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W Is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
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W Is for Wasted

by Sue Grafton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries (23)

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1,474707,927 (3.78)68
" Of the #1 New York Times-bestselling Kinsey Millhone series, NPR said, "Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters." Two dead bodies changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue. The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He'd been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He'd been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone's name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him. Two seemingly unrelated deaths, one a murder, the other apparently of natural causes. But as Kinsey digs deeper into the mystery of the John Doe, some very strange linkages begin to emerge. And before long at least one aspect is solved as Kinsey literally finds the key to his identity. "And just like that," she says, "the lid to Pandora's box flew open. It would take me another day before I understood how many imps had been freed, but for the moment, I was inordinately pleased with myself." In this multilayered tale, the surfaces seem clear, but the underpinnings are full of betrayals, misunderstandings, and outright murderous fraud. And Kinsey, through no fault of her own, is thoroughly compromised. W is for. wanderer. worthless. wronged. W is for wasted"--… (more)

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» See also 68 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
It's a bit strange to read a contemporary book that is set 30 years ago. But still, the story is quite fun.

It seems that Kinsey Milhone is having some down time, i.e. no jobs. But then the police call her to identify a body they found on the beach. It's a homeless man. All his personal affects had been lifted, except for a piece of paper in his pocket with Kinsey's name and phone number. So, why did a homeless guy have Kinsey's number? Had he planned to consult her about a gig?

Since she has down time, Kinsey hangs out with some homeless folks and eventually learn a few things about the guy. His name was Terrance. Later on, she learns he is R. Terrance Dace, and eventually, it dawns on Kinsey that Dace is actually a distant cousin from the side of the family she knew nothing about.

So, Kinsey hunts up folks on that side of the family to tell them about the missing relative. The guy had had three kids, all of whom had cut him off. Having been cut off, he fingers Kinsey as next of kin and his sole inheritor. It seems he had quite a lot to inherit, and the kids suddenly become irate with Kinsey.

Then, there's a sketchy private detective who had been hired to check in on the spouse of a rich, but sketchy medical doctor. The sketchy private eye hired one of Kinsey's old flames, Deitz, to do the leg work for him, but then stiffs Deitz when it comes time to settle up. Deitz shows up, mad at Kinsey, but eventually realizes they'd both been had. Kinsey never suggested the sketchy guy.

Oh, and the sketchy doctor? Well, it seems that he had something to do with the dead, homeless guy at one time. So, we get rather a convoluted, but also rather fun, tale of suspense and intrigue.

One serious problem I think: it seems that Kinsey learns for the first time that old flame, Deitz was fairly well off. Even though they had some off and on flings, she never knew before that he had money. How in the hell do you live with someone for several months at a time, more than once, and never know that he had lots of money backing him up? That part makes no sense. The rest, mostly does. Despite this flaw, the book is a GoodRead.

( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
Good, but certainly not the best in the series. I felt it started out strong, then got boring in the middle, then became more interesting in the end.

I did not like when she switched to Pete's point of view. And I did not like the skipping back and forth between present and past. It seemed a little preachy about homeless people too. Kinsey meets some distant relatives, and they are not likable at all, and don't add anything to the story. An old love interest comes back, and then promptly leaves. What was the point of that?

I like the parts with Henry and William. The cat was cute too. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
Ms. Grafton seems to describe not-very-important scenes in luxuriant detail. In this novel, for example, a car wash. For this first time I notice that she does this to characters, too. We get richly colored characters who are not good vs. bad, but portraits of complexity. I really flat out enjoyed meeting some of these people and getting to know them encourages me to be more receptive to the cast of real characters in my life, to be more - loving of the odd details. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
Classic Kinsey Millhone. I was glad to see her landlord is still a part of the series. ( )
  TGPistole | Apr 1, 2019 |
The local coroner calls Kinsey and asks her if she knows a Terrance Dace because his body is in the morgue and her name and address are in his pocket. The name means nothing but she goes and has a look and does not recognize him. Soon though she realizes he is a distant cousin through her father and when they open his safety deposit box in the bank it is discovered that has left her all his money and made her his executor. He has also exclude his three children from the will.

Meanwhile a PI by the name of Pete Wolinsky who Kinsey had work with a few times, is found murdered in a park. Eventually Kinsey discovers that her cousin Terrance was taking part in a drug research project being run by a doctor who had a some connection to Pete. Kinsy's life becomes very complicated with trying to learn whether Terrance's death was caused by the drug being tested while also researching why Terrance;s children were angry with him.

Kinsey's on again/off again lover, Dietz shows up because he is slightly involved in Wolinsky's activities. Again he leaves her unhappy.

This is another cracker story which I am tempted to say is her best but I definitely feel one her of best. Great complicated plot which is also full of interesting characters. The novel makes one think about homelessness as some of the most interesting characters are homeless. As well she raises the question of drug research and the pressure brought on by drug companies to show success. ( )
  lamour | Mar 26, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grafton, Sueprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ordóñez, VictoriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Margo and Jeff Barbakow and
Terri and Steve Bass.

Friends forever...and that's what it's all about.
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Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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