly agree. If this was all the book was, I would have put a brief note in Librarything and moved on.

However….that is not the sum total of this book. The stories in Part 2:…And Me were written in the 10 years following Grafton’s mother’s death and these are riveting, revealing, honest, emotional and unlike anything Grafton that I’ve read. The stories talk about feelings of a young daughter towards her alcoholic parents, the emotional toll when a mother is stricken with esophogial cancer and what it’s like when the child becomes a parent to a parent. I only reluctantly put these stories down and went back to work.

As you know, I’ve been reading a lot of pulp fiction mystery stories from the 1920s through the 1950s. These stories are typically gritty and descriptive, with the occasional comic story thrown in. However, that’s not the Kinsey Millhone style. The Millhone stories here are short extensions of the detective series books, so they are easy going, enjoyable and comfortable.

So, if you’re not a mystery fan, skip Part 1 (that would be silly) and go directly to Part 2. In it are life lessons about understanding and appreciating later in life those things we don’t quite grasp or appreciate in our youth. In the final story is a letter from a father to a daughter in which he reminisces about her as a girl and the daughter’s reaction to these events thirty years later. In it, she said “You want to tell him you treasure all the relics of the past. You know now that you are a living museum, full of rooms and crooked corridors that repeat themselves at every turn.” And so we are a sum of the events of the past and for many of us, it takes us a long time to appreciate that past, as well as the present.

Get to know a deeper Sue Granfton by reading Kinsey and Me Stories.

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I just finished V is for Vengeance, by Sue Grafton. I’ve read them all, starting at A, which is quite a feat. I’ve put down Janet Evanovich after #5 and Robert Parker’s Spenser, after I don’t know what number. I couldn’t get through Robert Ludlum’s later books (the ones actually written by him) and I stopped Patricia Cornwall when her mysteries became more romances. So, as I think about it it’s quite astonishing. The only other authors that come mind that I’ve read every book they’ve written are Ed McBain and Thomas H. Cook. Not even Michael Connelly falls into that category. So congrats, Sue.

But that is first of two points I want to make. The second is that Sue is actually the daughter of C. W. Grafton, who was also a mystery writer. I’ve read Beyond a Reasonable Doubt by C.W. Griffin and really enjoyed it. Written in 1950, it was the last of the four books he wrote. Unfortunatelly, he died four months before A is for Alibi was published. That is sad. He would have been proud of his mystery author daugher.

I love finding out things about people that take you to other places. I don’t know how I found out about C. W. Grafton’s relationship with Sue Grafton, but I find it intriguing. I wonder why there are so many actors whose children go into acting but so few authors whose offspring take up writing. There are some, but not many that I can think of.

So, maybe, if any of you have favorite parent/children authors, you could let me know who they are. I’m always ready to expand my reading horizons.

By the way, if you like Sue Grafton you’ll like V is for Vengeance. She’s got an easy to read writing style and a good character in Kinsey Millhone. I hope she’s got an idea after she finishes Z. Numbers? Double letters? Nursery rhymes, like her father used?

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