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Kinsey Millhone is the main character in a series of mystery novels, sometimes referred to as the 'Alphabet Mysteries', created by Sue Grafton. Kinsey Millhone is a private investigator in her 30s living in fictional Santa Teresa, California. Kinsey describes herself in every book, usually stating that she is 5'6" and weighs about 118 pounds, with short, dark, thick hair that she trims with nail scissors. She is generally uninterested in her physical appearance.
Each book is named by the letters of the alphabet, the last one being "Y" is for Yesterday. The series began in 1982 but ended when author Sue Grafton passed away in 2017. Although the books have been published over 35 years, in the series timeline, only seven years have passed. According to the author, the final book would have been called "Z is for Zero" and taken place in 1990. Grafton's family has declined hiring a ghost writer to complete the final book, as she had not started writing it herself before her death.
Books in the series are:
- "A" is for Alibi (1982)
- "B" is for Burglar (1985)
- "C" is for Corpse (1986)
- "D" is for Deadbeat (1987)
- "E" is for Evidence (1988)
- "F" is for Fugitive (1989)
- "G" is for Gumshoe (1990)
- "H" is for Homicide (1991)
- "I" is for Innocent (1992)
- "J" is for Judgment (1993)
- "K" is for Killer (1994)
- "L" is for Lawless (1995)
- "M" is for Malice (1996)
- "N" is for Noose (1998)
- "O" is for Outlaw (1999)
- "P" is for Peril (2001)
- "Q" is for Quarry (2002)
- "R" is for Ricochet (2004)
- "S" is for Silence (2005)
- "T" is for Trespass (2007)
- "U" is for Undertow (2009)
- "V" is for Vengeance (2011)
- "W" is for Wasted (2013)
- "X" (2015)
- "Y" is for Yesterday (2017)
- Comic Book Time: Averted, the books still take place in the 80's despite being written in the 2000s.
- Cake Eater: Kinsey finds her eighty-year-old landlord quite sexy, and wonders whether the fifty year age difference would be a hindrance to a relationship. Lawrence Fife, the victim in "A" is for Alibi, also had a liking for older women.
- Cool Old Guy: Kinsey's neighbor and landlord Henry is definitely one of these.
- Costume Porn: The outfit of every character will be described every time you meet them.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: Henry, according to Kinsey.
- Long Runners: It's been twenty nine years since the first book was published and the series is still going strong.
- Private Detective: Kinsey's a private investigator.
- Scenery Porn: Grafton often describes and explains the back story to different parts of the fictional Santa Teresa.
- Steel Ear Drums: Averted hard. Kinsey is forced to shoot a man in self-defense at the end of the first book, and her ears don't stop ringing for weeks. It's later mentioned that she never gets all her hearing back. The fact that she has hiding in a metal trash can probably didn't help matters
- The Sociopath: in T is for Trespass, the major antagonist Solana is one.
- Your Cheating Heart: Lawrence Fife was a serial adulterer. It was what got him killed.