Thursday, December 22, 2011

V Is for Vengeance, by Sue Grafton

A recent Princeton graduate borrows money from mobster Lorenzo Dante, blows it all in Las Vegas, and is thrown to his death from the top of a parking garage. Kinsey Milhone sees two women shoplifting in Nordstrom's, turns one of them in, and is almost run down by the other. Days later, the shoplifter who was apprehended jumps from a railroad bridge. Kinsey attends her wake and is hired by her fiance to find out the truth about her death. Meanwhile Nora, the wife of a wealthy attorney learns her husband is having an affair. Building up her cash reserves, Nora tries to sell some jewelry to Dante, who is immediately attracted to her. But he is also dealing with problems in his business: the shoplifters worked for him and his brother made the decision to eliminate one of them--just as he decided to eliminate the Princeton graduate. If all this were not enough, Kinsey is called on to help a small-time crook who once hired her from prison; neighbor/landlord Henry is in Michigan caring for his older sister, who was injured in a fall; and a copy from Kinsey's past is dogging her.

Does this sound like a well-plotted mystery or an overly complicated series of coincidences and subplots? I vote for the latter. I was also surprised--after the questions raised in the U volume in the series--that this book completely ignored Kinsey's attempts to learn more about her family history, which I thought would play a major role in V-Z.

Favorite passage: None

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