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Sue Grafton (1940–2017)

Author of A is for Alibi

123+ Works 95,232 Members 1,919 Reviews 200 Favorited

About the Author

Sue Grafton was born in Louisville, Kentucky on April 24, 1940. She received a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Louisville in 1961. Her first novel Keziah Dane was published in 1967. Her second novel, The Lolly-Madonna War, was published in 1969 and she adapted it into show more a screenplay. After that movie was released in 1973, she worked intermittently writing for television. A series she created, Nurse, ran for two seasons on CBS in the early 1980s. Her writing career took off when A Is for Alibi was published in 1982 and received the Mysterious Stranger Award. This was the beginning of the Kinsey Millhone Mystery series. B Is for Burglar won the Shamus and Anthony Awards and C Is for Corpse won the Anthony Award. She also received the Cartier Diamond Dagger, the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Bouchercon, and the Ross Macdonald Literary Award. She died from cancer on December 28, 2017 at the age of 77. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Photographed at BookPeople in Austin, Texas by Frank Arnold

Series

Works by Sue Grafton

A is for Alibi (1982) 6,613 copies, 183 reviews
B is for Burglar (1985) 4,537 copies, 92 reviews
Q is for Quarry (2002) 4,265 copies, 65 reviews
S is for Silence (2005) 4,260 copies, 84 reviews
R is for Ricochet (2004) 4,118 copies, 66 reviews
C is for Corpse (1986) 4,076 copies, 68 reviews
P Is for Peril (2001) 4,034 copies, 53 reviews
T is for Trespass (2007) 3,970 copies, 105 reviews
M is for Malice (1996) 3,946 copies, 59 reviews
O is for Outlaw (1999) 3,846 copies, 54 reviews
N is for Noose (1998) 3,836 copies, 56 reviews
D is for Deadbeat (1987) 3,809 copies, 59 reviews
J Is for Judgment (1993) 3,806 copies, 50 reviews
I is for Innocent (1992) 3,769 copies, 54 reviews
K is for Killer (1994) 3,743 copies, 44 reviews
L is for Lawless (1995) 3,711 copies, 47 reviews
E Is for Evidence (1988) 3,640 copies, 63 reviews
G is for Gumshoe (1990) — Author — 3,631 copies, 52 reviews
H is for Homicide (1991) 3,585 copies, 52 reviews
F is for Fugitive (1989) 3,561 copies, 52 reviews
U is for Undertow (2009) — Author — 3,375 copies, 127 reviews
V is for Vengeance (2011) 2,526 copies, 115 reviews
W is for Wasted (2013) 2,114 copies, 82 reviews
X (2015) 1,829 copies, 99 reviews
Y is for Yesterday (2017) 1,498 copies, 70 reviews
Kinsey and Me: Stories (2013) 659 copies, 37 reviews
The Alphabet Mysteries: A-C (1999) 478 copies, 6 reviews
Writing Mysteries: A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America (1992) — Editor — 431 copies, 4 reviews
The Best American Mystery Stories 1998 (1998) — Editor & Introduction — 181 copies
K Is for Killer [Abridged Audiobook] (1994) 108 copies, 1 review
L Is for Lawless [Abridged Audiobook] (1995) 55 copies, 1 review
R Is for Ricochet [Abridged Audio Book] (2004) 52 copies, 3 reviews
L Is for Lawless (Macmillan Readers) (2005) 41 copies, 1 review
A is for Alibi / B is for Burglar (1993) 40 copies, 1 review
T Is for Trespass [Abridged Audio Book] (1900) 17 copies, 1 review
B Is for Burglar [Abridged, Audiobook] (2007) 16 copies, 1 review
C Is for Corpse [Abridged Audiobook] (2007) 14 copies, 1 review
The Alphabet Mysteries: A-S 14 copies, 1 review
The Lolly-Madonna war (1969) 11 copies
Miss Marple: A Caribbean Mystery [1983 TV movie] (1983) — Screenwriter — 10 copies
Kinsey and Me Free Preview (2012) — Author — 10 copies
Keziah Dane (1968) 9 copies, 2 reviews
Sue Grafton 3 copies
Spannend trio (1997) — Contributor — 2 copies
The entire "Alphabet" series 2 copies, 1 review
de homicidio 1 copy
If You Want It Done Right 1 copy, 1 review
A - Z 1 copy
Omnibus 1 copy
Come Killer 1 copy
Sue Grafton Boxset (2002) 1 copy

Associated Works

Telling Lies for Fun and Profit (1981) — Introduction, some editions — 461 copies, 9 reviews
The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century (2000) — Contributor — 456 copies, 7 reviews
A Woman's Eye (1991) — Contributor — 276 copies, 3 reviews
Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting (2013) — Contributor — 271 copies, 14 reviews
Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense (1988) — Contributor — 193 copies, 2 reviews
Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do (2013) — Contributor — 182 copies, 10 reviews
The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories (1996) — Contributor — 179 copies, 1 review
In the Shadow of the Master: Classic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (2009) — Contributor — 175 copies, 3 reviews
The Mammoth Book of Private Eye Stories (1988) — Contributor — 164 copies, 3 reviews
Sisters in Crime (1990) — Contributor — 125 copies, 1 review
Sisters in Crime 4 (1991) — Contributor — 105 copies, 2 reviews
Sisters in Crime 2 (1990) — Contributor — 100 copies, 2 reviews
A New Omnibus of Crime (2005) — Contributor; Editor — 97 copies, 2 reviews
The Best of Sisters in Crime (1997) — Contributor — 95 copies, 2 reviews
The Big Book of Female Detectives (2018) — Contributor — 83 copies, 1 review
Lady on the Case: 22 Female Detective Stories (1988) — Contributor — 76 copies
Ross Macdonald : A Biography (1999) — Introduction — 71 copies, 2 reviews
The Oxford Book of Detective Stories (2000) — Contributor — 69 copies, 1 review
First Cases: First Appearances of Classic Private Eyes (1996) — Contributor — 68 copies, 3 reviews
2nd Culprit: A Crime Writers' Association Annual (1993) — Contributor — 66 copies, 1 review
Reader's Digest Select Editions 1999 v01 #241 (1999) — Contributor — 33 copies
Most Wanted (2002) — Contributor — 29 copies, 1 review
Great detective stories (1998) — Contributor — 20 copies
Writing Mystery and Crime Fiction (1985) — Contributor — 9 copies, 1 review
The Penguin Book of Crime Stories, Volume II (2010) — Contributor — 9 copies, 1 review
Dangerous Ladies (1992) — Contributor — 8 copies
First Cases [Unabridged Audiobook] (2002) — Contributor — 3 copies
Detecting Women: New American Short Stories (1998) — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

A Kinsey Millhone Mystery (202) Alphabet Mysteries (261) American (366) anthology (281) audio (329) audiobook (362) California (1,840) crime (1,952) crime and mystery (203) crime fiction (976) detective (1,531) detective fiction (277) ebook (839) female detective (467) fiction (7,578) first edition (215) Grafton (442) hardcover (368) Kindle (402) Kinsey Millhone (4,628) Kinsey Millhone Mysteries (301) library (286) murder (532) mystery (14,013) mystery fiction (418) mystery-thriller (247) novel (518) own (288) paperback (317) PI (229) private detective (1,030) read (1,232) series (1,455) short stories (403) Sue Grafton (705) suspense (604) thriller (504) to-read (2,049) unread (313) writing (318)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Grafton, Sue
Legal name
Grafton, Sue Taylor
Birthdate
1940-04-24
Date of death
2017-12-28
Gender
female
Nationality
USA
Birthplace
Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Place of death
Santa Barbara, California, USA
Cause of death
cancer (appendix)
Places of residence
Santa Barbara, California, USA
Santa Monica, California, USA
Education
University of Louisville (1961 | BA | English Literature)
Western Kentucky State Teachers College
Occupations
admission clerk
cashier
secretary
screenwriter
detective novelist
Relationships
Grafton, C. W. (father)
Organizations
Pi Beta Phi
Awards and honors
Romantic Times Career Achievement Award (Female Sleuth ∙ 2004)
Cartier Diamond Dagger (2008)
Shamus Award (The Eye for Lifetime Achievement ∙ 2003)
MWA Grand Master (2009)
Christopher Award (1979)
Agent
Molly Friedrich (Aaron Priest Literary Agency)
Short biography
Grafton was born in Louisville, Kentucky April 24 1940; graduated University of Louisville, BA 1961 with a major in English Literature, minors in Humanities and Fine Arts.
She married to Steven F. Humphrey with three children from previous marriages: a daughter, Leslie; a son, Jay; a daughter, Jamie; and four granddaughters, Erin, age 21, Kinsey, age 13, Taylor, age 4, and Addison, age 2.

Members

Reviews

"A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
"A" is for Alibi" is the first book in Sue Grafton's alphabet mystery series, featuring Kinsey Millhone, a 32-year-old Private Investigator residing in California. I've just begun this series and found this book quite enjoyable. The mystery is compelling, suspenseful, and makes for a quick read. Kinsey's character is fiercely independent, and she's portrayed in a way that makes you feel intimately acquainted with her. Nikki Fife, recently released from prison after serving eight years for the murder of her husband Laurence, enlists Kinsey to uncover the real culprit. As Kinsey delves into the investigation, she discovers a similarly executed murder that occurred days after Laurence's—the victim being Libby Glass, the accountant for Laurence's law firm, poisoned in the same manner. With the trail cold for eight years, Kinsey is aware that uncovering the truth will be challenging. She starts piecing together the profiles of those involved and the events leading to Laurence's death. However, her probing does not sit well with someone who is intent on keeping the truth buried. As Kinsey edges closer to the truth, she finds herself in peril, with a determined adversary attempting to thwart her efforts.… (more)
 
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Arina79 | 182 other reviews | Jun 24, 2024 |
A solid entry in the series with a few interesting touches. Unfortunately most of those have to go behind the spoiler curtain. "This time it's personal." Kinsey's first husband Mickey Magruder has been shot and is in a coma. Unlike her second husband, Mickey has never been discussed until now, and the reasons why Kinsey has suppressed his memory are the connective tissue beneath what is otherwise a fairly standard Alphabet plot. Lots of interviews, lots of driving around, and the obligatory closing chapter where Kinsey yet again is alone and stalked by the murderer. Her baker landlord Henry appears just briefly but long enough to make her realize this case matters to her more than she thinks.

The final chapters where she faces death yet again are becoming increasingly contrived. Spoiler 1: In this one, pursued by the murderer, she drives right by two detectives from LAPD who know everything and local cops with no more explanation than "there was no way [they] could help me right now".

The epilogue though is quite nice, and I liked one touch in the story though it might frustrate others. Spoiler 2: Mickey never comes out of his coma. This remains Kinsey's story throughout.
… (more)
 
Flagged
ChrisRiesbeck | 53 other reviews | Jun 13, 2024 |
Creepy, creepy! Makes me wonder about people a little more than I did before.
 
Flagged
DianeVallere | 104 other reviews | May 16, 2024 |
I had a harder time getting into this one, but everything clicked around page 100. By the end I felt like there were a few unanswered questions, but still a good one.
 
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DianeVallere | 126 other reviews | May 16, 2024 |

Lists

Awards

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Associated Authors

Judy Kaye Reader, Narrator
Otto Penzler Series Editor
Jan Burke Editor
John Escott Adapter
Wim Holleman Translator
Gregory Mcdonald Introduction
Joyce Carol Oates Contributor
Walter Mosley Contributor
John T. Lescroart Contributor
Dave Shaw Contributor
Lawrence Block Contributor
Mary Higgins Clark Contributor
Edward D. Hoch Contributor
Stuart M. Kaminsky Contributor
Scott Bartels Contributor
David Ballard Contributor
Donald E. Westlake Contributor
Helen Tucker Contributor
Janice Law Contributor
Pat Jordan Contributor
Steve Yarbrough Contributor
Peter Robinson Contributor
John Lutz Contributor
Jay McInerney Contributor
Margaret Maron Contributor
Maureen Gray Illustrator
Lynn Hightower Contributor
Karen Kijewski Contributor
Mary Peiffer Narrator
Mort Engel; Cover artist
Birgit Herrmann Übersetzer, Translator
Heikki Kannosto Translator
Ariane Böckler Übersetzer
Annika Eräpuro Translator
Toby Visser Translator
Ingrid Tóth Translator
Reijo Kalvas Translator
Liza Ross Narrator
Ingrid Tóth Translator
Abby Kagan Cover designer
Willem Holleman Translator
Mary Peiffer Narrator
Annika Eräpuro Translator
Lorelei King Narrator, Reader
Lynn Lauber Abridger

Statistics

Works
123
Also by
48
Members
95,232
Popularity
#96
Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
1,919
ISBNs
1,561
Languages
22
Favorited
200

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