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V is for vengeance by Sue Grafton

V is for vengeance (edition 2011)

by Sue Grafton

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1,081None7,700 (3.78)50
Title:V is for vengeance
Authors:Sue Grafton
Info:New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2011.
Collections:Your library
Tags:series, mystery, California, private investigator

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V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton (Author)



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English (63)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (2)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
I liked this latest installment in the Kinsey Millhone series better than the last one, which I felt had mistaken sheer blunt-force mimesis for depth and complexity (http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/novelreadings/tmi). I thought the layering of perspectives and plots was well done here, and things moved along well, though I did sometimes have the same feeling that things were being described in detail (and in near real-time) for no good reason.

Especially since teaching both Grafton and Sara Paretsky repeatedly in both of my mystery classes, I have reflected quite a bit on the differences in their approaches, and in the end I just find Paretsky a much more interesting novelist: her V. I. Warshawski novels are about something besides their individual plots, and V.I. holds my attention as a character more than Kinsey does. Still, I've been in a relationship with both of them for 30 years now: though I might play favorites, I'm going to stick with them both until ... well, until the end.
  rmaitzen | Feb 7, 2014 |
This is the 22nd book in the Kinsey Millhone Mysteries. The books are holding up, but the setting is lagging behind real time. The book mostly takes place in 1988, starting for Kinsey when she notices a small-time shoplifter. In the typical Grafton style, Kinsey gets wrapped up in the events and must look into things. The shoplifting leads her into a big-time racketeering ring.

I have two complaints about the book, first is that Sue Grafton is moving the series away from traditional mysteries. Starting with the previous book, U is for Undertow, it seems to be moving more toward adventure, as the reader knows so much more about the crime than Kinsey does. The book wanders through three different plots that ultimately intertwine. But the reader cannot play detective and try to solve it as Kinsey does.

The second issue is that Kinsey neglected to check surveillance tapes from the scene of the initial shoplifting. Although she had reason not to be interested in them initially, events changed and she seemed to forget about them for too long. It was a plot device to help build suspense, but in my opinion, was inappropriate. This did not detract from the enjoyment of the book.

Overall, it is an enjoyable book and left me looking forward to the next installment. ( )
  Nodosaurus | Jan 19, 2014 |
This book shows really shows the continuing evolution of Sue Grafton and Kinsey Millhone. Gone are the days when the stories were told simply by Kinsey narrating her investigations to us. Ever since S is for Silence, we have been getting multiple points of view which some people enjoy and some people don't. I do.

In V is for Vengeance, we have a number of story lines that intertwine to create a story with a lot of depth. Kinsey's part in the story begins because she just happens to shoplifter while she is at an underwear sale in the local department store. When she reports this to store security, things start to escalate. The shoplifter is arrested but after her fiance gets her out on bail, she turns up dead.

Because there are a number of story lines and quite a few characters, at times you wonder how this is all going to tie together. I found each story line to be interesting on it's own and more so as they began to come together.

The one thing that I found a bit out of character was Kinsey's going to the mob boss and trying to negotiate his help for another character in the story. Kinsey has often made a point of saying she is not brave so this seemed like an awfully daring thing for her to do. It didn't quite fit her personality to me. I still loved the story, however.

I will now patiently wait until September 10th for W is for Wasted to be published. ( )
  Mrsbaty | Jan 15, 2014 |
Another great one from Sue Grafton. Each book gets better and better. I love all the characters (even the shady ones). Her descriptions and characterizations pull you so fully into the lives of Kinsey and her cohorts that they feel like real people you've known for years. I read a LOT, but there are only a handful of series that feel like a homecoming each time you crack open the newest book. Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone is definitely one of them. ( )
  DTChantel | Nov 12, 2013 |
I liked this one. Wasn't sure, but it was good. Started out as a shoplifting ring but moved onto murder. Liked the intrigue between a husband and wife who are drifting apart or are they? ( )
  kp9949 | Nov 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
Here we are all the way up to V, and Sue Grafton is still springing narrative surprises. Grafton is of course the author of the series featuring the California private eye Kinsey Millhone. The titles for the books run through the alphabet, beginning almost 30 years ago with A is for Alibi. Now, in V is for Vengeance, Grafton performs the unthinkable by presenting readers with a portrait of the book’s major villain that is much more sympathetic than condemning.

The story begins with Millhone in the lingerie section of the local Nordstrom’s. That’s unlikely territory for casual Kinsey who usually confines her clothes shopping to low-end chain stores. In Nordstrom’s, she spots a 50ish woman who is carrying out slick pieces of shoplifting among the store’s silk lounge wear. In swift order, Kinsey alerts store security who pack the woman off to jail from which she’s soon released on bail. Next day, the shoplifter’s body is found at the bottom of a very high bridge, apparently a suicide.

Suffering from a guilty conscience over her role in the woman’s death, Kinsey decides to dig into the story behind the so-called suicide. Sure enough, she finds plenty of fishy people and puzzling events. All of this is usual in the Millhone books. Indeed, familiarity in concept and characters makes one of the series’ great comforts.

So we relax into the byplay involving Kinsey’s octogenarian landlord Henry and Henry’s equally aged but spry siblings. These people, as supporting characters, are unfailingly entertaining. In the new book, brother William’s disquisition on the value of attending the visitation and funeral of a complete stranger is alone worth the price of admission.

Meanwhile, as the cozy story of Kinsey’s life and investigation unfolds, all of it told in her first-person voice, Grafton drops in third-person chapters that trace the tale of a sinister but attractive man named Lorenzo Dante. This fellow happens to be the secretive capo of the mob as it exists in Kinsey’s hometown of Santa Teresa and environs.

Dante is rich, but has problems. His father, the retired capo, is blind to forces that threaten the mob’s existence. Dante’s younger brother is a psycho killer. Dante himself has been long planning an escape from this turmoil into an extravagantly funded retirement far from big time crime.

Though Kinsey’s crime solving has its fascinations, the reader becomes more deeply involved in Dante’s dilemmas. Will he evade his own mob’s clutches? And what about a woman who enters the plot, the wife of a wealthy lawyer? Is she part of Dante’s escape package? Gradually, these pressing questions upstage Kinsey’s adventures. Who, at this advanced stage in the Millhone saga, would have imagined such a delicious turn of events?
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (Dec 31, 2011)
Kinsey plays a smaller role in this story, which may not please some of her many fans, but Grafton's pioneering sleuth is as clever and witty as ever.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Linda Oliver (Oct 15, 2011)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grafton, SueAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaye, JudyReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This one is for the Humphrey clan to honor all the tears we've been together
?Chuck and Theresa
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Phillip Lanahan drove to Vegas in his 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, a snappy little red car his parents had given him two months before, when he graduated from Princeton.
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Book description
Private detective Kinsey Millhone feels a bit out of place in Nordstrom’s lingerie department, but she’s entirely in her element when she puts a stop to a brazen shoplifting spree. For her trouble she nearly gets run over in the parking lot by one of the fleeing thieves—and later learns that the one who didn’t get away has been found dead in an apparent suicide. But Audrey Vance’s grieving fiancé suspects murder and hires Kinsey to investigate—in a case that will reveal a big story behind a small crime, and lead her into a web that connects a shadowy “private banker,” an angry trophy wife, a spoiled kid with a spiraling addiction, and a brutal killer without a conscience…
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California PI Kinsey Millhone investigates the death of Audrey Vance, a woman she helped arrest for shoplifting, and antagonizes just about everyone, including Audrey's fiance, several loan sharks, a stone-cold killer, and a hapless burglar who knows more than is healthy for him.… (more)

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