Fiction: “E is for Evidence” by Sue Grafton

So what kills me about this book is that I was about twenty pages away from finishing it before going to the New Year’s Eve party in Providence, but instead of bringing it on the bus/train, I left it behind, mainly because the cover is completely separated from the rest of the book. (What? It’s old and I’ve read it twice before. Shut up.) This so easily could have been #36 in 2009, but … instead, it’ll have to be #1 in 2010.

Where we last left off, Kinsey had just found a deadbeat father. This entry picks up about three months after the end of D is for Deadbeat, with a routine insurance investigation (Kinsey rents her office space from California Fidelity Insurance, in exchange for the occasional insurance claim investigation). But about three chapters into the investigation, Kinsey is fingered as an accomplice in an arson-insurance fraud.

So now, Kinsey is her own client. She investigates as she usually would, but this time she’s not getting paid. The case takes place during the holidays, and her landlord Henry is visiting his family in Michigan, and her friend Rosie who runs the diner down the street is closed, and so our “gregarious loner” (as the back of the book proclaims) is actually feeling lonely.

In the midst of this emotional chaos drops her second husband, Daniel Wade. Kinsey always introduces herself as being … well:

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I cherish my unmarried state. I’m female, twice divorced, no kids, and no close family ties. I’m a private detective by trade.

So to meet one of those barely-mentioned husbands is a big deal for Kinsey.

There are the required turns and red herrings. It’s plenty good to keep your interest for a couple of days. I will say that if you start at the beginning (A is for Alibi) and keep reading through, G is for Gumshoe is my favorite (so far – I’ve only read up through M is for Malice).

Grade for E is for Evidence: 2.5 stars

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