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S Is for Silence (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries)by Sue Grafton
Synopses & Reviews
Thirty-four years ago, Violet Sullivan put on her party finery and left for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display. She was never seen again. In the small California town of Serena Station, tongues wagged. Some said she'd run off with a lover. Some said she was murdered by her husband.
But for the not-quite-seven-year-old daughter Daisy she left behind, Violet's absence has never been explained or forgotten. Now, thirty-four years later, she wants the solace of closure.
In S is for Silence, Kinsey Millhone's nineteenth excursion into the world of suspense and misadventure, S is for surprises as Sue Grafton takes a whole new approach to telling the tale. And S is for superb: Kinsey and Grafton at their best.
"Kinsey Millhone has kept her appeal by being distinctive and sympathetic without craving center stage. While some mysteries that provide the PI's shoe size or most despised food create a forced and intrusive intimacy, a master like Grafton makes the relationship relaxed and reassuring. Millhone's life is modest and familiar, though her love life, now featuring police detective Cheney Phillips, tends to be oddly remote. This 19th entry (after 2004's R Is for Ricochet) adopts a new convention: Millhone's customary intelligent and occasionally self-deprecating first-person reportage is interrupted by vignettes from the days surrounding the Fourth of July, 34 years earlier, when a hot-blooded young woman named Violet Sullivan disappeared. Violet's daughter, Daisy, who was seven at the time, hires Millhone to discover her mother's true fate. Violet had toyed with every man in town at one time or another, so there's no shortage of scandalous secrets and possible suspects. Constant revelations concerning several absorbing characters allow a terrific tension to build. However, the utterly illogical and oddly abrupt ending undermines what is otherwise one of the stronger offerings in this iconic series."
"As S is for Silence arrives at its satisfying conclusion, the only mystery left unanswered is whether Grafton purposely placed her heroine in the middle of a typical Christie setup or if this undeniably entertaining novel is...one more example that the more plots change, the more they remain the same." Los Angels Times
"[T]he 19th novel in Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series, is one of her best and also one in which she makes an interesting departure." Washington Post
"I almost wasn't sure Grafton had it in her to refresh the series to this degree....But in reading S if for Silence, I'm struck again by her talent." Detroit Free Press
"This latest Kinsey Millhone novel may not be Grafton's best, but it does deliver a solid, satisfying mystery." Philadelphia Inquirer
"The climax that results...will leave readers breathlessly awaiting the next installment." Library Journal
"Although she gives us a bit too much of Millhone's eating and living habits (probably in response to fan enthusiasm), this novel also presents strong character portrayals, a mosaic of motives, and a stunning climax." Booklist
"S Is for Silence gets it right. Grade: A-" Entertainment Weekly
"Grafton brings every corner of Serena Station, past and present, more deeply alive than your own hometown." Kirkus Reviews
The latest repackage in Sue Grafton's #1 New York Times bestselling series.
Cases don't get much colder than that of Violet Sullivan, who disappeared from her rural California town in 1953, leaving behind an abusive husband and a seven-year-old named Daisy. But P.I. Kinsey Millhone has promised Daisy she'll try her best to locate Violet, dead or alive. Kinsey tries to pick up a trail by speaking to those who remember her-and perhaps were more involved in her life than they let on.
But the trail could lead her somewhere very dangerous. Because the case may have gone cold, but some peoples' feelings about Violet Sullivan still run as hot as ever...
In 1982, Sue Grafton introduced us to Kinsey Millhone. Thirty years later, Kinsey is an established international icon and Sue, a number-one bestselling author. To mark this anniversary year, Sue has given us stories that reveal Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past.
“I've come to believe that Grafton is not only the most talented woman writing crime fiction today but also that, regardless of gender, her Millhone books are among the five or six best series any American has ever written.”—Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post
Kinsey and Me has two parts: The nine Kinsey stories (1986-93), each a gem of detection; and the And Me stories, written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. Together, they show just how much of Kinsey is a distillation of her creator’s past even as they reveal a child who, free of parental interventions, read everything and roamed everywhere. But the dark side of such freedom was that very parental distance.
The same unique voice and witty insights readers fell in love with in A Is for Alibi permeate the Kinsey stories. Those in the And Me section trace a remarkable voyage, from anger to understanding, from pain to forgiveness. They take us into a troubled family, dysfunctional as most families are, each in their own way, but Grafton’s telling is sensitive, delicate, and ultimately, loving. Enriching the way we see Kinsey and know Sue, these stories are deeply affecting.
About the Author
Grafton has written novels, articles, short fiction, a screenplay, and numerous teleplays. She has also lectured on writing at colleges and conferences in Southern California.
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