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A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone #1)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  105,687 Ratings  ·  2,792 Reviews
PI Kinsey Milhone 32, in a pretty California town, gets her first case. Laurence Fife was a slick divorce lawyer and slippery ladies' man until someone killed him. Released from jail after 8 years, his wife Nikki wants the truth. But the trail is cold, and at the end is a chilling twist - a second eight-year-old murder and a brand new corpse.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1982)
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Cynthia George I listened to some of the series on Audio books and out of order. Enjoyed them so much want to reread the 1st and the rest of the series in order.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

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
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Jen
Dec 12, 2007 Jen rated it did not like it
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
...more
Matthew
Sep 19, 2009 Matthew rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tea Jovanović
May 09, 2013 Tea Jovanović rated it it was amazing
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
Robert
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
Edward Lorn
Nov 10, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it it was ok
Shelves: 52-in-52-2015
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
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Brenda
Nov 05, 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
...more
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
...more
James Thane
Sep 12, 2012 James Thane rated it really liked it
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
...more
Jim
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'
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Kelly
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
Jamise
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
Michelle
Feb 06, 2016 Michelle rated it liked it
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.
Donna
Jan 16, 2016 Donna rated it liked it
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
...more
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
...more
Rebecca Golden
Dec 20, 2008 Rebecca Golden rated it it was amazing
I started reading Grafton's Kinsey Milhone books about eighteen years ago. These books transcend genre. Grafton also came up with the very clever idea of keeping the same timeframe for the entire series. The books start in the early eighties. It's probably 1987 as of T is for Trespass. I know I need to read more than genre fiction and memoirs, but this series will keep me from my giant backlog of "quality" books for a long, long time.
Ace
Jan 22, 2016 Ace rated it liked it
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!
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)
...more
Wayne
Apr 29, 2008 Wayne rated it liked it
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.
Srividya
Jun 09, 2014 Srividya rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had heard a lot about Sue Grafton books and wanted to see for myself what the buzz was all about. I have to admit that I was sorely disappointed with this book. Supposedly a crime fiction, it was too descriptive for my tastes.

The story began 8 years ago when a divorce lawyer Lawrence Fife is murdered and his wife Nikki is accused and later convicted for this murder. She accepts her sentence and when out on parole 8 years later, decides to open the case and find out who the real murderer is. Ki
...more
Amy Bunn
Jan 16, 2015 Amy Bunn rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, mystery, reviewed
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
...more
Carmen
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denise Gianelli
Dec 05, 2015 Denise Gianelli rated it liked it


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
...more
Martha
Jan 24, 2016 Martha rated it it was amazing

What a great brain escape on a 2016 New Year’s weekend. I needed a quick mystery to set my mind free of 2015; it was not my favorite year. In fact, I could have done without it all together. I welcome 2016 with open arms. A is for Alibi lifted the bad taste of 2015 right out of my mind. Thank you Sue Grafton!

This is Sue Grafton’s first in her alphabet series of whodunits. But, the first book I read in this series was K is for Killer. I started in the middle because it had a higher rating in Goo
...more
Vivi Vocat
Aug 22, 2014 Vivi Vocat rated it liked it
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
...more
Kim
Sep 15, 2011 Kim rated it did not like it
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
Lynn
Oct 15, 2015 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Read this over 7 years ago. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Sue Grafton's writing. Kinsey is one of my favorite characters of all time! This is one of the mystery series I recommend first, especially to readers who want more from a mystery than just action and violence. Grafton is superb at well-defined characterization!

Once I read this installment, I read all the others and have read each one as it is released ever since that time. I believe it is important to read A is for Alibi first, however. I love this
...more
Cerji
Jul 31, 2008 Cerji rated it really liked it
Sue Grafton writes the alphabetically titled Kinsey Millhone series. I have read them all, and really enjoy Kinsey. She is a private investigator in California with very eclectic friends and very strange food preferences. Kinsey's friendship with her kind elderly landlord is sweet and funny. The plots are creative, character-driven and most have a great ending twist. Grafton's books tend to be a quick read and incorporate many of the same characters again and again. This is another writer whose ...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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Delirity: Kinsey Malone- S. Grafton 11 6 Feb 06, 2016 11:55AM  
Around the Year i...: A is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton 3 25 Jan 13, 2016 07:03PM  
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2015 Reading Chal...: A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton 2 8 Feb 22, 2015 06:38AM  
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  • Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, #1)
  • The Broken Promise Land
  • Kat Scratch Fever (Kat Colorado, #8)
  • Chance (Spenser, #23)
  • Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon, #6)
  • Blood Will Tell (Kate Shugak, #6)
  • Desert Heat (Joanna Brady, #1)
  • A Trouble of Fools (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #1)
  • Janet Evanovich Three and Four Two-Book Set (Stephanie Plum, #3-4)
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Kinsey Millhone (1 - 10 of 24 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.” 54 likes
“You try to keep life simple but it never works, and in the end all you have left is yourself.” 22 likes
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