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S Is For Silence    by Sue Grafton order for
S Is For Silence
by Sue Grafton
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

S Is for Silence is Sue Grafton's nineteenth mystery in her alphabetic series. This task that she set herself is Herculean in my estimation and I would not blame her for letting up on the writing. She has not done so. Her latest is as good as her previous ones. She has seven more to go and I look forward to each one. Kinsey Millhone has become like a member of the family and I'm always glad to welcome her back. It's a strong series and good reading.

PI Kinsey has been approached by a woman who asks her to unearth the facts behind her mother's disappearance thirty-four years ago. The mother Violet disappeared while driving her brand new car. The daughter Daisy feels her mother was running from her abusive husband. A tough assignment, but Kinsey is up to it. The plot jumps between 1953 and the space in time in which Kinsey exists 1987. Without the glories of cell phones and computers and a GPS, Kinsey manages to wrap up the case.

Kinsey is gutsy and philosophical. She takes things as they come. Like a bulldog, she takes hold of a case and hangs on until she is satisfied that she has solved it. The bit players that surround her have large personalities also. Kinsey lives in a give or take world with her friends. She will eat bad food in a friend's bar and restaurant rather than offend by going elsewhere. Kinsey has a pet hamster that she bounces ideas off. He acts as a sounding board for her, allowing her to come to her own conclusions without having to wade through anyone else's comments. How Kinsey solves the disappearance is sheer genius.

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