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P is for Peril (Kinsey Millhone Mystery)
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P is for Peril (Kinsey Millhone #16)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  17,042 Ratings  ·  551 Reviews
Dr. Dowan Purcell had been missing for nine weeks when Kinsey got a call asking her to take on the case. A specialist in geriatric medicine, Purcell was a prominent member of the Santa Theresa medical community, and the police had done a thorough job. Purcell had no known enemies and seemed content with his life. At the time of his disappearance, he was running a nursing c ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published June 5th 2001 by Random House Audio Publishing Group (first published October 27th 2000)
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P is for puzzled, as I think most fans will be when they reach the end of this book. I have read and enjoyed all the alphabet books, and have really enjoyed Kinsey and her eccentric band of friends and relations. But there was far too little of that in this mystery. The story of the missing physician Dow Purcell was fairly uninvolving. The people in his life were people you cared little about, and the solution, or lack of one, at the conclusion of the book is very puzzling. Although I think I un ...more
Dec 26, 2011 catechism rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
what the hell was that ending? i seriously thought there was an entire chapter missing from my ebook and went looking for it. but no!

also, no one was really in peril, except for kinsey, who is always in peril, and in this instance said peril had nothing to do with the case. i wish the whole book had been the brother subplot instead of some medicare scam involving a lesbian stripper. (...put that way, it doesn't sound half-bad! but i assure you, it is bad.) probably my least favorite of the seri
mitchell k dwyer
P is for Peril is such an unusual book in its own series that the discussion of this novel on the Sue Grafton message board has been turned into a sticky; it is permanently affixed near the top of the topic order so it can easily be found by visitors in search of some kind of explanation.

I hadn't even noticed that the book doesn't include Grafton's now-customary epilogue, which takes the form of Kinsey Milhone typing up a quick summary of the case and ties up some of the loose ends, but I had no
Still love Kinsey Milhone...but there were 2 things I didn't like about this one. First, the narrator...I listen to these on my long commute, and I REALLY don't like the new narrator (Judy Kaye). I miss Mary Peiffer. I can get past it, but not happily. Kaye says too many of the lines with inappropriate ironic inflection, which I find really annoying. Second, I hated the ending. I like Grafton's books because she ties everything into a neat bow at the end. All i's dotted, all t's crossed, all que ...more
Benjamin Thomas
I’ve enjoyed all of the Kinsey Millhone novels so far but this one was a bit of a letdown. I did some quick research after I finished it and “P” is almost always ranked near or at the bottom of all of the books in the series.

Unfortunately it is easy to see why. There are two mystery plots at work in this novel. The main one concerns a missing nursing home administrator. Kinsey is hired by his ex-wife and she proceeds to do her research from every angle imaginable. I always enjoy her methodical a
Sep 21, 2010 Jenn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Out of the first 15 books in this series this is the first one that left me just hanging. This book seemed to miss out on the usual depth of the mystery series which surprised me. Kinsey's main case was drawn out and just lacked any real significance. The other personal case of Kinsey's kind of just popped up and seemed almost like a page filler.

My gripe is the way it ended. Out of all the books there is usually a letter type of epilogue that Kinsey writes to end the book. This time the story j
Gail Tilton
Aug 12, 2011 Gail Tilton rated it it was amazing
I especially liked this one! I'm listening to this series on CD in the car. The reader is Judy Kaye. I listened to a few with a different reader who I liked. "O is for Outlaw" is the first one I listened to with Judy Kaye. I wasn't sure I liked what she brought to the character of Kinsey Milhone, but she started to grow on me. I thought she did a great job with the characters in "P".

I like that only a few months have passed in Kinsey's life when the next book comes along. In "P", she's still in
Jun 27, 2010 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is definitely not my favorite Kinsey Millhone mystery. The whole story was a little disjointed. Grafton had more than one storyline going and the whole thing came off a little weird. Then, the story ended so abruptly that I was left confused as to what even happened. I am used to Millhone's end of the story wrap up and there was none here. I actually looked to see if the library book had been damaged and pages removed. Overall, I liked it because I like the series and I like the character, ...more
Mar 07, 2010 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These "alphabet novels" are nothing short of perfect mystery. Grafton's cleverly crafted characters will stay with you long after you are finished reading the books. Kinsey Milhone, her landord/best friend, Henry and all the others seem so much like real people it is hard to imagine a world without them. I was on the edge of my seat with all the twists and turns, never forseeing what was coming next. I felt that each novel, as Grafton advanced through the alphabet, improved in every way. I would ...more
Oct 09, 2009 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm very, very glad that I started reading Sue Grafton again. There was something about P that reminded me of my favorites in the series (I, J and K) and has me eager to get caught up. That said, I'm not sure what it is. It could be the way Kinsey's personal troubles mess with her life while she's working on a case, or it might just be her attitude while working -- I'd need to re-read Grafton's earlier books to be sure. Or, it could just be that P is well written and tightly plotted. No matter t ...more
Apr 20, 2013 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Family dynamics takes on a big role in this case when Kinsey Milhone is hired to look into the disappearance of Dowan Purcell, a doctor specializing in geriatrics. What is strange is rather than being hired by his current wife Crystal, it is his ex-wife Fiona who calls her up. Kinsey finds herself being drawn into an awkward mix of interviews with many of Dow's relatives and co-workers at the nursing home he managed. The latter is even more bizarre as it becomes clear that the institution is bei ...more
Christine Keleny
Genre: Mystery

Blurb: (from Goodreads) When Dowan Purcell, a respected physician who operates a nursing home, disappears, his ex-wife hires Santa Teresa PI Kinsey Millhone to look into it. Fiona Purcell is still seething over Dow's affair and subsequent marriage to Crystal, a former stripper, yet they're still friends, and she seems worried. But when his body is discovered, she's among the suspects. Both of Dow's wives, at least one of his business partners, and perhaps even Crystal's teenage dau
Mar 10, 2011 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really liking this new format. I think Grafton is doing a great job of really bringing the storyline out.

In this novel, Kinsey is hired by an ex-wife, to locate her currently missing ex-husband. One evening, he walks out of the nursing home he manages and just disappears. It's been a couple weeks and Kinsey's not certain she'll be able to do more good than the police have, but decides to take the case. The twists and turns this novel goes through are a lot of fun to follow.

Honestly? This is
Randee Baty
Jun 06, 2013 Randee Baty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, mystery-pi
Kinsey is once again on a missing persons case. A well-respected doctor is missing and his ex-wife wants him found. Odd that it's his ex-wife and not his current wife but of course, that is just the beginning of the oddities in the case. As Kinsey begins to pursue the case, she learns that the doctor is being investigated for Medicare fraud at the nursing home he was running. She also learns that his current wife has a daughter from a previous relationship who devotes her time to finding ways to ...more
May 27, 2013 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike a sensible person, I haven't been reading this series in order. I started in the middle, and I read that first one 14 years ago. That being said, I can't really compare this novel to any of the others in the series, but as a stand-alone, I thought it was alright. Kinsey Millhone is a strong, smart protagonist, if a little dry (although sometimes less drama can be a good thing). Of the two plot lines (or three, if you count the fraud case), I actually found the second(ary) plot to be the m ...more
Dec 13, 2010 Judith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have read all of this series so far (up through "T") and of all the books so far, I found this to be the weakest in storyline. There were too many sub-plots and characters that never got explained. All of the other "Alphabet Series" mysteries have been so engrossing that the books were hard to put down and I was eager to pick them up as soon as I could find a spare minute. But not this one. For some reason, this storyline did not grab me like all of her other stories have. It came across too m ...more
Dec 20, 2011 Betty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am working my way throught he alphabet and while I love Kinsey Milhone's quirky personality this book was not one of the best. The story line about the missing doctor was confusing most of the time... with a lot of discussion of business and many characters and the other storyline about the brothers was more interesting. Kinsey's way of solving mysteries is always fun and unusual to me but this one fell a little flat. The ending definitely left me wondering where is Kinsey's epilogue to tie it ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Kinsey investigates the disappearance of Physician. Did he skip the country because of potential Medicare fraud, was he kill to collect the insurance by his vengeful ex-wife or the ex-stripper new wife, or did the step daughter do him in so she can runaway with the money she stole from his account. There is a second story line involving brothers who may have gotten away with murder in Texas.

This book has a lot more intrigue than usual. The author keeps you guessing all the way until the end.

P is
Jul 27, 2015 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mixed feelings about this installment. Overall, I think the writing has improved and the plot worked really well. But the addition of the Tommy/Richard subplot seemed almost... cookie cutter. Like the author needed additional material to help this book from becoming a snoozefest. The first 150 pages were slow, but I like the slowness, it shows that being a PI isn't all fast action.
Aug 04, 2016 Noel marked it as tbr-in-my-house-or-kindle  ·  review of another edition
This one was just average. I had seen many people reading her books and enjoying them. but it never got really good; not particularly funny, although witty at times, not too surprising and yet a bit contrived. Up for grabs now.

Thought page(s),i.e.the epilogue went missing.
As others have stated, Sue does spin it well, but I do love seeing the i's dotted in "Respectfully submitted---"
Jan 22, 2008 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kinsey Millhone could totally can totally kick your ass. Plus she's the only person to ever rock the turtleneck-blazer look.
Oct 21, 2013 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Pros: Grafton's descriptions are beautifully written and immerse the reader in the story. Plot has lots of twists and turns and the style is immensely readable. Grafton has the gift of being able to entertain without sacrificing depth or stylistic sophistication. Characters are varied and interesting. (I was not offended by the "foul language" of any of the characters as some other reviewers have been; if anything, some of the characters could have sworn a little more in the interest of realism.
Jul 05, 2013 Simone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, series
I don’t need to finish reading P is for Peril before I review it (I’m 30% in at this point) because I already know what I’m going to think; I’ll enjoy it.

I like the series, and presumably you do to if you’ve made it up to “P”. I doubt you’re starting the series here, but perhaps you are – I am reading them all out of sequence too – I’ve read: K, S, A, T, C, Q, U, L, N, V, M, R, J, I and now P. I just read a bunch of bad books in a row and I didn’t want to take a chance on another lousy read, so
Sridhar Babu




Dr.Dowan purcell vanishes with out a trace. sixty nine years old. A successful doctor of family medicine in Santa Teresa since 1944 specializing in geriatrics for the last 15 years. Had retired in 1981,now a licensed administrator of a nursing care called Pacific Meadows owned by two businessmen Joel Glaze
Nov 10, 2013 Kathryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kinsey Millhone is still stuck in the 1980s, living in Henry's garage and driving that beat-up Volkswagen POS, poisoning herself with Quarter Pounders with Cheese when she's not letting Rosie do it for her with her own unique brand of ethnic cuisine. The extended family Kinsey acquired a few letters ago isn't around this time to bother her (a good thing, since they got on my nerves), however in P is for Peril we're met via Kinsey with a new montage of characters guaranteed to grate one's nerves. ...more
Jan 20, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I found this to be an anomaly in the series and not a good one. It is two stories in one, the first being the case she works; an elderly man's ex-wife hires Kinsey to find out out what happened to him as he has been missing for several weeks. This investigation is rather dull with the usual dysfunctional family and the one revelation that he was involved with shenanigans at the nursing home he ran. In a completely uncharacteristic way Kinsey suddenly figures out what happened to him.

The second
I am an avid Kinsey Millhone fan, and was anxious to continue with the series after having to take a hiatus due to business travel. However, I found this one very disappointing. The plot was an overly used one with characters that weren't developed or explained thoroughly enough. Throughout the book, I kept waiting to find out why things that had been emphasized were key to the story, but it just never happened.
I thought the subplot with the two brothers had much more potential. Developing that
Grafton, Sue - 16th in series

In her latest adventure, Kinsey Millhone enters the world of noir. A shadowland in which the mysterious disappearance of a prominent physician leads Kinsey into a danger-filled maze of duplicity and double-dealing... It is now nine weeks since Dr Dowan Purcell vanished without trace. The sixty nine-year-old doctor had said goodnight to his colleagues at the Pacific Meadows nursing home, had climbed into his car and driven away - never to be seen
Feb 12, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“P” was published in 2001, two years after “O” in real time but it is still 1986 in “Kinsey time.” Kinsey still relies on her portable Smith Corona typewriter to deliver her client reports, still uses her one-fact-per-notecard method of analyzing her cases, still makes $50 an hour and still has a weakness for McDonald’s QPs with cheese and fries.

When “P” opens, Kinsey is looking for new office space. She takes on a case of a doctor (Dowan Purcell) who went missing two months earlier, in Septembe
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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)

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