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P Is for Peril by Sue Grafton

P Is for Peril (2001)

by Sue Grafton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries (16)

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3,149412,574 (3.58)33



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English (40)  Spanish (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
This is the first novel I've read by Sue Grafton, and it'll likely be the last.

Kinsey Millhone is supposedly a “rebel,” a solo private investigator, but this is the most boring rebel I've ever seen. Her dialogue is what you'd expect from a timid bookworm, not a tough, independent woman. The choices she makes throughout the story also baffled. For example, when she finds out the “truth” about the brothers, instead of running the other way as fast as she can, she worries about her rent deposit. And I say “truth,” because the truth Kinsey is fed turns out to be partially untrue, but she believes it hook, line, and sinker without verifying anything – you know, without acting like a private investigator.

Some of the characters are decent, but a large portion of their dialogue, like Kinsey's, is stilted. Dialogue is supposed to be the thing that draws the reader's attention, but here the descriptions of the ocean, roads, yards, and homes were actually more interesting.

The plot itself had potential, but Grafton seemed intent on bogging it down. While she strove for such a page count is beyond me. You could easily slice 200 pages from this novel and have a lean, understandable mystery without sacrificing subplots or character development.

And that ending...let's talk about the ending.

This is the worst ending to a novel I've ever read. Nothing is wrapped up, which is essential to a PI/mystery novel. I actually wondered if I had a defective copy, and kept flipping around seeing if I missed something. But now that I read other reviews on Amazon, I realize I didn't miss anything, though Grafton certainly did.

Seriously, I don't know how an editor let this slip through. I guess Grafton is so big she can do what she wants, but I hope the reader response to this novel teaches her something.

It sounds like this is an "off" novel for Grafton, but I don't know if I want to attempt another based on this one experience. ( )
  roguehomebody | Nov 13, 2018 |
A popular doctor disappears and the police cannot find him. His ex-wife hires Kinsey to find him even though he left her to marry a beautiful younger woman. Soon Kinsey suspects the doctor was either skimming Medicare and Medicaid through the retirement home he administered or he had found out someone else was doing it and was ready to go to the police. She wondered if he had been murdered to prevent his going to the authorities.

Meanwhile Kinsey is looking for a new office and signs a lease with two brothers for a new location. The one brother is attracted to her as she is to him but then things go sideways when she is warned the brothers may have killed their parents for their money.

This plot is complicated and is special because Kinsey's personal trouble with the brothers becomes a dangerous issue for her. Even her landlord Henry becomes involved in this story both aiding her in tricking the brothers into a trap plus rescuing her from one of the brothers with his baseball bat. ( )
  lamour | Sep 15, 2018 |
I liked this book until the ending. I’m still scratching my head. ( )
  Melissa_Gardner | Aug 28, 2018 |
Liked it but not the strongest entry in the series. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
I reread this recently as an audiobook and I have to say I was disappointed. I love Sue Grafton and Kinsey Milhone but the ending on this left me feeling flat. No real conclusion! I missed the Last Chapter and the Epilogue as well. ( )
  Cfo6 | Mar 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grafton, Sueprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
García de la Hoz, María LuzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holleman, WimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaye, JudyReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
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Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
The Santa Barbara Police Department and
the late Richard Breza, Santa Barbara Police Chief
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department
The Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office
Harriet Miller, Mayor of Santa Barbara
With appreciation for your competence, integrity, dedication, and generosity of spirit.
First words
The house on Old Reservoir Road appeared to be in the final phases of construction.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
ISBN 0330457861 is for the Omnibus 2-in-1: O Is for Outlaw and P Is for Peril.
Per WorldCat, ISBN 1842738038 is for Cool Jokes.
Amazon has ISBN 1842738038 for both Cool Jokes AND P is for Peril.
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0449003795, Mass Market Paperback)

When Dowan Purcell, a respected physician who operates a nursing home, disappears, his ex-wife hires Santa Teresa PI Kinsey Millhone to look into it. Fiona Purcell is still seething over Dow's affair and subsequent marriage to Crystal, a former stripper, yet they're still friends, and she seems worried. But when his body is discovered, she's among the suspects. Both of Dow's wives, at least one of his business partners, and perhaps even Crystal's teenage daughter had motives to kill.

While in her most recent adventures (N Is for Noose, O Is for Outlaw) Kinsey has acquired new digs, an extended family, and a few more gray hairs, in this one (which takes place some time in the mid-'80s), she's 36, still living in the remodeled garage that was blown up in an earlier novel. Easier than a facelift, and while Sue Grafton is a solid enough writer to pull it off, dedicated Kinsey fans will miss the more complex and multidimensional character who aged so ruefully and interestingly in the '90s. This isn't Grafton's strongest case; it's hard to care about any of Purcell's women or his associates. More exciting is the secondary plot, which involves a handsome landlord who offers Kinsey the new office space she's been seeking and turns out to be a lot more trouble than she bargained for. Despite its somewhat plodding pace and the echo of a more evolved heroine that rings through its pages, Grafton's many fans will probably shoot P Is for Peril right to the top of the bestseller list. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:10 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Kinsey Millhone trusts her life to her instincts as her investigation into the disappearance of a renowned physician takes her into a dark and dangerous world of duplicity, betrayal, and double-dealing.

» see all 15 descriptions

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