M Is for Malice

M Is for Malice

eBook - 1996
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"Every investigation has a nature of its own, but there are certain shared characteristics," explains private eye Kinsey Millhone in her 13th alphabetic outing. "Here's what you hope for: a chance remark from the former neighbor on a skip-trace, a penciled notation on the corner of a document, an ex-spouse with a grudge, the number on an account, an item overlooked at the scene of a crime. Here's what you expect: the dead ends, bureaucratic bullheadedness, the cul-de-sacs, trails that go nowhere or simply fade into thin air, denials, prevarications, the blank-eyed stares from all the hostile witnesses. Here's what you know: that you've done it before and you have the toughness and determination to pull it off again. Here's what you want: justice. Here's what you'll settle for: something equivalent, the quid pro quo." All of the above are on display in Grafton's latest entry in her increasingly popular series set in a thinly-disguised Santa Barbara, as the virtually ageless Kinsey finds and loses a missing heir and gets back an old lover.
Publisher: New York : H. Holt, c1996
Edition: Book club ed.
Characteristics: 244 p. ; 22 cm

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PolyWogg
Mar 08, 2019

BOTTOM-LINE:
Great novel, good characters, let-down for the ending.
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PLOT OR PREMISE:
Kinsey is hired by her cousin Tasha, the lawyer, to track down the long-lost fourth son of a recently deceased construction company owner so they can file the will for probate.
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WHAT I LIKED:
Kinsey does a quick short-cut on finding the missing heir, and sets in motion a series of interactions with the rest of the family that results in death. Add in an old fraud, the return of Dietz to her life, and some emerging feelings for the prodigal son, and it is a full novel.
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WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
A couple of the final pieces to the puzzle are completely hidden until the last chapter, and it's not even Kinsey who finds them. I didn't feel it was playing fair with the reader, holding back some key elements until the end that no one had a chance to see being uncovered so much as like working on a puzzle for several days only to have someone spoil the ending by just telling you the solution.
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DISCLOSURE:
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow her on social media.

hermlou Sep 19, 2011

Kinsey is hired to find Guy Malek, missing son of a millionaire who just died, so that the estate can be divided four ways. She finds the man quickly and figures the case is finished. However, one of the brothers is killed, and the other three are prime suspects. The case is not an easy one, and each of the brothers has a good reason to get rid of the fourth. Add some family problems, some romance, and Grafton has turned out another good book.

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