14 Best Sue Grafton Books

Sue Grafton Books: Sue Taylor Grafton was an American author of detective novels. She is best known as the author of the “alphabet series” featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California

Sue Grafton Books

Y is for Yesterday (A Kinsey Millhone Novel Book 25) Aug 22, 2017 by Sue Grafton

In 1979, four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate—and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.
       
Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents—until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find…

"A" is for Alibi: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery Apr 1, 2010 by Sue Grafton

A IS FOR AVENGER
A tough-talking former cop, private investigator Kinsey Millhone has set up a modest detective agency in a quiet corner of Santa Teresa, California. A twice-divorced loner with few personal possessions and fewer personal attachments, she’s got a soft spot for underdogs and lost causes.

A IS FOR ACCUSED
That’s why she draws desperate clients like Nikki Fife. Eight years ago, she was convicted of killing her philandering husband. Now she’s out on parole and needs Kinsey’s help to find the real killer. But after all this time, clearing Nikki’s bad name won’t be easy.

A IS FOR ALIBI
If there’s one thing that makes Kinsey Millhone feel alive, it’s playing on the edge. When her investigation turns up a second corpse, more suspects, and a new reason to kill, Kinsey discovers that the edge is closer—and sharper—than she imagined.

X (Kinsey Millhone Book 24) Aug 25, 2015 by Sue Grafton

X:  The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss…

Perhaps Sue Grafton’s darkest and most chilling novel, X features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this deadly sociopath. The test is whether private investigator Kinsey Millhone can prove her case against him—before she becomes his next victim.

"F" is for Fugitive: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery Apr 1, 2010 by Sue Grafton

Floral Beach wasn’t much of a town: six streets long and three deep, its only notable feature a strip of sand fronting the Pacific. It was on that sandy beach seventeen years ago that the strangled body of Jean Timberlake had been found.

The people of floral Beach didn’t pay a whole lot of mind to past history, especially when Bailey Fowler, the self-confessed killer, had been properly processed and convicted. They weren’t even unduly concerned when, a year after the murder, Fowler walked away from the men’s prison at San Luis Obispo, never to be seen again. After all, everyone knew Jean had been a wild kid. “Like mother, like daughter,” some said–though never within hearing of Shana Timberlake, who, whatever her faults, still mourned her murdered child.

P Is for Peril (Kinsey Millhone Book 16) Jun 4, 2001 by Sue Grafton


Kinsey Millhone never sees it coming. She is mired in the case of a doctor who disappeared, his angry ex-wife, and beautiful current one—a case that is full of unfinished business, unfinished homes, and people drifting in and out of their own lives. Then Kinsey gets a shock. A man she finds attractive is hiding a fatal secret—and now a whole lot of beauty, money, and lies are proving to be a fatal distraction from what Kinsey should have seen all along: a killer standing right before her eyes…

"E" is for Evidence: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery May 15, 1988 by Sue Grafton

E IS FOR EX

It was the silly season and a Monday at that, and Kinsey Millhone was bogged down in a preliminary report on a fire claim. Something was nagging at her, but she couldn’t pin it. The last thing she needed in the morning mail was a letter from her bank recording an erroneous $5,000 deposit in her account. Kinsey had never believed in Santa Claus and she wasn’t about to change her mind now. Resigning herself to a morning of frustration, she phoned the bank and, assaulted by canned carols, waited on hold for an officer to clear up the snafu.

"D" is for Deadbeat: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery Apr 1, 2010 by Sue Grafton

He called himself Alvin Limardo, and the job he had for Kinsey was cut-and-dried: locate a kid who’d done him a favor and pass on a check for $25,000. It was only later, after he’d stiffed her for her retainer, that Kinsey found out his name was Daggett. John Daggett. Ex-con. Inveterate liar. Chronic drunk. And dead. The cops called it an accident–death by drowning. Kinsey wasn’t so sure.

Pulled into the detritus of a dead man’s life, Kinsey soon realizes that Daggett had an awful lot of enemies. There’s the daughter who grew up with a cheating drunk for a father, and the wife who’s become a religious nut in response to an intolerable marriage. There’s the lady who thought she was Mrs. Daggett–and has the bruises to prove it–only to discover the legal Mrs. D. And there are the drug dealers out $25,000. But most of all, there are the families of the five people John Daggett killed, victims of his wild, drunken driving. The D.A. called it vehicular manslaughter and put him away for two years. The families called it murder and had very good reason to want John Daggett dead.

"B" is for Burglar: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery Apr 1, 2010 by Sue Grafton


Beverly Danziger looked like an expensive, carefully wrapped package from a good but conservative shop. Only her compulsive chatter hinted at the nervousness beneath her cool surface. It was a nervousness out of all proportion to the problem she placed before Kinsey Millhone. There was an absent sister. A will to be settled–a matter of only a few thousand dollars. Mrs. Danziger did not look as if she needed a few thousand dollars. And she didn’t seem like someone longing for a family reunion.

Still, business was slow, and even a private investigator has bills to pay. Millhone took the job. It looked routine.

"H" is for Homicide: A Kinsey Millhone Novel Apr 1, 2010 by Sue Grafton

His name was Parnell Perkins, and until shortly after midnight, he’d been a claims adjustor for California Fidelity. Then someone came along and put paid to that line of work. And to any other. Parnell Perkins had been shot at close range and left for dead in the parking lot outside California Fidelity’s offices.

To the cops, it looked like a robbery gone sour. To Kinsey Millhone, it looked like the cops were walking away from the case. She didn’t like the idea that a colleague and sometime drinking companion had been murdered. Or the idea that his murderer was loose and on the prowl. It made her feel exposed. Vulnerable.

W is for Wasted: A Kinsey Millhone Novel Sep 10, 2013 by Sue Grafton

The first victim is a local PI of suspect reputation, gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. The second is a John Doe found on the beach six weeks later with a slip of paper with private detective Kinsey Millhone’s name and number in his pocket.

Two seemingly unrelated deaths: one man murdered, the other apparently dead of natural causes.

But as Kinsey digs deeper into the mystery of the John Doe, some very strange links begin to emerge. Not just between the two victims, but also to Kinsey’s past. And before long Kinsey, through no fault of her own, is thoroughly compromised.

"G" is for Gumshoe: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery May 15, 1990 by Sue Grafton

G IS FOR GAME…

When Irene Gersh asks PI Kinsey Millhone to locate her elderly mother Agnes, whom she hasn’t heard from in six months, it’s not exactly the kind of case Kinsey jumps for. But a girl’s gotta pay her bills, and this should be easy money—or so she thinks. Kinsey finds Agnes in a hospital. Aside from her occasional memory lapses, the octogenarian seems fine. And frightened.

G IS FOR GUN…

Kinsey doesn’t know what to make of Agnes’s vague fears and bizarre ramblings, but she’s got her own worries. It seems Tyrone Patty, a criminal she helped put behind bars, is looking to make a hit. First, Kinsey’s car is run off the road, and then days later, she’s almost gunned down, setting in motion a harrowing cat and mouse game…

U is for Undertow: A Kinsey Millhone Novel Oct 22, 2009 by Sue Grafton


Looking solemn, Michael Sutton arrives in Kinsey Millhone’s office with a story to tell. When he was six, he says, he wandered into the woods and saw two men digging a hole. They claimed they were pirates, looking for buried treasure. Now, all these years later, the long-forgotten events have come back to him—and he has pieced them together with news reports from the time, becoming convinced that he witnesses the burial of a kidnapped child.

Kinsey has nearly nothing to go on. Sutton doesn’t even know where he was that day—and, she soon discovers, he has a history of what might generously be called an active imagination. Despite her doubts, Kinsey sets out to track down the so-called burial site. And what’s found there pulls her into a hidden current of deceit stretching back more than twenty years…