"S is for Silence" and other Sue Grafton novels

I think the last one I read was “E is for Evidence,” so obviously I’m 'way behind. No spoilers necessary, but have you been following the series? Has Grafton kept the quality and originality level up? Any thoughts or insights?

Myself, I’m just waiting for ‘X is for Xylophone’

As for me, I was extremely disappointed by that horrible movie V Is For Vendetta. I was hoping for a good adaptation of one of Grafton’s novels, with a good actress cast as her empowered female detective Kinsey Millhone. Someone relatable, like Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock, nobody too tawdry or tarty. But instead we got this horrible dark, violent story about rioting and wearing masks and overthrowing the government, and I don’t think Kinsey Millhone was in it at all, unless the bald girl from Beautiful Girls was supposed to be her. I think Sue Grafton would have been very annoyed at the adaptation, which is why she took her name off it. I mean, overthrowing the government? Why do they hate America?

I really enjoyed the first 8 or 9. Amusing whodunits with a really new twist on private eyes, set in one of my favorite areas, Santa Barbara (although she gives it another name).

I cannot recall now where I finally stopped, but I thought the plots began to be a bit contrived. Maybe I’ll get to the library and try one again.

I’m predicting Xenophobia.

I’ve read almost all of them (throug Q or R, I don’t remember), but I don’t rush out to buy them or anything.

To me the quality has seemed consistent. I’ve read A-R, over the past 12 years or so. Grafton has not cranked them out at a pace that forced her to produce junk. Some of the recent ones have had a little more depth or research to them, it seems. OTOH, they have not become great, like a P.D. James or Ruth Rendell. They are just consistent, and I still find them good enough to read.

I’ve read through “E Is For Evidence” and have enjoyed them all. I got interested in other things, but no doubt I’ll continue with the series at some point.

Her fact checker started to really annoy me around “H” and made me put the book down and not pick it back up around “M.”

The stories were pretty ok, but some of the errors were so glaring that they destroyed the book for me. And even when I nitpick most books, I can still work an explanation around them or ignore it for the story. These went so far into bad research that it couldn’t be ignored.

I’ve read them all, and I like the basic stories, but there are some glaring errors that jumped out at me, too. If they had been written by a man, they might be forgiveable, but since they’re by a woman, I just can’t get past them.
In one book (I can’t remember which one), Kinsey’s in a cheap motel while tracking someone. The couple in the next room is very loudly amorous, and she ties a bra over her head to block the noise. She talks about how it goes over the top of her head, and the cups cover her ears. This is just ridiculous - there’s no way you could wrap a bra over the top of your head and have the cups cover your ears. It’s just stupid.
In another one, she borrowed pants from a friend who is much taller than she is, and they’re (obviously) way too long. Kinsey solves the problem by rolling the wasitband up. Any woman knows rolling the waistband up isn’t going to do anything about the length of the legs being too long.
In various books, she talks about knowing nothing about cars and fashion, but then a character walks in, and she describes what they’re wearing, “She had on the latest Christian Dior suit and had a Chanel purse…” or a man drives up in a " … top of the line Ferrari…"
If she knows nothing about these things, how does she know what they’re wearing or driving?
If you like Sue Grafton, you’d like the The Janet Evanovich books. They have a similar theme; Stephanie Plum is a single woman, a bounty hunter in Jersey, and she gets into all sorts of trouble. They’re funny.
The titles follow a theme, also. “One For The Money,” “Two To Get Deadly” “Three For The Dough,” etc.
She’s up to “Twelve” now. It’s due out in June.

And thanks to Uncle Shelby’s ABZ’s, we know that “X is *always * for Xylophone”!!!

Okay, nobody else has said anything, but I thought this was pretty funny. :slight_smile:

I’m a big Kinsey fan, and I do think she kept up the quality through “O is for Outlaw.” The last four have not been as good, IMHO, and “S” is my least favorite in the entire series (finally displacing A - if I had started at the beginning, who knows if I would have ever continued, and boy, what I would have been missing!).

I remember having problems with her investigative style in “A is for Alibi.” IIRC, she’s investigating one murder, and her attitude is to ask questions and press people to see what happens. What happens, of course, is that a few more people get killed on account of her making the killer nervous.

Sure, she catches the killer in the end, but on the whole it would have been better if she’d just stayed in bed.

Fortunately, the next several books were much better.

Somewhere after ‘H’, they started to seem a bit repetitive, IMHO. And when the ‘M’ book began in a way that made no sense to me at all (I’ve long since forgotten the details), I gave up on Kinsey.

In one of Lawrence Block’s “The Burglar Who…” series, Bernie and a friend discuss possible future titles in Grafton’s series, and come up witha number of titles like “T is for Sympathy.”

Men’s pants are usually much longer in the torso, as well as the leg, especially if they’re large enough to go around our wider hips, so this would certainly help some. It would also create a sort of belt to help with the waistline problem that results from having to upsize to get men’s hip sizes to fit.

Somehow I got ‘men’s pants’ out of that, and I’m not sure how. Tall women’s pants are still usually longer in the torso, but not so much.