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S Is for Silence (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries)

by

S Is for Silence (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"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." (Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"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

Review:

"[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

Review:

"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

Review:

"This latest Kinsey Millhone novel may not be Grafton's best, but it does deliver a solid, satisfying mystery." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"The climax that results...will leave readers breathlessly awaiting the next installment." Library Journal

Review:

"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

Review:

"S Is for Silence gets it right. Grade: A-" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Grafton brings every corner of Serena Station, past and present, more deeply alive than your own hometown." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

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.

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Linda Shelnutt, May 27, 2006 (view all comments by Linda Shelnutt)
Using a crisp, time-warp prologue (or first chapter acting as a prologue) is a classic way of opening a P.I. mystery. I admire the artistic feel of this opening style, yet I generally have a hard time getting into a story which doesn't sit me right down into an ongoing, "right-now" narrative.

I slid fairly easily into Kinsey's "I am a..." intro in chapter 2, with the bar/lunch scene in which Millhone reluctantly met her client over a "to drool for," scrumptiously described grilled kaiser roll with salami and pepper-cheese, fried-egg, innards. The melted white cheese infused with red-pepper-flakes definitely hot glued me onto a bar stool along with the characters. The usual Quarter Pounder with cheese would have worked, too, but, for whatever reasons, Kinsey somehow got the gourmet bug in "S."

Once the flow of the flashback chapters seated into the flow of the "I-Kinsey" narrative, the Third Person narratives were engrossing as well as intriguingly and stylishly written. Maybe Grafton had an itch to explore thought patterns of characters with varying degrees of anti-heroic traits, who would be vastly divergent from Kinsey in behavioral motivation. With tremendous panache, Grafton painted these psychological portraits from "inside-the-hearts-of-sinners-and-saints," and she blended them so seamlessly into the 1987 reality that I began to lose track of the 30-yr-cultural-gap, even though the 50's icons, idioms, and inlets-to-the-past were firmly crayoned into each July 1953 chapter.

Though some of the facts uncovered held a dark horror more like King's work than Grafton's, and though that ambiance was released abruptly, I felt no let down with the ending. The full circle symbolism of the kimono and the kaiser roll was exquisite.

"S" is more a work of literary art, a true and classic novel with an experimental edge in the narrative machinations of the psychological profiling chapters, than it is a standard offering of detective fiction, though, for me, it also satisfied the cravings of that genre. I was left with a compulsion to reread several parts, then with a desire to reread the whole. This book has too much psychological pith to get it all in a single run through.

The epilogue left me with the peaceful, haunting essence of the first sight of cherry blossoms after an extended, bone chilling winter.

Only one question remained as I closed the book: Sue has earned the most exquisite, leading-edge, oil-painting renditions of the thematic essence of each of her books. Why is one of the classiest, most astute and revered publishing houses putting out Sue Grafton's phenomenal series with no artwork on the book-jackets?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(11 of 21 readers found this comment helpful)
Linda Shelnutt, May 27, 2006 (view all comments by Linda Shelnutt)
Using a crisp, biting, time-warp prologue (or first chapter acting as a prologue) is a classic way of opening a P.I. mystery. I admire the artistic feel of this opening style, yet I generally have a hard time getting into a story which doesn?t sit me right down into an ongoing, ?right-now? narrative.

I slid fairly easily into Kinsey?s ?I am a...? intro in chapter 2, with the bar/lunch scene in which Millhone reluctantly met her client over a ?to drool for,? scrumptiously described grilled kaiser roll with salami and pepper-cheese, fried-egg, innards. The melted white cheese infused with red-pepper-flakes definitely hot glued me onto a bar stool along with the characters. The usual Quarter Pounder with cheese would have worked, too, but, for whatever reasons, Kinsey somehow got the gourmet bug in ?S.?

Once the flow of the flashback chapters seated into the flow of the ?I-Kinsey? narrative, the Third Person narratives were engrossing as well as intriguingly and stylishly written. Maybe Grafton had an itch to explore thought patterns inside-the-heads of characters with varying degrees of anti-heroic traits, who would be vastly divergent from Kinsey in behavioral motivation. With tremendous panache, Grafton painted these psychological portraits from ?inside-the-hearts-of-sinners-and-saints,? and she blended them so seamlessly into the 1987 reality that I began to lose track of the 30-yr-cultural-gap, even though the 50's icons, idioms, and inlets-to-the-past were firmly crayoned into each July 1953 chapter.

Though some of the facts uncovered held a dark horror more like King?s work than Grafton?s, and though that ambiance was released abruptly, I felt no let down with the ending. The full circle, yummy symbolism of the kimono and the kaiser roll was awesome.

?S? is more a work of literary art, a true and classic novel with an experimental edge in the narrative machinations of the psychological profiling chapters, than it is a standard offering of detective fiction, though, for me, it also satisfied the cravings of that genre. I was left with a compulsion to reread several parts, then with a desire to reread the whole. This book has too much psychological pith to get it all in a single run through.

The epilogue left me with the peaceful, haunting essence of the first sight of cherry blossoms after an extended, bone chilling winter.

Only one question remained as I closed the book: Sue has earned the most exquisite, leading-edge, oil-painting renditions of the thematic essence of each of her books. Why is one of the classiest, most astute and revered publishing houses putting out Sue Grafton?s phenomenal series with no artwork on the book-jackets?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 19 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780399152979
Author:
Grafton, Sue
Publisher:
Putnam Publishing Group
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Women Sleuths
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Missing persons
Subject:
Millhone, Kinsey (Fictitious character)
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
California
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Kinsey Millhone Mystery
Series Volume:
19
Publication Date:
December 6, 2005
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
» Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

S Is for Silence (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries) Used Hardcover
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$26.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Putnam Publishing Group - English 9780399152979 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." (Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "[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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "This latest Kinsey Millhone novel may not be Grafton's best, but it does deliver a solid, satisfying mystery."
"Review" by , "The climax that results...will leave readers breathlessly awaiting the next installment."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "S Is for Silence gets it right. Grade: A-"
"Review" by , "Grafton brings every corner of Serena Station, past and present, more deeply alive than your own hometown."
"Synopsis" by ,
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.

"Synopsis" by ,

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.

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