Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “W is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone #23)” as Want to Read:
W is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone #23)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

W is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone #23)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  15,001 ratings  ·  2,304 reviews
Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I’d never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue.

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 identi
Hardcover, 486 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Marian Wood Books/Putnam (first published September 4th 2013)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about W is for Wasted, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
How the Light Gets In by Louise PennyLeaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline WinspearSpeaking from Among the Bones by Alan BradleyDeath of Yesterday by M.C. BeatonNever Laugh As a Hearse Goes By by Elizabeth J. Duncan
most anticipated mysteries 2013
62nd out of 148 books — 564 voters
Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnFifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesInferno by Dan BrownAnd the Mountains Echoed by Khaled HosseiniThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
2013 NY Times Best-Sellers - Fiction
50th out of 150 books — 583 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Moira Russell
If Grafton keeps on switching out of Kinsey's voice in the first person (which is why I read the books) to her third-rate third-person narration, I'm not going to buy these new anymore (yeah yeah, some threat, what are there, three more to go at this point?) because her non-Kinsey writing is so bad. This sucks, because I've been reading this series since about 1988. It's just really limping toward the finish line.
W is for waste of time! I've read all of Sue Grafton's books and generally really enjoy them. However, this book was too long, tedious and didn't have enough plot or character to hold my interest.

Kinsey Millhone is generally witty, smart and bold. Here she seems a shadow of her former self. It's as though she had a personality transplant.

The plot isn't engaging enough to carry the story and seems trite and forced. When the lawyer stripped out of her wet running clothes I nearly put the book down
David Baldacci
What could be better than curling up with another installment of the award-winning Kinsey Millhone series? Long live Kinsey.
"W" is for Wonderful, Wise, and Winning, and also for Weeping as it makes me sad to realize Grafton will writing only three more of these. I have been a huge fan since she started with "A is for Alibi" and have loved following Kinsey's development.

I was surprised at the length of this book (almost 500 pages) but I couldn't put it down and the pages just flew by. Grafton is doing a superb job of starting to tie up the loose and unknown ends of Kinsey's life in preparation for the final "Z" book
Not my favorite by this author.

• I felt like I was slogging through this. It took me nearly a week to finish - a rarity for me. I didn't even like the title, nit-picker that I am.

• Characterization was uneven. Anna was so unlikeable she was almost a caricature. Yet Henry, a long-time recurring person was a cardboard silhouette. Kinsey herself was less dimensional than I would expect after having been the focus of 23 books. Really, it feels like Ms. Grafton is herself losing interest.

• I didn't
Claire Grasse
I'm usually Grafton's biggest fan but this... this was just a disappointment all around. Kinsey was both too unpredictable (since when has she liked CATS?? She's never had any affection for cats.) and too predictable (how many pieces of rye toast can one detective eat in a novel?). The issue of homelessness felt preachily addressed in my opinion.

I've never been a fan of the swinging from POV to POV -- mainly because it feels as though we're getting info Kinsey isn't and yet **BOOM** she solves t
Deborah Klein
I have to imagine that fans of Kinsey Millhone read these ever more tedious books for their love of the character (which I share), and their beautiful sense of place in the fictional North California town of St. Theresa, and whatever additional burg (here, Bakersfield), that Kinsey finds herself forced to visit. Otherwise, the books are problematic. The mysteries are always easily solved; shame on you if you didn't figure this one out early on, but the primary problem is the appalling lack of ed ...more
This is the author's 23rd installment in the Kinsey Milhone alphabet mystery series, and I sense Weariness setting in. The previous several entries have focused on topics (elder abuse, long missing persons) and the underlying focus here is homelessness. "W is for Weak" could have been the title, as the plot meanders along until the last 20% of the book, when a Wee bit of suspense is introduced. The climactic action between Kinsey and the bad guy was ridiculous: she carried on being attacked IN S ...more
Oct 01, 2013 Ann rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read "A is for Alibi" as a young teenager, and I've followed Kinsey steadily ever since. This series is my equivalent of comfort food, taking me back to the days when I first discovered the joys of getting lost in a good mystery novel. Kinsey Millhone, V.I. Warshawski and Carlotta Carlyle were such exciting finds for a teenage girl like I was then.

Now at letter W, Grafton spreads her wings a bit in crafting a more complex plot than she usually does. But the eventual resolution feels more than
Con ‘W de whisky’ (W is for Wasted, 2013), la escritora norteamericana Sue Grafton alcanza su novela número veintitrés de su Alfabeto del Crimen, protagonizado por la detective Kinsey Millhone. Esta serie de novelas empezó a publicarse en la década de los 80, en la que se desarrolla la acción. Kinsey es una investigadora privada que vive en Santa Teresa (ciudad inventada que se correspondería con Santa Barbara, California). La presente novela comienza con la noticia de dos muertes, que en aparie ...more
Carol Jean
It's never a good sign when an author has her characters spend a lot of time reading menus. I lost the thread of the story at Denny's and it took a while to pick it up again. Also, perhaps because Grafton is getting older, there are several mentions of needing to pee or finding ladies' rooms. Cut to the chase, please!

I found the side story confusing and confusingly presented, and frankly most of the main story bored me. Kinsey is developing too many family connections, none of them interesting
So--I was sitting in the dentist's chair, my mouth full of cotton rolls and sucking tubes, and he started talking about a mystery series he follows (with a well-known male author). He asked me if I read mysteries, and I mumbled the Grafton alphabet series, probably my favorite of several I read. "The alphabet books? Eh. Read a couple, and they're too formulaic for me," he says.

It was too hard to finish that conversation (which wasn't going anywhere) while being drilled and filled, but I would st
This latest installment in the Kinsey Millhone series was not up to Grafton's usual standards. As Kinsey slowly moves through the 1980's, the anachronisms in the series become more frequent, which bothers me. I want to volunteer my services to read the galleys and identify these gaffs for removal before they go to press. It's a small thing, I know, but anachronisms are a distraction and annoyance.

More troubling, however, was the social issue of homelessness, central to the theme because two of
Lisa Vegan
Nov 02, 2013 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: every reader who’s read A through V, and hurry up because these books are improving!
It was so wonderful to be in Kinsey’s company once again, and Henry’s, the only landlord I’ve ever loved, let alone liked. Henry is one of my very favorite people/characters.

My only 2 quibbles with this book, it’s that I’d have wanted even more of Henry than was provided and the author’s reflections on homelessness, particularly in the last few pages, when she writes a bit of here own philosophy, I think, and I believe misses the mark.

William is a hoot; I love him. Best of all, there is a new ch
Alex Duncan
Two dead bodies change the course of somebody's life. I won't tell you who. You'll want to find out for yourself.
This installment was slower paced and less of a page turner than earlier books in the series, and seemed to have even more description than usual. We do get to know more about Kinsey's family, though.

I like how Grafton has kept this series in the 1980s. I enjoy how Kinsey has to do things the old-fashioned way without a smart phone to do the leg work for her. However, with all the detail we are given--Kinsey looking for a parking space, finding a parking space, entering the building, talking to
This is an uncorrected proof copy I won through Goodreads in a ‘First Reads’ giveaway. I noticed very few errors, site for sight the only one that comes to mind.

I admire Grafton for not cranking out the same basic novel over the last 30 years. She took chances in many of the later ones, telling the stories in different formats to keep the series from getting stale. She does that again here.

W Is For Wasted has two main plots – the death of a shady PI Kinsey knows only slightly and the death of a
Unlike many of her contemporaries (Elizabeth George and Janet Evanovich, I'm looking at you) Sue Grafton's writing seems to improve over time. Instead of becoming repetitious, her stories and our understanding of Kinsey and her world have become more nuanced and deeper. I know it's stupid because she's a fictional character, but after 20+ books written in the first person, I feel like I know Kinsey and I like her - she's almost real to me.

So, needless to say I could not wait to get my hands on t
I'm sure it's not what Sue Grafton had in mind when she picked "wasted" to represent the 23rd in the popular alphabet-based series featuring private investigator Kinsey Milhone, but it sure seemed appropriate to me as I slogged my way through this book. In fact, it wasn't until the 30th chapter or so - 82% of the way through on my Kindle Fire - that things really started to get interesting.

I'm not exactly sure why, except much of what I read in those other chapters just seemed tedious. Page aft
Bill Mackela
This is, possibly, the best book in the Kinsey Millhone series. Ms. Grafton is at her very best in W is for Wasted. She has crafted an intricate tale involving a dead homeless man, who turns out to be Kinsey's distant relative, a disreputable private investigator who is murdered by an unknown assailant, and a trio of homeless characters.

Ms. Grafton gives little bits from her previous novel, just enough so that her fans can smile and remember what had happened, but not enough that any first time
Louise Marley
Despite my objections to paying more than ten dollars for an e-book, I had awaited the next Sue Grafton so eagerly that I did it anyway. I'm inclined to give Grafton a lot of leeway, as there have been twenty-three of these novels, and there's no way the quality would be even. I enjoyed the book, but I don't think it justified the high price.

The title is intriguing, and tells us something about what Grafton wanted to say about homelessness and the toll it takes on people. What I missed in this p
Having gone through the alphabet with Sue Grafton in order of her books publication, I'm hardly an unbiased reader. I know somewhere in the middle I began to lose a little of my affection for the series but then regained it again when she started to use social issues as a backdrop to the storytelling. I remember elder abuse was a topic for one, and in this one homelessness figures prominently. Perhaps too prominently, it began to sound a little preachy in spots (the eulogy and funeral scene were ...more
Private Detective Kinsey Millhone is between jobs when she becomes involved with the deaths of two men. Pete Wolinksy, a disreputable P.I. acquaintance is found shot to death in a Santa Teresa park, presumably by a mugger. And R.T. Dace, an alcoholic, ex-convict vagrant who Kinsey never met has left her a small fortune and made her executor of his will. Turns out R.T. Dace is Kinsey's distant relative, and wanting to do the right thing Kinsey sets out to tell his disinherited children what happe ...more
I decided to try this one after bailing on the previous Kinsey offering. This one was interesting enough that I was able to finish it without thinking (much) about abandoning this one, too. Really 2.5 stars.


More Kinsey, less third-person, other-character point-of-view.
We learn (something) about her father's family.
The "non-Kinsey" part of the story is actually interesting, rather than hearing about a bunch of strangers' lives.


Ending felt tacked on, as though Grafton could've gone on wi
I'm sorry to say, we're approaching the end of the alphabet with Sue Grafton's mystery series. W is for Wasted is one of her best with two stories that join towards the end to a very satisfying end. It's 1988 and our heroine, Kinsey Millhone, is 38 and still on her own, living in a sublet of her friend, Henry. She is contacted by the coroner's office and told that he has a body, a male alcoholic, probably homeless, with no identification or papers of any kind but one: a slip with her name and nu ...more
Sep 23, 2013 Jay rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I was paying attention to what I like so much about the Sue Grafton books. Oh, I knew I liked Kinsey herself; she’s such an interesting person, just a little bit out of synch with the rest of our culture. I like the way she interacts with the people around her, and with her whole environment. I knew I liked the plots themselves, because they are always twisting in ways that I didn’t expect. I don’t read these books to try to solve the mystery myself; I read them to see how Kinsey puts everything ...more
3.75 stars. I love this series. I can't think of any book in it that I didn't like.

This isn't my favorite in the series, but, full disclosure: I'm not crazy about the audiobook reader (and I listened to most of this), and I skipped T, U and V to listen to this latest title in the series with my husband (who is all caught up) during a recent road trip.

Spending time with these characters feels like spending time with family, and I love Kinsey's attitude and sense of humor. The mystery was just o
Flynn Connolly
I couldn't even finish this book, which astonished me, as I've always loved this series. I gave up, after wondering too many times when the story was going to begin. Too many boring details about Kinsey's daily life. I hope the next book in the series is better since there are only a few left before Z.
Feb 08, 2015 Jo rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: library
Another great read about Kinsey Millhone. I love this series!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Predictions for Kinsey at the end of the series? 17 82 Jan 25, 2015 06:04PM  
The Women's Myste...: W is for Wasted 4 63 Jan 17, 2014 06:48AM  
Women in Detectiv...: Sue Grafton's W is for Wasted 1 17 Sep 18, 2013 06:16PM  
  • Critical Mass (V.I. Warshawski, #16)
  • Second Watch (J.P. Beaumont, #21)
  • Coming Back
  • Guilt (Alex Delaware, #28)
  • Death Angel (Alexandra Cooper, #15)
  • Massacre Pond (Mike Bowditch, #4)
  • Let it Burn (Alex McKnight, #10)
  • Silken Prey (Lucas Davenport, #23)
  • The Sound and the Furry (A Chet and Bernie Mystery #6)
  • Dick Francis's Refusal (Sid Halley, #5)
  • The Golden Egg (Commissario Brunetti, #22)
  • Line of Fire (Alan Gregory, #19)
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 24 books)
  • A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone, #1)
  • 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)
A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone, #1) M is for Malice (Kinsey Millhone, #13) J is for Judgment (Kinsey Millhone, #10) K is for Killer (Kinsey Millhone, #11) B is for Burglar  (Kinsey Millhone, #2)

Share This Book

“maybe it was time to at least pretend to be a nicer person than i knew i was” 2 likes
“I wondered if I'd ever be nice enough to volunteer for anything. I was hoping not.” 1 likes
More quotes…