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Crime Series:

Susan Wittig Albert's China Bayles

Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr (Burglar)

Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder

Lilian Jackson Braun's Qwilleran and Koko (Cat Who)

Lee Child's Jack Reacher

Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum

Janet Evanovich's Alex Barnaby

Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg's O'Hare/Fox series

Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone

Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher

Kerry Greenwood's Corinna Chapman

Wendy Hornsby's Maggie MacGowen

Tanya Huff's Vicki Nelson (Blood)

Val McDermid's Kate Brannigan

Shane Maloney's Murray Whelan

Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski

J D Robb's Eve Dallas and Roarke

Dorothy Sayers'Lord Peter Wimsey

Michael W. Sherer's Blake Sanders

Zoe Sharp's Charlie Fox

John Sandford's Lucas Davenport

John Sandford's Virgil Flowers

John Sandford's Kidd & LuEllen

Fantasy/Science Fiction series:

Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series

Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Robots series

Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series

Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider series

Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer series

Anne McCaffrey's Brain Ships series

Anne McCaffrey's Talents (psychic, rowan, tower) series

Anne McCaffrey's Petaybee series

Anne McCaffrey's Freedom series

Anne McCaffrey's Acorna series

George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones and more

Tanya Huff's Vicki Nelson (Blood Lines)

Tanya Huff's Confederation

Terry Pratchett's Discworld series

Spider Robinson's Callahan and Stardance series

Roger Zelazny's Amber Series


Lilian Jackson Braun's The  Cat Who (Qwilleran) series reading order and synopsis

Reading order and synopsis for Lawrence Block's Burglar series; 160x480

Stephanie Plum Bombshell Bounty Hunter series by Janet Evanovich reading order and synopsis

See also: Kerry Greenwood's Corinna and Daniel Melbourne-based series page; 160x480

Val McDermid's Kate Brannigan PI series page reading order and synopsis; 160x480

Sara Paretsky's V I Warshawski, private investigator series reading order and synopsis; 160x480

J D Robb (Nora Roberts) Eve Dallas (In Death) series page reading order and synopsis; 160x480

John Sandford's Lucas Davenport series page reading order and synopsis; 160x480

Dorothy L Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey series page reading order and synopsis; 160x480

space space space

Sue Grafton

Grafton's Alphabetised P. I. Series: Kinsey Milhone

Respectively Submitted

Set in Ross Macdonald's fictional Californian town, Santa Teresa, these are the alphabetical adventures of Kinsey Millhone. Each story is told as a first-person 'respectfully submitted' report.

My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm thirty-two years old, twice divorced, no kids. ... I live in one room, a 'bachelorette'. I don't have pets. I don't have house plants.

Kinsey lives in a converted garage, she sleeps rolled up on her sofa and she cuts her hair with nail scissors. Her idea of a home cooked meal is peanut-butter-and-pickle sandwiches. She was raised by an eccentric spinster aunt in a succession of trailers and joined the police force where her chronic dislike of authority figures was misplaced. In time she found her nook investigating crimes in and around her picturesque beach-side town.

Some days I see myself (nobly, I'll admit) battling against evil in the struggle for law and order. Other days, I concede that the dark forces are gaining ground.

Kinsey is a working P.I. with a small group of equally eccentric friends. Like the best of crime fiction, the series relies on artful characterisation and a sense of place to further the story and to give layers to the reading experience.

The series begins in May, 1982, with each novel occurring approximately one month apart.

submitted by Ali Kayn


A is for Alibi

B is for Burglar

C is for Corpse

D is for Deadbeat

E is for Evidence

F is for Fugitive

G is for Gumshoe

H is for Homicide

I is for Innocent

J is for Judgement

K is for Killer

L is for Lawless

M is for Malice

N is for Noose

O is for Outlaw

P is for Peril

Q is for Quarry

R is for Ricochet

S is for Silence

T is for Trespass

book cover, A is for Alibi, Sue Grafton
A is for Alibi, Sue Grafton

A is for Alibi

Nikki Fife is out of jail after serving time for allegedly poisoning her lying cheating divorce lawyer husband. Kinsey takes on the case, and takes to the road in her battered '68 VW. Her investigations take her to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, the Salton Sea and leaves a trail of death and break-ins.

Who killed Laurence Fife, and how is the similar death of his (female) accountant linked?

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book cover, B is for Burglar, Sue Grafton
B is for Burglar, Sue Grafton

B is for Burglar

Two weeks after Kinsey's ocean side shooting Beverley Danzinger appears. The immaculately-clad, self-absorbed woman is seeking her sister's signature on a document. Kinsey's search this time takes her to Miami, Florida and involves her in a tangle of malicious mischief, adultery, arson, fraud and murder.

Also in this volume she meets Jonah Cobb.

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book cover, C is or Corpse, Sue Grafton
C is for Corpse, Sue Grafton

C is for Corpse

Recovering from injuries, Kinsey is working out three mornings a week at the Santa Teresa Fitness centre. She sees the effort of Bobby, the wealthy victim of a car accident that killed his best friend. Bobby has lost many bits of his memory, but he does remember that it was a murder attempt, that he knew his attacker, and that the vital clue is held in a small address book given for safe keeping to a friend.

Of course, now, he can't remember to whom he gave the book. He introduces Kinsey into the high society circles of his mother Glen, his anorexic step-sister Kitty and a whos who of local medicos.

When he dies in another car accident Kinsey continues seeking the answers to his missing memories.

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book cover, D is for Deadbeat, Sue Grafton
D is for Deadbeat, Sue Grafton

D is for Deadbeat

John Daggett hands Kinsey a cashier's cheque for $25,000 to give to fifteen-year-old Tony Gahan, a bum cheque in a false name, and load of bull. Tracking him down Kinsey discovers two wives, and an irate daughter. When Daggett's body washed up tangled in fishing net, the daughter hires Kinsey to unknot the questions surrounding Daggett's last days.

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book cover, E is for Evidence, Sue Grafton
E is for Evidence, Sue Grafton

E is for Evidence

Kinsey's Christmas holidays are looking bleak, Henry has flown off to a family reunion and Rosie has closed until January 3. And to top it off, there's a $5,000 deposit in her bank account that she KNOWS will take forever to have the bank reverse.

Things move from bad to worse when we meet Daniel, her self-centred, conscience-free musician ex-husband and she loses her office when she herself comes under suspicion.

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book cover, F is for Fugitive, Sue Grafton
F is for Fugitive, Sue Grafton

F is for Fugitive

Kinsey's homeless after her last adventure, but she still has next-door-neighbour and landlord Henry, who is enjoying the challenge of providing her with a new abode.

She escapes the claustrophobia of staying at Henry's house by taking a case out of town. Her job is to find evidence to exonerate a recently-recaptured convicted murderer. Among other challenges, Kinsey must defend herself against a tennis racquet-wielding paranoid schizophrenic housewife.

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book cover, G is for Gumshoe, Sue Grafton
G is for Gumshoe, Sue Grafton

G is for Gumshoe

After five months Kinsey's new home is complete and she moves in delightedly only to be on the road the next day.

While tracking down her client's missing elderly mother, Kinsey, who has learnt that she has a $1,500 price on her head, is shot at, then run off the road -- totalling her battered beige VW. Will her miracle-fabric black dress survive?

To survive Kinsey must allow fellow P.I. Bob Dietz to act a bodyguard until the danger passes. Meanwhile, the client's mother, safely return to Santa Teresa disappears again ...

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book cover, H is for Homicide, Sue Grafton
H is for Homicide, Sue Grafton

H is fo Homicide

At school Crazy Jimmy Tate defended a young Kinsey from bullies and encouraged her tendency to cope with school by avoiding it. Years later they went through the Police Academy together, but by then Kinsey avoided contact with the still dangerous Jimmy.

Kinsey encounters Jimmy again while investigating Bibianna Diaz for insurance fraud. Befriending Bibianna in her undercover personna Kinsey is recruited by the police in an investigation of large-scale fraud by Bibanna's obsessed ex-boyfriend, the even-crazier sociopath Raymond.

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book covers, I is for Innocent, Sue Grafton
I is for Innocent, Sue Grafton

I is for Innocent

Efficiency expert Gordon Titus has rid California Fidelity of Kinsey and she sets up an office with Lonnie Kingman's law firm. With the death of Morley Shine, ex-partner of the man who trained Kinsey as a P. I., Kinsey is hired by Lonnie to do the pre-trial investigations for a wrongful death civil suit. She is horrified to find Morley's files incomplete and in her investigation she must deal with a tangle of lies.

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book cover, J is for Judgement, Sue Grafton
J is for Judgement, Sue Grafton

J is for Judgement

Kinsey's happiness at resuming a relationship with previous employer CRI is short-lived. Five years ago Wendell Jaffe disappeared in a possible suicide leaving behind a wife, two kids, and a partner to take the rap for a failed real estate pyramid scheme.

Now, as Jaffe is declared legally dead and the angry widow received her half a million dollars, Jaffe is spotted in Mexico. Kinsey is despatched to identify Jaffe. The usual murder and mayhem ensues.

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book cover, K is for Killer, Sue Grafton
K is for Killer, Sue Grafton

K is for Killer

Lorna Kepler was a bit like Kinsey, a loner living small and cheap, but Lorna died with a big bank balance garnered from wide investments and a life as a sex worker. Lorna's mother, like the police, suspects foul play and hires Kinsey to investigate.

Kinsey meets Lorna's protege and for a brief time has a professional hair cut. She uncovers a world of brutality, selfishness and defeat snatched out of the jaws of victory.

It's part of the Kinsey pattern that she inevitably meets people who should be candidates for the Darwin Awards.

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book cover, L is for Lawless, Sue Grafton
L is for Lawless, Sue Grafton

L is for Lawless

This is the Kinsey adventure that it won't hurt you to miss. Our heroine starts off doing a favour for neighbour Henry -- some of their neighbours are trying to establish their dead father's veteran benefits. She proceeds to chase a duffle bag across the U.S., helping out one selfish, stupid, self-serving, dipstick after another.

There is no deduction in this story, no real skills, except tips on breaking into hotel rooms, and the whole is made worse by Grafton's attempt at satirising the modern efforts of the illiterate but well-meaning to remove gender bias from job descriptions.

Slow and somewhat tiresome, it's really just for the completists.

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book cover, M is for Malice, Sue Grafton
M is for Malice, Sue Grafton

M is for Malice

Kinsey's cousin calls her in to find the missing beneficiary of a multi-million dollar estate. Within two days Kinsey has found the lost son, Guy Malek and acquired a temporary housemate -- Dietz.

Her guilt at returning the gentle ex-wild child to the sniping, unwelcoming fold multiplies when he is discovered killed with a blunt implement in his own bed.

Carefully drawn characters and detailed settings mark a welcome return to Santa Teresa and a pacy Grafton story.

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book cover, N is for Noose, Sue Grafton
N is for Noose, Sue Grafton

N is for Noose

Returning from taking Dietz to hospital in Carson City, Kinsey stops in the small town Nota Lake, California to investigate the last days of a popular sheriff's investigator.

The widow is an unpopular, self-absorbed churchwoman who wants to know what was causing his distraction before his sudden heart-attack. Kinsey's investigation is fraught with suspicion on the townspeople's part, and homesickness on hers. With no gun, no MacDonald's QPs and antagonism from the good old boys, most of whom seem to work for law enforcement, this may be the case that Kinsey limps away from.

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book cover, O is for Outlaw, Sue Grafton
O is for Outlaw, Sue Grafton

O is for Outlaw

Once Mickey Magruder was a cop with a wild streak. And Kinsey Millhone was a younger cop who adored and married him. Then Mickey was implicated in a fatal beating, and Kinsey walked out. Now, fourteen years later, she comes face-to-face with those tragic years and Mickey's harrowing downward spiral after he lost the job he loved--and the marriage he loved a little less.

Mickey lies dying in an L.A. hospital. Trying to find out how Mickey got there, Kinsey uncovers evidence that he was innocent of the beating charge. But as she searches through the lives that swirled around Mickey's--lives gone wrong and lives gone well--Kinsey must also search the blind spots of her own life, including one that hides a killer.

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book cover, P is for Peril, Sue Grafton
P is for Peril, Sue Grafton

P is for Peril

Kinsey is on the case again, and she's sure in her heart of hearts that she shouldn't have taken the case. She doesn't like the client -- a highly polished wanna be interior decorator with a missing ex-husband -- especially since the reference came from Dana Jaffe.

But money is money, and Kinsey is expecting to move into a new office, so she embarks on a careful investigation, picking at the fabric of people's stories and opinions and looking for the vital first flaw that will put her on the road to discovering the truth.

See Ali's review

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book cover, Q is for Quarry, by Sue Grafton
Q is for Quarry, Sue Grafton

Q is for Quarry

Inspired by a real-life crime in Santa Barbara. An unknown young girl's body is found in a quarry. Years later, Lt Dolan, somewhat retired after heart problems, calls Kinsey in to help investigate the crime, together with cancer-patient-in-remission, semi-retired Stacey Oliphant from the sheriff's office.

The two detectives had originally discovered the body and now Dolan and Oliphant each ask Kinsey to help them investigate as a way to distract the other from his health problems.

To complicate matters, Kinsey is once again thrown into the orbit of her erstwhile family.

see review

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book cover, R is for Richochet, by Sue Grafton
R is for Ricochet, Sue Grafton

R is for Ricochet

Kinsey is hired to ferry a rich heiress home from prison. The seemingly easy task is made difficult by her charge, and by Kinsey's suspicions that perhaps the young woman was not as guilty as she was originally found to be.

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book cover, S is for Silence, by Sue Grafton
S is for Silence, Sue Grafton

S is for Silence

Thirty-four years ago, Violet Sullivan put on her party finery and left for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display. She was never seen again. In the small California town of Serena Station, tongues wagged. Some said she'd run off with a lover. Some said she was murdered by her husband. But for the not-quite-seven-year-old daughter Daisy that she left behind, her absence has never been explained or forgotten.

Now, thirty-four years later, she wants the solace of closure. (source:

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book cover, T is for Trespass, by Sue Grafton
T is for Trespass, Sue Grafton

T is for Trespass

Kinsey is asked to do a background check on the nurse caring for an elderly neighbour. The woman passes the checks, but Kinsey is unconvinced.

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book cover; U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton; 90x141
U is for Undertow, Sue Grafton

U is for Undertow

Kinsey is hired for a single day by a troubled young man who believes that, as a child, he saw a young kidnapping victim being buried.

Meanwhile, Kinsey's family continues to make overtures and she discovers new information about her early life and her Aunt Gin.

See our review.

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Book cover, V is for Vengeance, Sue Grafton; 91x140
V is for Vengeance, Sue Grafton

V is for Vengeance

Private detective Kinsey Millhone feels a bit out of place in Nordstrom's lingerie department, but she's entirely in her element when she puts a stop to a brazen shoplifting spree. For her trouble she nearly gets run over in the parking lot by one of the fleeing thieves--and later learns that the one who didn't get away has been found dead in an apparent suicide. But Audrey Vance's grieving fiance suspects murder and hires Kinsey to investigate--in a case that will reveal a big story behind a small crime, and lead her into a web that connects a shadowy "private banker," an angry trophy wife, a spoiled kid with a spiraling addiction, and a brutal killer without a conscience...(source:

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Book Cover, W is for Wasted, Sue Grafton; 91x140
W is for Wasted, Sue Grafton

W is for Wasted

The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He'd been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He'd been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone's name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him. (source:

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book cover, x by Sue Grafton, Festivale book review; 93x140
X, Sue Grafton


Kinsey is called to find the born-out-of-wedlock child (now a grown man and ex-con) of a wealthy woman. She finds the man and reports his location only to discover than she was paid in marked bills. (Putnam, 978-0399163845). Read our review.

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