Reviews for W Is for Wasted

Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
Wasted lives, wasted time, and wasted opportunities are at the heart of this twenty-third entry in the long-running Kinsey Millhone series, which reveals how the deaths of two very different men impact Kinsey's life. The first man, Pete Wolinsky, found murdered in a local park, is a shady PI for whom Kinsey has little respect; the second, R. T. Dace, is an alcoholic vagrant who not only turns out to be Kinsey's relative but also leaves her a half-million bucks. Armed with news of R. T.'s death, Kinsey sets out to learn more about him and why he disinherited his immediate family. The clever twists of V Is for Vengeance are mostly absent here, and readers will need to wade through a lot of story before Wolinsky's connection to Dace comes clear. But Grafton hasn't lost her touch for characterization. Nobody in the cast is a stereotype, and it's the clash of personalities and interpersonal dynamics that provide the appeal here. Nearing the conclusion of this celebrated series, Grafton continues to shape Millhone's character, toughened by circumstance but still both understanding and forgiving. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: As the end of the alphabet draws closer, expect a revival of interest in a series that has helped define the role of the female sleuth in mystery fiction. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 August #1
Kinsey Millhone finds yet another way to be connected to a sudden death: as the victim's executor and sole heir. The first contact Kinsey has with Terrence Dace is in the Santa Teresa coroner's office after investigator Aaron Blumberg phones her to say that a homeless drunk has been found dead with her name and phone number in his pocket. Kinsey's ignorance of the man is so profound, and his recent companions--Felix, Dandy and Pearl--are so closemouthed about supplying information about him, that it takes her quite a while even to track down his name. Once she does, though, things start to happen. A safe deposit box in Dace's name reveals assets of over half a million dollars and a will that leaves it all to Kinsey, who's also appointed his executor. Taking this unwelcome job as seriously as you'd expect, Kinsey drives out to Bakersfield to inform Dace's son Ethan and his daughters Ellen and Anna that the father from whom they've long been estranged for perfectly logical reasons is dead and that he's disinherited them all in favor of a woman they've never heard of. Kinsey's ticklish dealings with these ill-assorted mourners are deliciously fraught. But the case takes a turn toward more conventional waters as Grafton (Kinsey and Me, 2012, etc.) begins to connect it to the shooting several months back of unsavory private eye Pete Wolinsky, whose death was anything but the by-product of a robbery that it first seemed. Throughout it all, Kinsey, practically unique among her professional cohort, is driven not by greed, lust or revenge, but by the simple desire to do the right thing. As she approaches the end of the alphabet, Kinsey waxes ever more reflective and philosophical. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 September #1

Grafton's 23rd Kinsey Millhone mystery (after V Is for Vengeance) features a strange twist in the life of the popular private detective, as she's drawn into the investigations of two murders: the first, of a fellow PI with a shady reputation; the second, of a homeless man who has her name and phone number in his pocket. Her inquiries lead to a maze of troubles involving a bank, a will, a large amount of money, and a new connection with her long-lost relatives. Grafton has lost none of her ability to bring her character vividly to life: Kinsey is as witty and engaging as ever, although somewhat more subdued and thoughtful owing to the emotionally charged tasks she has to perform. VERDICT As Grafton nears the end of her long-running alphabet series, readers of mystery and suspense and Grafton's many fans will delight in and savor this latest addition.--Linda Oliver, Colorado Springs

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 July #2

Kinsey Millhone goes through a dry spell workwise in bestseller Grafton's absorbing 23rd mystery featuring the Santa Teresa, Calif., PI (after 2012's V Is for Vengeance). The death of a homeless man, who was found with a slip of paper in his pocket with Kinsey's name on it, provides some wanted distraction. The man may be Kinsey's distant relative--who, it turns out, has left her his entire life savings, putting Kinsey in the middle of a case of a more personal nature than she's used to. Along with the murder of a fellow PI, the disreputable Pete Wolinsky, Kinsey finds little time to deal with the reappearance of her onetime boyfriend, Robert Dietz. Grafton ties together these disparate threads with her usual skill. While some of Kinsey's longer asides could have benefited from trimming, fans will rejoice that her observations on such topics as her previous failed relationships and the quirks of her hometown are as incisive and witty as ever. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Literary Agency. (Sept.)

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