There is possibly a whole alphabet of these books now. This was the first I’ve read and probably the last. It is the story of a Private Investigator, caught up in what seems to be an insurance fraud but turns murderous. The P.I. is Kinsey Millhone, a 32 year old based in California, single after going through two husbands. The second of which, a talented jazz musician turns up suspiciously after going AWOL for several years. The plot was plodding and the characters weren’t engaging. Apart from the PI most of the characters were from one family who had stakes in a company whose warehouse fire is being investigated, it looks as though Kinsey and the oldest son, Lance, are being framed for insurance fraud. The other four siblings — Kinsey’s schoolfriend Ash, bossy Ebony, aloof, fashionable Olive, and deadbeat Bass — flit in and out of Kinsey’s investigation as she tries to figure out who might be framing their brother — and her — for setting fire to a company warehouse. The fraud isn’t particularly interesting but a couple of corpses and a bomb make for more interesting entertainment. The denouement in the last ten pages isn’t really hinted at in the rest of the book, so it is not like a more traditional mystery. I like crime novels with well written heroines like Sara Paretsky’s V.I.Warshawski or Linda Barnes’ Carlotta Carlyle, Kinsey Millhone just left me “I” for indifferent.
My rating: 2 out of 5