"J" is for Judgment (Kinsey Millhone #10)
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"J" is for Judgment (Kinsey Millhone #10)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  29,115 ratings  ·  303 reviews
"J" is for Jaffe: Wendell Jaffe, dead these past five years. Or so it seemed until his former insurance agent spotted him in the bar of a dusty little resort halfway between Cabo San Lucas and La Paz.

"In truth, the facts about Wendell Jaffe had nothing to do with my family history, but murder is seldom tidy and no one ever said revelations operate in a straight line. It wa...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 288 pages
Published May 15th 1993 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published 1993)
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Benjamin Thomas
This 10th book of the “Alphabet” series is the first one I’ve rated with 5 stars. I’m having a hard time pin-pointing exactly why though. It’s not specifically because Ms. Grafton has “stepped it up a notch” in her writing although the writing has gotten better and better over the series and she is now content to let her characters interact naturally instead of forced into a plot. It’s also not due to our heroine Kinsey Millhone becoming an even more interesting character, even though I find mys...more
Beth (Ducky)
Originally seen on my book blog!

I knew from the beginning that this had a great story line and was hopeful that it would be a promising book. It was. From the beginning we are thinking a lot of things, for one, why did he fake his suicide? For two, what is now going to happen to his widows insurance money? And for three, is he going to get caught?

The only thing that doesn’t thrill me about these books is that there are always new characters and it can sometimes be hard to keep track of who is wh...more
Kricket
in which kinsey visits mexico on the lookout for wendell jaffe, a ponzi schemer who staged his own suicide before leaving the country.

the thing that struck me yet again is that, for a self-alleged misanthrope, kinsey is really good at getting people to talk to her and trust her. she's constantly showing up unannounced at people's homes demanding information and they all invite her in for coffee and a chat, and allow her to come back even after she pisses them off. i know that this stuff makes th...more
Marsha
Well, after reading ten of them, I'm reasonably certain that Sue Grafton does not know how to write a bad book. I feel a bit repetitive, but J is for Judgment is terrific. Well written, strong characters, emotional roller coasters, suspense and mystery. Such a great detective series. Kinsey is fantastic, and I love seeing her adapt and grow. I also love the lack of technology and how she always makes it work for her.
Sue
Apr 05, 2014 Sue rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery, usa
Kinsey is contacted by Mac Vorhees, a former co-worker from her days at CF Insurance, regarding a case from five years ago. Wendell Jaffe had disappeared off his boat having left a suicide note but the body was never recovered. His wife Dana had finally collected on the life insurance policy. Problem was that Wendell had been spotted down in Mexico a few days ago and CF wanted its money back. Would Kinsey follow up and confirm that Wendell was alive and well? She agreed and, basically she found...more
Stephanie
This is the first book in the series I gave a 5 star rating too because it was that good. I love that Kinsey stuck it to her old employer and office provider and that she learns some things about herself in the process.

The scene where she sneaks into the hotel room of a suspect is one of the best in the series and I loved the book from beginning to end.

I can't believe how good this series is.
Jaret
This episode in the Kinsey Millhone series was somewhat lackluster in comparison to the rest of the series. I enjoyed the story, but it just wasn't as exciting as I've come to expect from Sue Grafton. The mystery held promise (a man who faked his own death), but the ending was rather plain. Grafton tried to save the ending in the epilogue, but the ploy was very contrived. I did like learning about Kinsey's family story and that saved the book from a 2 star rating. Plus, since I read out of order...more
Jeannette
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bungz
Aug 09, 2011 Bungz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like to read a bit before bed, those who enjoy a slower paced mystery
This was a good bedtime book for me. It wasn't fast-paced or racy like the usual whodunits. Nonetheless it had a pace which did not slacken.

This is the first Sue Grafton book i've read. And yes, i started out in the middle. It doesn't matter though as it is like the crime shows on telly. While there are threads of continuity in among the books, each one is a stand-alone story as well.

The story wasn't a typical locked-room mystery, and the plot evolved as we go along. The real highlight of the...more
Hobart
Another solid, solid outing from Grafton and Millhone. Standard boilerplate stuff to say on the mystery front, didn't blow me away, but was fully satisfying. The personal story is potentially great, will have to see how it develops over the next book or so, but I really liked the angry, careful, confused way that Kinsey's approaching this . . . seems honest. Moreso than is standard for this kind of story.

It's reads like this that make me bound and determined to catch up on this series next year.
Judy
Another fun and easy Kinsey Millhone mystery. Wendell Jaffe committed suicide 5 yrs earlier, but the insurance company still isn't convinced he is dead. This is the first time I'd heard the word "pseudocide". Kinsey explores the circumstances leading up to Wendell's pseudocide and the effect it had on his family. At the same time, she discovers, with mixed feelings, some family of her own. Good tale, lots of action, some more insight into Kinsey's brain. Now on to "K".
Lola4
Maybe it was the mood I was in, but I just couldn't get interested in this book. It took me forever to finish it, just little bits at a time. I can't say anything specific I disliked about it, except that a lot of the time the protagonist's behavior and choices just made no sense to me, I just never felt any enthusiasm and had to force myself to persist to the end. I am usually a big Grafton fan, but this one was far from her best.
Sam
Ok - I quite enjoyed the plot, the story and the concept were interesting.

Unfortunately, I found that the author spent too long describing things which didn't affect the plot and I felt that this distracted from the story itself.

But, don't let this put you off. I would have preferred to read the ABC series from the start, as I think that there is a full back-story there for the character that it would be interesting to delve into in detail. Also, I started at J, and it sounds like there will be...more
Duncan Mandel
EDITORIAL REVIEW: 'On the face of it, you wouldn't think there was any connection between the murder of a dead man and the events that changes my perceptions about my life...' For Kinsey Millhone, the investigation started with a surprise visit from an ex-colleague at California Fidelity - the company that had fired her nine months previously. Fives hours later she was on a plane to Mexico, hot on the trial of a suicide who'd allegedly just come back to life. After a five year wait, Wendell Jaff...more
Laurie
Kinsey is on the travel again and working with CF. The last book was so good that I was excited for this one. Well my bubble was busted there was nothing interesting in this book, it didn't even really hit a climax just kind of fizzled out, I'm disappointed but I'm in to deep to stop reading them now.
Jenn
Am I losing interest in Kinsey? I'm not sure, but I found myself being bogged down in this book. I read and reread paragraphs with no interest. I couldn't wait for the book to end. At the end, I couldn't care less who did it or why? I hope it was just this book and not the series.
Taryn Chase
Another late night to finish this--I swear this woman has total control over me when I'm involved in her books... I really like how she revealed more of Kinsey's background, and I hope there's more of that to come. Wish i had K here on vacation with me! *sigh*
Ronald


Having read all up to now, this one just didn't catch me like the others. Was still a good read and as part of the series I couldn't imagine not reading it. I guess there's gonna a be at least one so-so book in such a series.
Sarah
I've still got several more letters to go, but I suspect Sue's running out of steam. All Kinsey seemed to do was drive around and talk to people and think about her predilection for snooping. Yawners.
Una Tiers
This book has one of the better plots that Grafton wrote. The characters were well developed and Kinsey was more outrageous than usual.
Tamsyn
"I'm going to review every book I read this year", I said, somewhat optimistically.

We were sitting in an underground craft beer bar, where red and black decor abounded. There were no clouds of cigar smoke, but there probably should have been. The setting made me aspire to achieve feats of literary brilliance, or at least inspired me to such literary mediocrity such as writing pretentiously ridiculous reviews set in underground craft beer bars.

"All of them?" my companion enquired, with a rather...more
Melissa
I really enjoyed the beginning of the book, when Kinsey gets to go on "vacation" down south. I also enjoyed her various B&E investigations through the course of the book. The ending felt a little thrown together for me, especially with a lack of closure on the family issues, but I imagine those will resurface in later books as a continuing new subplot. I'm curious to see how this will interfere with (funny choice of words!) the rest of her life and whether she will make any lasting attachmen...more
Antof9
Review from BookCrossing: I've been reading 1 or 2 books in the series at a time. I realize I should space them out further, though, as the use of "detritus" when Kinsey goes through someone else's trash in both this book and "I" back-to-back bothered me :) I am also getting tired of the smoking. There are a lot of cigarettes in these books, and they seem to be becoming more popular, not less. Last, I don't remember the "f" word at all in the first several books, but it's also become more common...more
Beth Peninger
It's like a mission for me to get through this alphabet series from Grafton. I suppose it's lucky for her that she crafted a decent character in Kinsey Millhone and has been able to capitalize on it.
This was a longer book than most of her alphabet so far (a-i) and I felt like it dragged on. She needs to keep it a bit shorter. Although since she's almost done with the entire alphabet I suppose that probably hasn't happened. Also in "J" Grafton decided to beef up the reader on California history...more
Sarah
I've gotta admit...in between finding new authors to read and catching up on the newest books in the series that I love, Kinsey is a great break! Sue Grafton's Alphabet Series is my go-to easy read and J is for Judgment was no exception.

In this book, Kinsey is working on a case for California Fidelity. After the way that their working relationship ended, it's no surprise that this assignment is a personal favor for Mac. Kinsey ends up tailing a con-man that bilked millions of dollars from unsusp...more
Dale
Hits the spot

So, here I am reviewing an 18 year old Sue Grafton novel. What does this tell me? It could be telling me that I need to find more current things to read, but I remember 1993 just fine so this book did not feel old to me. What it really tells me is that I have not come anywhere near reading this series in alphabetical order and have never went out of my way to find them. Not that I don't like them - I have liked all but a couple. It is more like they have been my backup books when I'...more
Rose
In J is for Judgment, the 1993 installment of Sue Grafton's popular "alphabet" series, private investigator Kinsey Millhone is hired by her former employer California Fidelity Insurance (CFI) to track down Wendell Jaffe. Five years prior, Jaffe took his boat, The Captain Stanley Lord, out to sea off the California coast and was never heard from again. Due to the recent collapse of Jaffe's shady real estate deals, which bankrupted his investors and landed his partner in jail, and his reported sta...more
fivesunflowers
This was not only my first Sue Grafton book, but my first Millhone series books. I probably should have started from 'A', but these books don't seem to require reading in order, necessarily. Anyway, I was a little bored witht the novel .. and I noticed from some other reviews that this novel was a little slower than some of her other ones. Kinsey Millhone did not engage me, in this novel. I found her "investigative" practices a little too welcomed by those she was questioning - by the end of the...more
Timothy Darling
Hearing Grafton speak at the Phila museum she admitted that her writing had suffered. Upon some advice she received, she opened up to some of her darker inclinations and her writing became better. The book she launched into at that point in her career was "J". I went through this book looking for evidence of that transformation.

As some have observed, her language does get a little more salty in this book, and that's too bad, but still not terminal. The more telling element of the story is the co...more
Randee Baty
I always enjoy Kinsey Millhone stories, some better than others. This one was middle of the pack for me. There isn't much mystery involved since Kinsey is to find out if someone is alive or not and we know that answer to that in the first few pages. The rest of the story is the consequences of knowing that. Kinsey doesn't do as much of the day-to-day detective work that I enjoy reading about. She does do a lot of talking to the people involved in the whole affair and so our answers come mainly f...more
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The Women's Myste...: J is for Judgement 1 1 Aug 09, 2013 09:26PM  
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Connect with Sue herself on Facebook! www.facebook.com/suegrafton

Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievement award) in 2003.

Family History:

Father: C.W. Grafton, born 1909, third son of Presbyterian Missionaries, born and raised in China, educated Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina; practicing attorney in Louisville, Kentucky with a 40-year specialty in municipal bonds. Au...more
More about Sue Grafton...
A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone, #1) M is for Malice (Kinsey Millhone, #13) K is for Killer (Kinsey Millhone, #11) B is for Burglar  (Kinsey Millhone, #2) C is for Corpse  (Kinsey Millhone, #3)

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