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Reviews of A is for Alibi (1982)

Review by tollbaby (2005-04-28)
I really like the fact that the Kinsey Millhone books are written in first person, like the old detective stories. She's a very human, very likable character. A is for Alibi is our introduction to Kinsey, and it's a darn good one.

I was a bit disappointed by the fact that already, in the first book in the series, Grafton alludes to all kinds of past events and insider info... I felt sort of like I'd missed something. But apparently as the series wears on, more of this background gets filled in.

Innumerable plot twists and characters you love to hate at every turn don't keep this mystery from being a bit predictible, but it was a good, fast-paced read, and there was an element of surprise. The dénouement was a bit anti-climactic though (all that action leading up to.... what?) The narration picks up again later on and explains what happened, but I wasn't satisfied.

Not my favorite Grafton novel, by any means, but an okay start to the series. My liking for the main character probably colored my rating somewhat, but to be perfectly honest, if this had been my first foray into this series, I wouldn't have continued.

Review by hulabob (2004-07-22)
For me it was time for a new series. Boredom over the summer led me to the used bookstore, and to 'A is for Alibi.' It's okay. Will I read B is for Whatever? Probably. Will I keep reading to Z? Probably not. The writing is just predictable enough that investing a whole lot of time and excitement isn't worth it. I enjoyed it, but I think my copy will find its way back to the used bookstore fairly soon.

After struggling to find other passable crime fiction, I've settled on the idea that Grafton's novels are really pretty good. While my copy of 'A is for Alibi' did go back to the used bookstore, 'F is for Fugitive' and 'G is for Gumshoe' are currently on my shelf. Grafton does a good job of somehow not falling into the absolutely frustrating contrived plots that so many other authors in her genre do.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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