As many of you may know, Sue Grafton's new book V is for Vengeance is coming out November 14th. The nice folks at Putnam asked if I would participate in their fun blog tour for this release, and I agreed. Lesa Holstine and I were asked to kick it off this week with reviews for Q is for Quarry. You can see Lesa's review here. As for mine, well here we go...
Southern California PI, Kinsey Milhone, is gearing up for her 37th birthday when a cold case lands on her doorstep. Well, actually Lieutenant Con Dolan lands on her doorstep. His good friend Stacey Oliphant, a retired sheriff's department officer, has cancer and Dolan wants to help his frame of mind. So when he runs across the file for a cold case, a case where Dolan and Oliphant actually found the victim, he approaches Kinsey to help them finally solve the murder of Jane Doe, stabbed to death and dumped in a quarry.
I have to read Kinsey Milhone novels in moderation. While reading them, I have strange cravings for fast food. Of course series devotees know that Kinsey is a bit of a fast food junkie, and in this outing she introduces Stacey Oliphant to the world of fast food. The two of them do a fast food joint tour throughout Q is for Quarry. And Stacey's over zealousness for the cuisine manages to make Kinsey crave healthy food! It's this lightness to Grafton's novels that makes them fun and entertaining. It brings her characters down to earth and makes us all feel a bit better about ourselves.
She blends the lightness of her protagonist with the heaviness of the cold case. That heft instills a sense of empathy in her characters. The need to identify a woman who was murdered 18 years earlier, to bring closure to her family, possibly justice to the victim, that's what we crave in our crime novels. The added element of Dolan and Oliphant's friendship and Dolan's need to help his friend in what may be his final days enhances that empathy.
At book 17 in the Alphabet series, Grafton is still doing a masterful job of balancing the blithe with the harrowing to produce an entertaining crime novel.
Q is for Quarry was originally published as a hardcover (ISBN: 978-0399149153) in 2002 by Putnam. It is available in trade paper (ISBN: 978-0425239001) from Berkley Trade, mass market paper (ISBN: 978-0425192726) from Berkley and on audio, narrated by Judy Kaye. For my audiobook readers, Kaye does a great job with this narration. It is available from Audible or your libraries may have the older version from Books on Tape.
You can find Sue Grafton at her website or her Facebook Fan Page. And you can find the next stop on this blog tour here on Tuesday, October 4th.
As an added bonus, I get to offer you the second sneak peek of V is for Vengeance. Lesa offered the first snippet, so if you missed hers be sure to back up and read that one first. Then click here to continue. If you comment on all ten blogs for the blog tour, you'll be eligible to win one of three sets of books that include: Q, R, S, T, U in paperback and a copy of the new one, V is for Vengeance. So, to help you on that task, I'll give you a question to respond to..."If you could go out to dinner with Kinsey Milhone, where would you like to go?"