Thursday, September 29, 2011

Q is for Quarry - Sue Grafton

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...

First line: "It was Wednesday, the second week in April, and Santa Teresa was making a wanton display of herself."

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?"

22 comments:

bermudaonion September 29, 2011 at 9:13 AM  

I love this series because Kinsey seems like someone I could be friends with.

J.P. Hansen September 29, 2011 at 10:33 AM  

Out to dinner with Kinsey? McDonald's, of course. After a healthy jog.

Christine A. September 29, 2011 at 10:39 AM  

I would like to go to a Mexican place that seems to know what is good for you and brings you extra stuff that you did not know you needed- like someone else we all know and love at Rosie's.

Lolawid September 29, 2011 at 5:45 PM  

I would like to think that I would be brave enough to go with Kinsey to eat at Rosie's, just for the experience. Then we could go out for ice cream.

Marcia September 29, 2011 at 7:13 PM  

I would go back in time to the 80s in Santa Barbara and eat at "Frimples". Kinsey and I would have a chef salad and a chocolate fudge frimple. Yum.

Brian_B September 29, 2011 at 8:03 PM  

Like J.P. sez, McDonald's of course. For the fast food, I'd love to go to Rosie's with Kinsey and meet Henry too. I do know this is all fictional, really I do !

Karen Russell September 29, 2011 at 10:02 PM  

Yep, the others are right, McDonald's. Because where else can you get a QP with cheese? :D

DarcyO September 29, 2011 at 10:22 PM  

I am not brave enough for Rosie's, but McDonald's would be great.

Gwendolyn B. October 4, 2011 at 8:43 PM  

Oh, I'd have to go to Rosie's. I don't know how well I could handle the food, but I sure would want to try! Maybe Henry would bake us something for dessert.

Sueh9433 October 4, 2011 at 11:12 PM  

After having dinner at McDonalds,I would love to go with Kinsey to Henry's and have him whip up a wonderful dessert for us to share! Kinsey and Henry are two of my favorite's, and I always enjoy "listening" in on their conversations in the books. Sue really knows how to bring those characters to life!

CarrieM October 7, 2011 at 3:06 AM  

Hungarian of course! I'd also like some of henry's cinnamon rolls!

Kaye October 18, 2011 at 6:36 AM  

Kinsey is such a fantastic character. I love her laidback life style yet she has a bulldog approach to business. I'd definitely want her on my side.

Liz V. October 18, 2011 at 2:49 PM  

It would have to be Rosie's.

Margaret October 18, 2011 at 6:22 PM  

McDonalds so I can bring the kids. lol!

Margaret
singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com

Poof...books! October 18, 2011 at 6:48 PM  

Bermuda Onion made me do it. I did not think I had the discipline but I love this contest so I am getting on board.

lag123 October 20, 2011 at 6:53 PM  

Kinsey is my heroine and I love this series.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 October 20, 2011 at 6:55 PM  

We would have to go to Rosie's!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Serena October 21, 2011 at 2:40 PM  

I think these sounds fantastic and I love when there are strong female lead characters.

silverneon2000 October 28, 2011 at 4:20 AM  

I would go to Tim Hortons for a coffee and a sandwich with Kinsey.


silverneon2000 at yahoo dot com

Mary Miller October 28, 2011 at 4:39 PM  

Oops! Some of us(myself included) have commented after the peek at V. Hopefully those will be counted in also, but just in case...Kinsey and her fast foods are fun and tempting, but I love these tastes of V we are getting! I felt like I was at that table making a bet, so descriptive.

kalea_kane October 28, 2011 at 9:40 PM  

If I went out to dinner with Kinsey, I would be begging to go to Rosie's. I can get a quarter pounder with cheese anytime. Though I don't. :)

ytwo November 2, 2011 at 1:31 PM  

I f I were to go to dinner with Kinsey I would have to experience Rosie's. That would be a real adventure in itself.

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