Review: A is for Alibi

Synopsis

‘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 . . .

– A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

My thoughts

A is for Alibi is the debut murder mystery in the Alphabet Mystery series featuring a young female private investigator by the name of Kinsey Millhone as the main character.

This book was published in 1982 to give an idea of how old it was. It even references type writers and a human answering service which was something I could not really relate to but was somehow able to imagine.
Other than that (and the obvious fact that there were no cell phones) the story was relatable in all other instances; murder, cover ups, affairs, relationships.

I like reading the first novels by an author. First published books by authors are generally pretty good; otherwise they wouldn’t be published to begin with or authors commissioned to write any further.
They also allow one to get to know the main character from the start especially if part of a series of published works.

Kinsey Millhone is hired by Nikki Fife on her release from jail, eight years after the murder of her husband Laurence Fife – a prominent divorce attorney – which she feels she was wrongly accused of.
This is a cold case in the eyes of the police and from the get-go Kinsey has be careful not to step on any toes.
I found this book a bit slow to start off with but the main character Kinsey also feels the same frustration with the slow progress as conveyed in the storyline. She is a bit careless in the beginning and makes mistakes but that makes her human.
All of a sudden things start happening rapidly towards the end and there is a nice twist or two to keep you interested.

In conclusion

Even though this book was written long ago it was a good read; descriptive of the characters involved and an interesting murder option which requires no alibi for the murderer.

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