So though I have been re-reading some of the books along with Moonlight Reader, I have not re-did my reviews, I just reblogged them and left it to that. This is my first review for a Kinsey Millhone ABC book since Sue Grafton passed away. I love this series and will be forever sad we will not get to see how she would have ended things with Kinsey in Z.
That said, "H is for Homicide" doesn't work that well. The first part with Kinsey investigating a possible insurance scam while running afoul of a corporate suit that is going to cause her working relationship with California Fidelity Insurance some angst. When Kinsey goes undercover that book fell apart for me. For a minute I thought I was reading a VI Warshawski book since that is the kind of mess that VI would get into.
Per usual we have Kinsey starting off the book giving us her vital statistics. She's wrapping up a case in San Diego and heads back to Santa Teresa. Going by her office that is housed in California Fidelity Insurance, she finds the police there working a homicide. She quickly realizes she knows the dead man who is her friend, Parnell Perkins. On top of the homicide, she starts to investigate a possible insurance scam that Parnell had passed onto another adjusted before he died. Kinsey quickly realizes that the woman, Bibianna Diaz, is possibly tied into Parnell's death and is close to someone that Kinsey used to know from her days back on the force. Kinsey goes undercover to see if she can catch the bad guys.
I have a hard time with so many aspects of this book. We have Kinsey talking about being close friends with Parnell though he was never mentioned in prior books (believe me I looked). She is all c'est la vie with her "I don't know what it is" relationship with Robert Dietz. Why she puts herself in danger with running around with Bibianna and the man who is the architect of the insurance scam baffled me. I know that we have Kinsey always talking about taking risks and she loves to lie, but this was a little out there.
I didn't like the character of Bibianna at all. She was definitely a user. But I also hated the man controlling her, Raymond. As Moonlight said in her review, I have a hard time thinking this man had the brains to put this whole together. He is obsessed with Bibianna and doesn't care that she doesn't want to be with him. There's a terrible scene where Raymond hurts someone close to Bibianna to force her to do what he wants and it's a mess.
The book ran a little cartoony for me. With Kinsey staying close to Bibianna she puts herself in harms way. I didn't really understand why she was doing it, the justifications made no sense. The flow was all over the place too. When Kinsey goes undercover I found myself rolling my eyes a lot of the time.
This was a buddy read with Moonlight Reader and you can take a look at her full review here, H is for Homicide.
Next up, I is for Innocent.
It has been years since I read this book and now I remember why. This was not a good installment of Kinsey at all. The justification that Kinsey takes to stick close to Bibianna was crap. The ending was all kinds of crazy and I would have strangled Kinsey for being my bridesmaid in her terrible all purpose black dress.
This was a buddy read with Moonlight Reader. Take a look at her review here, H is for Homicide.
Mayday, Mayday, Kinsey Millhone is in mortal peril.
This was not my favorite installment in the series, although I still found it enjoyable. Kinsey spends most of this book away from home, where her apartment has been destroyed by a bomb in the E is for Evidence.
At the beginning of F is for Fugitive, Bailey Fowler has been captured after decades on the lam. He escaped shortly after pleading guilty to a lesser form of murder in the death of his friend, Jean Timberlake, who was also reviled as the town floozy at the ripe young age of 17. Kinsey is hired by Bailey's father to clear Bailey's name after all this time.
Sue Grafton appears to have rather bleak outlook on humanity. Most of the characters in this book are a mess, and the entire Fowler family is flat out batshit crazy. We have Ann, the long-suffering daughter, who has been caring for her fucked up parents since Bailey disappeared. We have Royce, the patriarch, who is dying, but who is also just sort of a shitty person. We have the mother, Oribelle Fowler, who is a narcissistic hypochondriac. I might have killed her myself, given half a chance.
In addition, every adult male in the town seems to have been sexually abusing Jean Timberlake before her death, and no one really seems interested in actually solving the case. Probably because they are afraid that, when the truth comes out, their dark secret will be exposed. All in all, they're a bunch of fucking assholes who belong in jail.
The identity of the killer is...not very convincing. And Kinsey almost dies. Again.