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A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  118,318 Ratings  ·  3,160 Reviews
The Malek brothers stand to inherit a fortune. One of them went missing 18 years ago and Millhone is hired to find him, even though this prodigal son is not welcome at the family table. She succeeds, but in this embattled family, malice kills.
Audio CD, Abridged, 3 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by MacMillan Audio (first published April 15th 1982)
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Two reviews in the same morning? I guess it’s your lucky day (ha-ha - NOT). And just look at that bright and shiny 1 Star rating. That should be a sure fire way to earn me some new friends. If you’re not interested in reading through my reasons behind not liking this book, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of my reaction upon finishing . . .

Houston commercial photography

So the long story of how I began my relationship with Kinsey Millhone at this late date is as f
Dec 07, 2007 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kinsey Millhone is a single female working as a private investigator in Santa Theresa, California. She is hired by Nikki Fife, the convicted murdered of Lawrence Fife (her husband), to find out who really killed him. Her investigation leads her into a series of other murders that seem to be connected.

I don't know if I can even justify one star on this book. I was at no point able to "connect" with Kinsey. I love a strong female character, but she does not fit that bill. She is crass which makes
Sep 13, 2016 Phrynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting that Kinsey Millhone and Vic Warshawski both appeared for the first time in the same year. I wonder why the market suddenly felt the need for two female P.I.s. It was a very good thing anyway!!!
Vic has been a favourite of mine for some time now but this is the first time I have tried this series by Sue Grafton and I did enjoy it. Kinsey's approach to detecting was reasonably realistic, I liked the old style feel to everything(was the 1980's really that long ago!) and the writin
Feb 13, 2008 Matthew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tea Jovanović
Godinama sam pokušavala da nagovorim srpske izdavače da objavljuju ovu divnu autorku... Detektivski romani, a pritom i duhoviti i zabavni... I uvek sam dobijala isti odgovor... "Problem su naslovi... Autorka ide po abecedi... Prvi naslov ne bi bio problem, a šta s drugim i ostalim naslovima..." Svesrdnu pomoć pružao mi je i Zvonimir Majdak (preko koga se završavaju autorska prava), ali nismo uspeli... U Hrvatskoj je prevedeno nekoliko naslova, ali se izdavači nisu marketinški pretrgli tako da ni ...more
4 stars to A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, the first book in the Kinsey Millhone private investigator cozy mystery series. It's the book that started it all for me...

The opening lines of the book grab you when the narrator tells you that she killed a man. You want to know more about this situation. Then you get to know a little bit about Kinsey. Twice-divorced. 32. New to PI work. You already start to root for her as much as you ask questions about her former life.

In this one, it's all
Me and Kinsey on Santa Teresa Boulevard. And Las Vegas Boulevard. Sorry wrong decade, but I was having a nostalgic Paul Simon moment, and I just couldn’t turn it down. And yeah I figured I would use improper grammar and discreetly reference KINSEY AND ME: STORIES which I haven’t yet read and I may never get to based on my current TBR shelf and future book endeavors. For those of you curious about the Paul Simon reference that would be “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” which graced the world ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
“My own mystery, unplumed, undetected, was sorted into files that were neatly labeled but really didn't say much.”

Kinsey Millhone, an average detective with a conscience and a relaxed lifestyle, lands a whopper of a case to open this first of many, many books. Her client's wishes? To find out who really killed her husband AFTER she's released from prison for doing the deed.

Mildly paced with other mediocre tension, the book mainly wins through the point of view of the detective. She's a down-to
Jan 09, 2014 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-read, mystery, crime
When Nikki Fife appeared on her doorstep, Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone was surprised to see her. She had only recently been released from prison after serving eight years for the murder of her husband Laurence. Now she was hiring Kinsey to find out who really killed him – she knew she didn’t, but no-one had believed her when she was convicted. Now she needed the truth…

Kinsey had been to the trial eight years previously and formed an opinion then – she felt that Nikki was innocent but wit
Crystal Starr Light
A is for Aggravating, Anguish, Awful, Apathetic...take your pick
I had heard the name Sue Grafton bantered around. After my aunt recommended it, I decided to check out her infamous alphabet series.
Kinsey Millhone is a former cop, a twice divorcee, and a private investigator. Nikki Fife, a woman accused, convicted, and imprisoned for murdering her philandering husband, Laurence Fife, has just been released on parole and wants her name cleared. She comes to Kinsey, who takes the case and begins the
Edward Lorn
This spoiler is for my buddy read with Kells. Kells, if you would, please click on "view spoiler". Danke. (view spoiler)

I enjoyed this book for the most part. The writing doesn't feel too terribly dated, in fact the only thing that really stood out was that there was no
Dec 06, 2015 Marwan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read D,F,H and O before and F was my favorite. But now it's A. I'mean it was filled with twists till the end, and has some thrill in the final chapter.
The story revolves around the murder of a divorce attorney named Laurence Fife. His wife Nikki was found guilty for the murder even though she claimed to be innocent till the end.
After she went out of jail eight years later, Nikki hires Kinsey Millhone, a private Investigator to find out who killed her husband and framed her. However, as Ki
James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that introduced Kinsey Millhone and helped inaugurate a new era in crime fiction when female investigators like Millhone and Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski could go toe-to-toe with the bad guys and more than hold their own with their male counterparts like Spenser, Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.

Millhone has a modest solo practice as a P.I. that she runs out of a small office in the fictional town of Santa Teresa, California. Orphaned as a child and twice divorced, she lives a q
It was entertaining in a mundane way. The reading by Judy Kaye was pretty good, too. To quote John Prine, it was "Pretty good, not bad. I can't complain, but actually, everything was pretty much the same." IOW, it was as standard a mystery thriller as I've ever read. Nothing to rant or rave about, which makes it eminently forgettable, yet still enjoyable enough.

The heroine, Kinsey, is a private detective who is hired to look into an old murder by the woman who served time for the crime. Grafton'
Aug 07, 2007 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won't bother to review the whole A through S (so far) series, and I doubt I could remember my reaction to each individual book in any case. As a whole, though, I love this series. Sure, it's total pulp fiction, but it's enjoyable nonetheless. First, the series is based in Santa Teresa, CA, a very thinly disguised Santa Barbara, which makes it great fun for anyone who's lived in SB. (My *favorite* alteration is that Mission Street become Missile Street!) Second, Kinsey Millhone is your prototyp ...more
This was my first Sue Grafton book. It was a solid read but it did not have the elements of a thrilling mystery that I enjoy. It missed the mark on the suspenseful twists and turns that I typically thrive on in a good mystery. Kinsey is likable. I was instantly drawn to her drive and fortitude. Being that this is the first book in the Alphabet Series, I'm looking forward to reading the remaining books in this series. I'm anxious to see Grafton's growth & development as a writer and to see ho ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kuyh-2016
This was my first Sue Grafton book. I liked it! Kinsey is smart, sassy, witty, bold and likable! This takes you back to when detective work was exactly that. No modern technology to help out, just good ol' paper trails and landlines. Imagine what Kinsey could do if she had a smartphone!
I gave it 3 stars. Sue Grafton did have me guessing at times, but I did find a lot of it predictable. I will continue reading the series. I look forward to seeing how Kinsey develops.
Even though it took me forever, I really enjoyed this book! I enjoyed Sue Grafton's writing style & the characters she created. Defintely will read more in this series.
Deborah Markus
I needed a brain-break, so I thought I'd reread a few of Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries.

I don't read mysteries as a regular thing, and I don't know why I first picked up the Kinsey Millhone books, back when she was only on C or D. They were steady sellers at the feminist bookstore where I worked, but I didn't buy them. I listened to them on my Walkman on cassette tapes I borrowed from the library.

That's right, folks. I'm old. Be nice or I'll start telling you horror stories about being right
Nov 16, 2015 Ace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first in the series of Kinsey Millhone, she is s a bit of a character, down to earth and low maintenance, I think I could be friends with her.

Outdated to the max for this day and age, no internet, no mobiles and think 'corduroy A-line skirts' and turtle-neck sweaters. Still, I think a little trip down memory lane is adding to my enjoyment. I will read on to B!
Book Concierge
Audiobook performed by Mary Peiffer

Book #1 in the Kinsey Millhone series. Kinsey is a private investigator who is asked to look into an old murder case – by the woman convicted of poisoning her unfaithful husband. Nikki Fife has served her time but she swears she was innocent and wants to know who DID kill her husband. As Kinsey begins looking into the old case she discovers that a young accountant who did the law firm’s books also died shortly after Nikki’s husband – and of the same poison. The
Dec 02, 2015 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

A is for Alibi was written in the 1980's by Sue Grafton. It is her first in the alphabet series. It is a short, interesting fast read. Kinsey Millhone is a Private Investigator, intelligent, independent and discovering herself.
The plot was unfolding at a good pace and kept me engaged until the end. Many of the supporting characters were interesting and well developed.
The ending came abruptly, leaving you with the desire to discover more about Kinsey. At times, I smiled when Kinsey used a typewr
Nov 18, 2013 Carmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vera (GirlySunglasses)
3,5 stars

That was a really good whodunnit, a great easy read after the intense adventure that was The Great Forgetting last weekend.

It was quite a straight forward plot with a few good twists, and I liked the main character, Kilsey Millhone.

To me, the story ended a bit abruptly, but maybe that's the author's style. I'm used to some sort of epilogue in thriller/police/mystery books. Also, a couple of plot points were not fully explained, like (view spoiler)
Apr 23, 2008 Wayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A good book, not great. I found the little details she added to the story, like getting a cheesburger at McDonalds, annoying and pointless. There was little action, little character development. But then, this was a very early book. Given Grafton's popularity now she has either improved in her story telling or the general reading public is more easily entertained than I thought.
Some day I will have to try out one of her more recent novels.
I've been wanting to reread the Sue Grafton's alphabet series featuring P.I. Kinsey Milhone for a while now. I even said as much in Dec 2014 after reading E is for Evidence as part of my annual holiday season reads. So it is perfect (2 years later!) that The Mystery, Crime and Thriller group picked "A" for this month's group read. I enjoyed connecting again with Kinsey, the no-nonsense, unsentimental, straight-talking protagonist of the series.

I first read this book in paperback after it first
Amy Bunn
Obviously I'm missing something. I work at a library, and Sue Grafton's books are very popular; many readers have praised them and urged me to pick one up. Since I've recently been trying to expose myself to a few new bestselling authors, I decided to give a Grafton a try, and being the anal person that I am, I chose to start at the very beginning of her Kinsey series.

So is that where I went wrong? This book just didn't catch my interest in any real way. I keep scouring the online reviews, searc
Patricia Vocat
Difficult... Very difficult to review.

I liked the story, including the abrupt conclusion, even if some plot points had a contrived feel to them. It was entertaining and not too easy to guess how everything was going to unfold. (view spoiler). I also quite enjoyed the solid descriptive narration style.

However, I did not particularly like Kinsey Milhone. I h
Sep 15, 2011 Kim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crass-and-vulgar
Eh I didn't really care for this book. Maybe I just couldn't identify with or really grasp the character of Kinsey. Maybe it was the cussing or the sex or the amount of alcohol she consistently consumed. And who starts a romance that way? I'll interview you 2x in the course of my job and then u ask me to dinner and grab your crotch to tell me we are having sex later. Wow what a turn on. Seriously? Very low class and way to trusting for someone who is a private detective and a former cop. I'm gon ...more
Carol Brill
This is my first Sue Grafton novel. Not a genre I usually read, but my Kick Up Your Heels Goodreads book club is doing a year challenge with Sue Grafton. An easy read that kept me interested and guessing about who were the good guys and who were the bad. Often, what we learn about a character is the narrator's "tell" description when the character is first encountered. I prefer more rounded, developed characters. I suspect the way it's done here is just right for this genre and that genre fans w ...more
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The Mystery, Crim...: * Feb / Mar 2017 Group Read - A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton 57 121 Apr 12, 2017 10:59PM  
The Worst Bestsel...: Episode 59 - A is for Alibi 3 13 Oct 12, 2016 08:05AM  
Around the Year i...: A is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton 5 51 Sep 30, 2016 09:54AM  
*Best Sellers* Bo...: A is for Alibi - General Discussion 3 5 Sep 17, 2016 07:47AM  
Can I read these out of order? 58 535 Jun 30, 2016 02:32PM  
What is the book....? 2 16 Jun 10, 2016 05:41PM  
  • Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, #1)
  • Edwin of the Iron Shoes
  • Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1)
  • Dead In The Water (Kate Shugak, #3)
  • Chance (Spenser, #23)
  • Janet Evanovich Three and Four Two-Book Set (Stephanie Plum, #3-4)
  • Kat Scratch Fever (Kat Colorado, #8)
Connect with Sue herself on Facebook!

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 about Sue Grafton...

Other Books in the Series

Kinsey Millhone (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • B is for Burglar  (Kinsey Millhone, #2)
  • C is for Corpse  (Kinsey Millhone, #3)
  • D is for Deadbeat (Kinsey Millhone, #4)
  • E is for Evidence (Kinsey Millhone, #5)
  • F is for Fugitive (Kinsey Millhone, #6)
  • G is for Gumshoe  (Kinsey Millhone, #7)
  • H is for Homicide (Kinsey Millhone, #8)
  • I is for Innocent (Kinsey Millhone, #9)
  • J is for Judgment (Kinsey Millhone, #10)
  • K is for Killer (Kinsey Millhone, #11)

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“Except for cases that clearly involve a homicidal maniac, the police like to believe murders are committed by those we know and love, and most of the time they're right - a chilling thought when you sit down to dinner with a family of five. All those potential killers passing their plates.” 61 likes
“You try to keep life simple but it never works, and in the end all you have left is yourself.” 25 likes
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