B is for Burglar and C is for Corpse, books two and three in the Alphabet mystery series by Sue Grafton.
I must say Kinsey Millhone is growing on me. Or at least the writer’s style. These books remind me of the Evanovich series starting Stephanie Plum, which may have been loosely inspired by this series, wink wink.
Spoiler alerts for 30 year old books. You are warned.
In book two, B is for Burglar, Stephanie, er uhm, Kinsey is hired by a woman who needs to track down her sister to sign off on some legal documents. She didn’t realize her sister was missing for six months. Uhuh. And when Kinsey becomes so concerned she suggests filing a missing persons report with the police, the sister adamantly refuses. Uhuh.
Kinsey flies to Florida (Boca Raton) where the missing Elaine usually winters and we meet the other wacky neighbor and the crazy squatter living in the missing woman’s apartment, claiming to have a subletting agreement. Kinsey files a missing persons report back in Santa Teresa and meets a cute new cop Jonah (separated from his wife). We find out that the crazy subletter has disappeared, after thoroughly trashing the Boca apartment. Kinsey discovers that crazy subletter has filed for a driver’s license in Elaine’s name, and shortly thereafter Kinsey’s apartment is burglarized (title shout out!).
The neighbor of the missing woman was murdered and her house was set on fire, right around the same time Elaine was last seen, six months ago. Kinsey starts investigating that crime hoping to get a line on her missing woman, which leads to a grieving widower, altered dental records, switched corpses and ultimately the murder weapon and murderer. The cute cop is not the bad guy, but he does go back to the wife, and our hero solves the case and goes home alone with a beating and bullet wound in her arm.
In book three, C is for Corpse, Kinsey is at the gym rehabilitating when she encounters Bobby, who survived a horrific car accident nine months prior that killed his best friend. He approaches her about investigating the accident, thinking he was forced off the road by someone. Dead best friend’s family thinks Bobby is projecting to avoid the guilt of having killed his best friend.
Bobby is loaded and we meet the dysfunctional family, the creepy shrink, and grow to really like soft-spoken Bobby. So of course he has to die.
This pisses Kinsey off no end. You do not mess with Kinsey’s acquaintances. She discovers a former girlfriend who claims Bobby broke it off because he was seeing someone else. This leads to a cryptic old address book of Bobby’s, connected to a years old murder, connected to an anonymous corpse (title shout out!) in an old hospital, which houses the old murder weapon and is what Bobby found before the original accident. The shrink murdered his wife’s first husband, who discovered she was sleeping around with the shrink. They covered it up to look like a robbery, and Bobby found out.
Kinsey solves the crime and gets her butt kicked again.
I do enjoy these books. I get the audio books from the library and go through them in two or three days. I’m already on H. Stay tuned for more sassy detective!