Book: “G” Is for Grafton

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“G” Is for Grafton: The World of Kinsey Millhone

Author: Natalie Hevener Kaufman, Carol McGinnis Kay
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

She is Kinsey Millhone, and for millions of readers (not a few of whom have named their newborns after her), she is far more than a creature of fiction. For millions of us, she is us (or how we’d like to be), and that is a large part of her appeal and our loyalty. Now for every reader who has ever shared Kinsey Millhone’s adventures comes this lively, informative look into her life, her work, her thoughts.

With the cooperation of Kinsey’s creator, Sue Grafton, who provided unprecedented access to her working journals, authors Natalie Hevener Kaufman and Carol McGinnis Kay have created a fully dimensional biography that will answer every question readers have ever had. It’s all here in a feast for fans that is full of facts and includes such features as time lines, maps, floor plans, case logs, and photos. But it’s also a revealing journey into the mind and work habits of Kinsey’s creator. You’ll learn why Sue Grafton chose to write detective fiction and how she responds to runaway plot lines and unruly characters—and even what titles she has discarded in the series, what she plans for Kinsey’s future, and how she sees their evolving relationship. Most of all, you’ll find out why Grafton is so esteemed in the field of detective fiction and, from an analysis of her craft, why she has earned so prominent a place in American letters.


If you need help picturing Kinsey Millhone’s sweats and tousled hair; listing her personality traits; modeling your dietary habits on hers; or reviewing her early childhood, education, career and marriages, pick up G Is for Grafton. Coauthors Kaufman and McGinnis—a political scientist and an English professor, respectively—have, with the cooperation of Sue Grafton, delved into the writer’s working journal to flesh out this fictional biography. Once and for all, those nagging questions that keep fans pacing and tooth-gnashing between the M-N and O of Grafton’s series will have something to keep their heroine alive between mysteries. How old is Kinsey, exactly? Why do her car and her home need to be so small? Why did she become a PI—was it the wardrobe?

Included in this monument to Millhone is a delightful spread of black-and-white photos of Kinsey’s Santa Teresa haunts: her offices, the marina, and, yes, the jogging path. Readers are also treated to Sue Grafton’s discussion on the creation of her famous character: “Kinsey is my alter ego—the person I might have been had I not married young and had children…. While our biographies are different, our sensibilities are the same…. I think of us as one soul in two bodies, and she got the good one.” G is for Grafton will grab Kinsey Millhone fans.

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