L is for Lawless – Sue Grafton

I’m steaming ahead into the middle of the Kinsey Millhone alphabet crime series, and L is for Lawless is a good ‘un. Kinsey becomes embroiled in the long overdue aftermath of a 50 year old bank heist, and heads out of California for the first time, and onto the wrong side of the law – not for the first, nor last time I’m sure! I have to say that I guessed the ‘solution’ about half way through, but then again I like things to tie up neatly, and Sue Grafton always delivers on that.

M and N are sitting on the bedside table, and look certain to usurp White Mughals, which I started on the way back from Yalta, for a little while longer.

Buy it: Amazon link

K is for killer – Sue Grafton

I abandoned my Herefordshire haul in favour of the next letter of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series … borrowed from the Barbican Library in lieu of the Lonely Planet Guide to the Ukraine (still out on loan, despite my having put in a request for it over three weeks ago – bah!). Actually, I’d had to call this one back from the mysterious ‘stack’. Quite why some of the series get to stay out on the shelves and others don’t is another mystery.

But Barbican mysteries aside; K is for Killer is another quick and easy read, this time putting Kinsey on the trail of the murderer of a high class call girl come proto-porn star whose decomposing body had drawn a blank for the Santa Theresa police. With no reference to Kinsey’s long-lost family, Killer felt a bit of a filler, but then again you can understand wariness in a character who’s spent most of her childhood an orphan, and most of her adult life living alone suddenly finding out she’s got aunts, uncles and cousins, and a weathy grandmother who disowned Kinsey’s mother.

A suitable read for the Astraeus flight from Gatwick to Simferolpol, and H and my first day in Yalta.

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A Long Finish – Michael Dibdin

Prime holiday reading – I always associate Aurelio Zen with Walton on the Naze, a suitably watery landscape even if it’s not quite the same as his home town of Venice, where I first met him in Ratking. Hmm, I’m sure I’ve read more than just three of this series by Michael Dibdin…

A Long Finish was swiftly polished off on holiday at Forty Acres. Set in northern Italy, wine making, truffle hunting and villagers with long memories come together to produce another good crime and an equally good resolution by Aurelio Zen, with his usual scant regard for police protocol (such as there is in Italy).

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The Last Precinct – Patricia Cornwell

Part of the Frinton haul, this hardback copy travelled to Herefordshire to be the first of my holiday reads.

It covers some of the events in Dr Kay Scarpetta’s life story prior to those I’ve read before. It was good to get some of the key background, in particular the emergence of The Last Precinct, and Dr Scarpetta’s departure from her beloved role as Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner.

Lots of murders to explain, and emotional angst on the part of Kay and those close to her as she has to extricate herself from position as prime suspect. I wasn’t so keen on Jaime Berger, the high powered NY District Attorney, but on the other hand we do get a lot more detail on la famille Chandonne, and Rocky, Pete Marino’s black sheep son.

I do think that it would have been better to have read its immediate predecessor, Black Notice, first however. That said, I’ve yet to read the episode in which Benton dies…

Amazon.co.uk link: The Last Precinct – Patricia Cornwell
Amazon.co.uk list: Kay Scarpetta Collection (in order)

J is for Judgment – Sue Grafton

Back to Sue Grafton and Kinsey Millhone before my library copy of J is for Judgment was due back… to encounter an interesting and major twist in the gradually unfolding of Kinsey’s own history and character.

The main plot involves the Robert Maxwell-like disappearance and presumed death of a con man, and the effect on those around him – friends and family, co-cons and victims. But the most interesting parts are about Kinsey herself; her past and her family.

Buy it: Amazon link