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A Is For Alibi (2005)

A is for Alibi (2005)
3.79 of 5 Votes: 1
0312938993 (ISBN13: 9780312938994)
st. martin's paperbacks
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A Is For Alibi (2005)
A Is For Alibi (2005)

About book: I needed a brain-break, so I thought I'd reread a few of Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries. I don't read mysteries as a regular thing, and I don't know why I first picked up the Kinsey Millhone books, back when she was only on C or D. They were steady sellers at the feminist bookstore I was working at, but I didn't buy them. I listened to them on my Walkman on cassette tapes I borrowed from the library.That's right, folks. I'm old. Be nice or I'll start telling you horror stories about being right in the middle of a good scene and then having your cassette player start spewing narrow black magnetic tape all over the place.Anyway. Kinsey Millhone is smart and tough and self-reliant. I'm plodding and soft and often cripplingly anxious. She's single and childless and solves mysteries; I've been married since the late fifteenth century, homeschool my son, and kill houseplants. And yet I feel a certain affinity with Millhone. Why is that?1. We're both broke in rich cities named after saints. Kinsey's native Santa Teresa is based on Santa Barbara. I live in Santa Monica. Both towns used to be places where modestly lower-middle-class people could scrape by in cheap digs near the sea. Kinsey and I have dug in our heels and stayed stubbornly in the same tiny apartments we moved into decades ago. Meanwhile, our neighbors have moved away and been replaced by rich arrogant boobs.Granted, Kinsey's apartment is adorable and her landlord is charming and nurturing, while my apartment drives me nuts and my landlord is condescending and sexist. Still. I like having a little something in common with a bona fide badass, even if she's technically fictional.2. Neither of us knows what to do with our hair. Kinsey takes the nail scissors to her head once a month or so. I let my hair grow and grow and grow in the hope that gravity will take pity on me and do something about this mop. It hasn't worked yet, and I'm going to have to go in for a trim at some point. Possibly a professional will insist on trying to inflict a "hairstyle" on me. But I'm not ready to give up just yet. Maybe I'll buy a pair of nail scissors instead.3. Neither of us gets along with dogs. And we're both well aware that the problem isn't the dogs but the owners who let them lunge, snarl, bark, and/or make passionate love to strangers' legs. Said owners always look either indifferent, indulgent, or surprised. "Oh, my gosh – he never does this!" (Lady, he did "this" five seconds ago, to the last pedestrian who made the mistake of being on the same sidewalk as the two of you. Apparently owning a dog induces short-term memory loss. Not that I'm bitter or anything.)4. We're both joggers who hate jogging. Okay, maybe "hate" is too strong a word. But we're definitely not big fans of the exercise. We do it purely for fitness reasons. Both of us want to be prepared, because we never know when we might be called on to be strong and fast. Kinsey often needs to flee for her life, or in pursuit of a perp; I often have to sprint after an errant pet lizard, or down the stairs to throw one last sock into a load of wash that already started. 5. We're both used to basing our lives around the horrors of L.A. traffic. You don't have to live in Los Angeles proper to suffer from the fact that of the roughly 300 million people currently making America their home, 100 million of them are clogging up the 405 freeway at any given time. The fallout has already spread past the city, into the county, and beyond, and it's only a matter of time before my best friend in Idaho starts having to budget an extra half-hour if she wants to drive somewhere. Anywhere. To Canada, even.6. We both love junk food but hate jelly doughnuts. Kinsey Millhone is a fast-food aficionado. I recently managed to lose 15 entirely unnecessary pounds without ever giving up on the idea that dessert is not only a daily necessity, but possibly a civil right. Neither of us would profane our temples with a jelly doughnut unless starvation was the only alternative. And, last but not least:7. We're judgmental smart-mouths.And Kinsey's hilariously matter-of-fact about it.Marcia Threadgill was twenty-six years old and she suffered from bad taste.She's not even being mean. She's just pointing it out.Can't imagine why I relate so hard to that.

Find all of my reviews at: reviews in the same morning? I guess it’s your lucky day (ha-ha - NOT). And just look at that bright and shiny 1 Star rating. That should be a sure fire way to earn me some new friends. If you’re not interested in reading through my reasons behind not liking this book, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of my reaction upon finishing . . . So the long story of how I began my relationship with Kinsey Millhone at this late date is as follows: In general I am not a fan of books in a series. Added on to that fact, I already sold my soul broke my own rule for Janet Evanovich and her eleventy billion Plum stories. Friends were constantly telling me if I liked Stephanie Plum, I was sure to simply looooove Kinsey (basically because Kinsey supposedly had her shit together and wouldn’t get kidnapped every 42 seconds). I kept fighting the good fight and said I wouldn’t begin reading these books until I found “A” in hardback for wicked cheap. Well, I found A-F for a buck each and when Ed said he (and Mrs. Ed) were in for a buddy read I figured what the hell – even if I ended up hating the book I’d be entertained through the process.My rating started out at a solid 3 Stars (which is about as good as it gets from me when it comes to a light mystery like this). The premise was familiar, but still A-Okay in my book: Nikki is a recently-released-from-prison convicted murderer who shows up seeking Kinsey’s help in order to find the true killer of her philandering husband. Kinsey takes the case and starts tracking down the various ex-Mrs. Fife’s in order to piece part the crime together. It was all very . . . and I was digging it. “He was like some old tomcat, always sniffin’ around the same back porch.”By the halfway point, though, I was really starting to struggle. There was just SO. MUCH. FILLER. This book could have easily been cut in half. Here are some examples (nickel’s worth of free advice – drink a 5 Hour Energy before reading these quotes): “The interior was done with polished uneven red-tile flooring, mirrors floor to ceiling, and panels of raw gray wood, hung here and there with clusters of dried corn.” “The roof was nearly flat, peppered with rocks, the iron railings sending streaks of rust down the sides of the building. The landscaping was rock and yucca and cactus plants.” Oh, and I can’t forget all of the jogging: “I jogged south on Wilshire, just for variety, cutting across to San Vicente at Twenty-sixth Street.” And if Kinsey is supposed to have her shit together, then why is she the dumbest bitch EVER?!?!?! I mean, do y’all remember what happens in this book???? I had been sitting at 2 Stars, but that ending? HELL NAH! 1 Star it is. I mean, I thought I had the whodunit it figured out right away, but I kept trying to convince myself I was wrong. I just had to be wrong. Sadly I wasn’t. As for the rest of this series? Well, it can . . . Men authors get grief all the time for not writing quality women characters. Ms. Grafton should be forced to wear the cone of shame for eternity for writing someone as stupid as Kinsey. Give me back my Plum novels. At least she knows she’s an idiot. Throw in some Hiassen for more guffaws, some Leonard in order to obtain some cool points, and some Lehane when I need some grit and I think I can easily live without ever taking another gander at Kinsey Millhone.
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Claire Grasse
I'm a big Sue Grafton fan, possibly because I'm a lot like Kinsey myself (in attitude more than in situation). I've read all of her novels several times... they're my "go-to" books when I want some brain candy without having to put a lot of effort into unraveling plot or character. At the risk of sounding prim and old-maidish, I really could have done without the sex scenes in this book... in my mind a good murder mystery should be able to stand on its own two feet without forcing us all into the protagonist's bedroom.I know that one reviewer found Kinsey to be crass, which she probably is (a bit). But Kinsey does make it clear in all the books that she's very much a product of her upbringing, and throughout the series Grafton allows Kinsey to develop into a mellower, though still spunky, version of her first self. If this were a stand-alone book I probably wouldn't have liked it as well, but as part of a greater whole I loved it. The missing star is for the awkward sex. Awkward for me, at least. The characters apparently had a marvelous time.
I read this book as part of an interdisciplinary course in law school entitled "Law in Literature." While the book was acceptable/average in terms of its overall plot, development, and color, my enjoyment of the novel came from the fact that until the last half of the book (when the protagonist - a female detective - sleeps with a man she is investigating) I hadn't realized that the main character was a woman. I thought of myself as suitably progressive when the novel described the main character wanting to date a guy, and putting on pantyhose. "Wow?! A gay, cross-dressing detective? That's unique!" Nope. Novel is totally about a woman instead. Don't know how I managed to make it halfway through the book before that lightbulb clicked on, but the absolutely hilarious part is that most of the men in the class apparently hadn't figured it out until the middle of the book either.
I had heard a lot about Sue Grafton books and wanted to see for myself what the buzz was all about. I have to admit that I was sorely disappointed with this book. Supposedly a crime fiction, it was too descriptive for my tastes.The story began 8 years ago when a divorce lawyer Lawrence Fife is murdered and his wife Nikki is accused and later convicted for this murder. She accepts her sentence and when out on parole 8 years later, decides to open the case and find out who the real murderer is. Kinsey Mallone, the protagonist of all Sue Grafton books in this series is hired by Nikki to solve the mystery. What follows is a totally botched up, completely illogical investigation, where the investigator and her manner of investigation reminded me of the Hindi teleserial CID. I wanted to believe that the author would give me more and therefore kept reading till the end. The end was highly predictable and the manner in which the author ended this book was honestly ridiculous in my opinion. During the course of this year, I had vowed never to give any book a single star, simply because I believe there must be something in that book that I must have overlooked. However, this is one book that I must say leaves nothing to imagination, has no thrills and definitely no mystery. It is one never ending accounting of some prose that the protagonist deems it necessary to thrust upon us.I may or may not read the others in the series. Am leaving it to be decided later. However, as of now, will advice people to stay away from this book and the series.
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