Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton

Q is for Quarry, Sue Grafton, 2002

My favorite quote: “From the bottom of the stairs, someone called, ‘Kinsey.’ For one wonderful moment, the voice was my mother’s and she’d returned from the dead.”

Notable characters: Kinsey Millhone, the PI; Con Dolan and Stacey Oliphant, the two cops working the case with her; Jane Doe, the victim

Most memorable scene: What Kinsey finds when she breaks into Dolan’s hotel room 

Greatest strengths: Grafton’s ability to set a life-like scene is unrivaled — and nowhere is that more apparent than here

Standout achievements: It was nice seeing Kinsey vulnerable in the presence of her aunt Susanna. I like Kinsey, but there are times she’s felt a little TOO tough for me. There are scenes in this book that bring her into clearer focus and make her feel more human

Fun Facts: There’s always at least one line in every book in this series that makes me laugh out loud

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: While this book is a work of fiction, it’s based on a Jane Doe case from 1969 in Santa Barbara County. The young woman was never identified or associated with any missing person’s reports, and the case eventually turned cold. At a dinner party many years later, Grafton heard about the case from the forensic pathologist who worked for the Coroner’s Office at the time of the homicide. Grafton took great interest in the case and even funded a facial reconstruction of the victim in hopes that someone might recognize the victim. As yet, no one has. Images of those facial reconstructions can be seen at the back of this book as well as on the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office’s page

How it inspired me: Grafton strikes the perfect balance between setting the scene and moving the story forward — something I try to keep in mind in my own work

Additional thoughts: In Q, retired cop Stacey Oliphant has cancer and Con Dolan, the other cop helping out with the case, is about one cigarette away from another (and likely fatal) heart attack. I was seriously stressed over which one was going to die first 

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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