Thursday, January 9, 2014

Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton

In this seventeenth book in the Kinsey Millhone series, P.I. Kinsey is approached by Con Dolan, a detective on a medical leave from the Santa Theresa PD, to assist with a cold case from 1969. Dolan also enlists the help of Stacey Oliphant, who was part of the initial team working on the case before it went cold. Dolan hopes that getting Stacey interested in the case again will lift his spirits and keep his mind off the terminal cancer that has put him in a deep depression.

The case involves the murder of a Jane Doe, whose body was found dumped outside a quarry of the highway, which also happens to be near Kinsey's family land and forces her to face her troubled family history. No one could ever identify the body and none of the missing persons reports from that time seem to connect with their Jane Doe. She could have possibly been a hitchhiker or a runaway.

With Kinsey's investigative help, the three are led to Quorum, a small desert community near Arizona, where they set up shop. A car that could have been used to transport the body is sitting in a garage and is owned by a former body shop owner. His body shop is now run by his son, and soon Kinsey and the gang are introduced to a group of friends and family who seem to have something to hide.

If you have read this series before, you know the most enjoyable part is the meticulous details Grafton puts into Kinsey's investigative prowess, as her series takes place in the 1980's and there is not Google to rely on. Kinsey has to get answers to her questions by digging through newspaper articles from the library and by interviewing witnesses, mostly in person. The mystery elements were strong in this latest offering, but I felt like Grafton drug this one out too long. Also, the issues with her family were not resolved, so I imagine this will be addressed again in the next books.

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