S is for Silence by Sue Grafton

S is for Silence, Sue Grafton, 2005


My favorite quote: “God save us from the people who want to do what’s best for us.”

Most interesting characters: My girl, Kinsey Millhone, PI; Daisy Sullivan, the woman who hires her to find her missing mother

Opening scene: S is for Silence begins with a third-person flashback to 1953, with Liza Mellincamp recalling the last time she saw Violet Sullivan — who’s been missing ever since. This is the first time Sue Grafton uses a third-person narrative in this series. It may also be the last. I’m not sure. So far, S is for Silence is as far as I’ve made it in this series 

The gist: Private investigator Kinsey Millhone is working a case concerning a woman who went missing from a small town — Violet Sullivan, who mysteriously disappeared with her new car and yappy little dog thirty years ago 

Greatest strengths: The intrigue here is strong. In S is for Silence, the characters operate in shades of gray, making it hard to tell the goodies from the baddies — something Sue Grafton excels at 

Standout achievements: S is for Silence is the nineteenth book in the Kinsey Millhone series (and yes, I just did the alphabet on my fingers to come up with that number) and it’s also one of the strongest — easily a personal favorite. The point is, you frequently see authors losing steam (along with a big chunk of their audience) after five or six installments (nine or ten if they’re really into it) and to find Sue Grafton in such fine form at number nineteen is pretty remarkable

Fun Facts: Years ago, I read the Kinsey Millhone series through R is for Ricochet, so this is the first time I’ve read S is for Silence, and the first time I’ll get to read anything after it. I don’t think there’s another author out there who makes me happier, and I can’t wait to explore the uncharted territory of the remaining books. Because I’m a total geek, I read from an unmanageably extensive (and always ongoing) list of books I keep in a file in my phone, and every time Sue Grafton is up next, I get all giddy and scare the cats. Kinsey Millhone is my BFF and the fact that she isn’t real only adds to the fun. People who aren’t real are much easier to get along with

Other media: N/A, because apparently Sue Grafton wasn’t having it (she wasn’t a fan of Hollywood, and I don’t really blame her). That said, I’ve heard rumors that since Sue Grafton has died, her estate (or whoever is calling the shots now) is allowing production, which — assuming that’s true — I find kinda disrespectful. I mean, don’t come crying to me if Sue Grafton rises from the grave to haunt your asses, guys (again, assuming it’s true). She was very clear about her thoughts on movies being made from her books and whatnot, and like I’ve always said, don’t mess with dead people — they have nothing to lose

Additional thoughts: Although this book was written in 2005, by the time we get to S is for Silence, Kinsey Millhone exists somewhere around 1987. She was born in 1950, so she would be in her seventies now — and about 55 in S is for Silence — which, according to Sue Grafton, is decidedly too old to be sleeping around and chasing bad guys (personally, I don’t think you’re ever to old to sleep around, but I’m morally bankrupt, so don’t listen to me). Anyway, because we’re still in the 1980s, there are no cell phones or internet service in this series, forcing Kinsey Millhone to rely on good old-fashioned legwork — which I quite like. I frequently find myself rolling my eyes and thinking, ‘Oh, just Google it, for Christ’s sake!’ or, ‘Why don’t you just send a text?’ — then I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah … it’s 1987’

Hit or Miss: Hit, for sure

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Read S is for Silence

Start at the beginning with A is for Alibi

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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