Book review: I is for Innocent, by Sue Grafton

[another review from a book I read way back in 2016]

I had to put Kinsey in a time-out zone for a while after the last one, which I found pretty troubling. But after exploring other mystery series, I realized how much I missed Grafton’s beautifully simple, pithy prose, and decided to give her another shot.

This was not an exceptional story, but it wasn’t nearly as upsetting as the last one — just a light, entertaining read (or listen, in my case). I’m not entirely sure people talk the way she writes them, but it’s still amusing portraits and a plot suspenseful enough to draw you in.

Here Kinsey’s worst quality was unnecessary observations about people’s weight, especially for one so blasé about her appearance (like when she realizes her hair is a terrible sight in need of a haircut, then decides not to do anything about it for the rest of the book). So-and-so is “fifteen pounds overweight,” really?

But mostly the story explored the lives of rich people, as well as a criminal low-life (now that I think of it, that’s a frequent combination in the series), and guest appearances by her smoking-hot (according to Kinsey) octogenarian landlord and his brother, plus the Hungarian restaurant owner.

The inevitable life-or-death climax was pretty well played, with the set-up both organic and viscerally scary.

Some great quotes that stood out:

I have friends who adore high heels, but I can’t see the point. I figure if high heels were so wonderful, men would be wearing them.


The lines in his face suggested an origami paper folded once, then flattened out again.

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