Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 1982
Genre: Mystery

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My name is Kinsey Millhone. I’m a private investigator, licensed by the state of California. I’m thirty-two years old, twice divorced, no kids. The day before yesterday I killed someone and the fact weighs heavily on my mind . . .

When Laurence Fife was murdered, few cared. A slick divorce attorney with a reputation for ruthlessness, Fife was also rumoured to be a slippery ladies’ man. Plenty of people in the picturesque Southern California town of Santa Teresa had reason to want him dead. Including, thought the cops, his young and beautiful wife, Nikki. With motive, access and opportunity, Nikki was their number one suspect. The Jury thought so too.

Eight years later and out on parole, Nikki Fife hires Kinsey Millhone to find out who really killed her husband. But the trail has gone cold and there is a chilling twist even Kinsey didn’t expect . .


Kinsey Millhone

Kinsey Millhone is a PI, as a former police officer she knows what shes doing, and how to get results! Kinsey is happy with her life, living a simple one, in a small apartment and with a very small social circle. Passionate about her job, Kinsey does not let cases drop until she gets results – even simple insurance fraud cases.

My apartment is small but I like living in a cramped space. I’ve lived in trailers most of my life, but lately they’ve been getting too elaborate for my taste, so now I live in one room, a “bachelorette”. I don’t have pets. I don’t have houseplants. I spend a lot of time on the road and I don’t like leaving things behind. Aside from the hazards of my profession, my life has always been ordinary, uneventful and good.
Grafton, S.1986, P.6 (E-Book)


The Case

Laurence Fife, renowned divorce attorney, has been dead for eight years. He was poisoned by oleander capsules which had been swapped out for his allergy capsules. It had been an open and shut case, his philandering was public knowledge, his young wife was clearly to blame and the jury agreed.

Now Nikki is out and she wants to clear her name, approaching Kingsey to investigate for her. The case takes Kingsey across country to try and put together an eight year old cold case, is she wasting her time? Has she uncovered more than she expected? And why did Fife’s former secretary also die from oleander poisoning shortly after Laurence?

Despite the suspect pool being quite small, Kingsey finds herself unravelling thread upon thread in her unwavering determination. Her first step is to try and rule out Laurence’s various conquests, including his ex-wife Gwen, whilst also delving into his family life.


The Book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Kingsey’s no nonsense quick wit makes her a delight to journey with, and she is written fantastically. Brutally honest, and clever, I can’t wait to see what she gets up to next in this series of books. Her entrance into mystery books, Sue Grafton does a fabulous job at world building, creating a truly likeable character to put into her compelling story. The book itself is short and sweet, meaning it can be devoured quickly, drawing you in and keeping you intrigued.


Behind the Scenes

The basis of the story line of A is for Alibi came from Sue Grafton’s fantasies of killing her own husband whilst going through a divorce.


Final Thoughts

Whilst it is difficult to discuss this book without giving away any spoilers, I do recommend giving this a try. It is light and fun to read with a character you can’t help but root for!

One response to “A is for Alibi – Sue Grafton”

  1. […] weeks since the events of A is for Alibi, Kinsey is getting her life back on track and putting it all behind her, when Beverly Danziger […]


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