Previously: Malaina told how she discovered Sue Grafton, a favorite mystery writer, had died.

Over the decades since the 1980s, I had kept my fingers crossed that Grafton would live a long life and finish her taunt, well-written Alphabet series.

Along the way, private detective Kinsey Millhone became one of my favorite characters. To this day, I have an image of Millhone that hasn’t changed from 1982 when Grafton’s first novel, A is for Alibi, was published.

I was in my 20s when I purchased a paperback copy of A is for Alibi and 58 when I purchased X. The older I grew, the pickier I got with reading material. I continued to enjoy this line of mysteries though -not only because these were written by a woman. I admired the main character Kinsey, a strong woman who didn’t wimp out and back down from danger. She would admit she was scared but kept digging and solving mysteries. No knight in shining armor rushed to her rescue. She had to fight her own battles and work out the mystery herself.

Through the years, I continued to think highly of this fictional character who could be charming in her own loner way or bad-ass when it was called for. With each book, Millhone grew stronger and more real in my imagination. As Grafton’s intensely plotted stories grew longer, they didn’t become monotonous- only more interesting. Never once did I have reason to toss a Sue Grafton book across the room.

I smiled when I read that Grafton considered the detective her alter ego. Don’t we all adopt a fictional character when we read/write and put ourselves into a personality we like/admire?

I can only imagine what Z is for Zero would have held for us Kinsey Millhone fans. I hoped that Kinsey wouldn’t end up on the receiving end of a bullet! But, with the series ending at Y, we can only guess at Grafton’s plans for her alter ego.

Rest in peace, Sue Grafton. You and Kinsey Millhone are missed.

Malaina (July ‘18) adds “ The other (rather funny) thing about this alphabet series is her titles became a memory game. Until I was about 40, I could recite every title up to O is for Outlaw. Of course, now I have to stop and think about the titles. I miss most of the last half from P to Y, but X is easy. There is no word with it! X is a stand-alone title.”

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