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D Is For Deadbeat (Kinsey Millhone #4)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  26,983 Ratings  ·  667 Reviews
The client came to Kinsey Millhone with an easy job -- just deliver $25,000 to a fifteen-year-old kid. A little odd, and a little too easy, but Kinsey took Alvin Limardo's retainer check anyway. It turned out to be as phony as he was. In real life, his name was John Daggett, a chronic drunk with a record as long as your arm and a reputation for sleazy deals. But he wasn't ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 239 pages
Published June 1st 1988 by Bantam Books (first published January 1st 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 30, 2009 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the series
Sue Grafton's novels are small and yummy, like a mental Hershey's kiss. I love the way she sets up multiple potential "solutions" to her mysteries, so that you can rarely ever figure them out ahead of time. Because what a bummer that is.

The best thing about this series is Kinsey Milhone. She's tough without being manly, feisty without being mean. This woman loves her independence and thinks that being single is almost as wonderful as being rich. I keep coming back just to see what she'll eat nex
Aug 20, 2009 Ray rated it really liked it
These are like candy to me. Short, sweet, immensely satisfying. I won't claim that Grafton reaches new literary heights but they are largely well written and Kinsey is just a great character.

For what it is worth, I thought the hook here was weak. Not really sure why Kinsey would feel so beholden to a dead ex-offender to deliver a check, but whatevs.
Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕

Anyone who doesn't think this series is in decline should reread one of Grafton's older titles after the verbose W is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone, #23) by Sue Grafton

"D" is one of Grafton's best & features far tighter writing & a more interesting storyline. Even though this was a reread for me, I couldn't put it down!

Have knocked half a * off the rating for both the unlikely original premise & resolution. I believe the book's epilogue shows that Grafton knew the solution was weak but couldn't make it more persuasive.
15/1 - Finally, a mystery that doesn't end with Kinsey being seriously injured by the bad guy. I don't know how she could physically survive the injuries she sustained in B is for Burglar (injuries which required some time in hospital and weeks/months of physical therapy), and still be recovering when she is seriously injured again at the end of C is for Corpse. It kind of reminds me of the indestructibility of Bruce Willis in Die Hard and how impossible it would really be for either of them to ...more
Feb 24, 2016 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fast, entertaining read. Kept me engaged until the last page.
Oct 21, 2011 Aymee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really do enjoy these books. Kinsey is hard-as-nails when she needs to be and yet funny and warm, too. They mysteries are interesting and the characters odd.

Better review now that I've had time:

I accidentally stumbled across R is for Ricochet several years ago while perusing the local library. Little did I know that that one book would open up a world of mystery for me. I have since gone back to the beginning and started the series in the order it was meant to be read. However, if you’re im
Jul 03, 2012 Tricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite enthusiastic recommendations from some highly discerning reader friends, I'd never picked up a Sue Grafton novel before this one. I started with "D" rather than "A" because that was the copy I found available at my local second-hand bookshop just before I left on a long plane trip. It's a yellowed, pulpy paperback I planned to pitch after I finished it.
Who knew? In detective Kinsey Millhone, Grafton creates a character who sounds like a stereotype--hard-boiled outside, vulnerable inside-
Apr 28, 2013 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-noir
I was curious. It's a pretty decent page turner I guess, for what it is. I could write lots about it: it's curious how much detail it goes into, like a PI manual of sorts; no real character development but sexual tension; first person narrative so you can live these exciting scenes through her. Thing is, for me that jars terribly and her protagonist is definitely meant to appeal to a certain section of the population. Suburban. White. Comfortable. Ready for a little feminine emancipation but not ...more
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)

This month my plan is to read as much Mysteries as I can leading up to Halloween so of course I had to go back to one of my most favorite Mysteries series, the Kinsey Millhone series (aka the Alphabet Mysteries series).

I always say this but if you aren’t reading these books, then you’re missing out on an amazing heroine and some great crime novels. When I read about Kinsey Millhone, I feel like I’m reading about a part of myself. She has that drive similar to me where when she’s got her mind d
D IS FOR DEADBEAT is an odd story - Kinsey is hired to give $ 25,000 to a fifteen-year-old. Should be simple, right? Not with Sue Grafton writing the book!! When Kinsey's retainer check bounces things really start to get interesting!! Next Kinsey finds the deadbeat who wrote the check, he was dead. Now she has to find out who killed him in order to get paid!

This is the fourth Sue Grafton book in this series but the first in the series that left me wanting more from the book. Although it kept a f
Charlotte Smith
Jan 15, 2017 Charlotte Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After c for corpse I was thinking of giving up on this series but this one actually had me gripped from the start and actually wanted to read this to the end to see what happens
Jan 23, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
WOW, what an ending. Bigger surprise than Alibi.
In Corpse, the client had more money than he knew what to do with. In this one, well, it's trailer time. Kinsey says to the witness/suspect, "It's just $8,000" to which the reply is made, "Do you have $8,000?"
The best part of the book is when Kinsey narrates why she will miss her gun. She goes into being raised by her aunt, who wholeheartedly believed that women should always be self-sufficient and never dependent on anyone. She was an eccentric wo
Apoorv  Moghe
D is for Deadbeat | Sue Grafton | 21Jan2016
Kinsey Millhone #4

Published/Pages : 1987 | 320 pages
Location : Santa Teresa (California), Los Angeles (California)
Time Frame/Season : 1980s | Fall-Winter
Genre : Mystery, Contemporary, Crime-Thriller

Characters : Kinsey Millhone, John Daggett, Tony Gahan, Lovella Daggett, Billy Polo, Coral Polo, Ramona Westfall

Rating Analysis

Premise : 6/10
Introduction : 7/10
Number of Characters : 6/10
Character Development : 7/10
Backup hist
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I am enjoying reading this series. They are kind of like Nancy Drew books for adults to me. There is always a new mystery to be solved, the main sleuth is a female and the secondary cast of characters is familiar if you've read more than one of her books.

In this story, Kinsey is a little more distracted and vulnerable. Her sixth sense tells her that she shouldn't believe or accept this new client, but she does so anyway. I did not see the twist or anticipate the ending to this one. On to "E." I
Patrick Laughy
Jun 11, 2015 Patrick Laughy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now that I am going back to read the few I missed, I've come to the conclusion the the earlier books in the alphabet series were among the best Sue wrote. Almost finished the whole series now and I have yet to regret starting a new one. Kudos are in order. I've said it before and I say it again. This girl can write.
Jun 21, 2015 Joi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me quite a while to get into this book....but once I did it had me hooked. My guess for "who did it" was completely wrong and I like that. I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to read more of this series.
Apr 28, 2013 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, sue-grafton
I was glad to get this off my reading list. I am not sure if I will continue on with this series. It feels like she writes, and wreites, and writes, and just doesn't seem to know how to end the story,.
Mar 12, 2010 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
I did not enjoy this one very much. The ending was really tragic and the book seemed to drag along. Also while every human life is valuable it was hard to be upset when the victim met his end. So far my least favorite in the Kinsey series.
Dec 05, 2012 Kit rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recentlyread
D is for Dud. Yes, that was too easy. But so are a lot of elements of this novel, including the cartoonishness of the characters and the smug judgments of the narrator Millhone.
Feb 26, 2012 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kinsey Millhone is back and better than ever in D is for Deadbeat. She comes across a suspiciously easy case: deliver a cashier's check to a young teenage boy. Against her better judgement, Kinsey agrees to take on the case. But she soon finds that her new case isn't as it seems as the man who hired her winds up dead. And everyone that knows him has reasons for wanting him dead. Kinsey can't seem to let the case go, even if it means that danger lurks around every corner.

D is for Deadbeat is anot
Jan 24, 2012 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow this story’s ending was not as satisfying for me as the others have been. I won’t give it away, however. But that’s the reason for my lower rating. I still love Kinsey and would love to meet her. Kinsey is still 32, so this is the same fictional year Grafton began in 1982 and “D” was published in 1987. But by the end it’s nearly Christmas. Unless the case in “E” begins immediately, I’d say Kinsey is moving on to a new year. I’m still engrossed in the story lines and I’ll continue with “E ...more
Lara Tambellini
This wasn't one of my favorites, but it was still pretty good, even though it was hard to keep the characters straight at times.

He called himself Alvin Limardo, and the job he had for Kinsey was cut-and-dried: locate a kid who'd done him a favor and pass on a check for $25,000. It was only later, after he'd stiffed her for her retainer, that Kinsey found out his name was Daggett. John Daggett. Ex-con. Inveterate liar. Chronic drunk. And dead. The cops called it an accident--death by drowning. K
Sep 01, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
D is for Deadbeat is the fourth in Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series of mysteries. I really like the character of Kinsey and like getting to know her better as this series continues.
This story seems to bog down a bit throughout the book. Even Kinsey, toward the end of the book, makes an observation that she was tired of waiting on this case to move again. But, as readers, we do get to know a bit more about Kinsey's background while she wrestles with how to proceed with her case.
When Kinsey
Dec 31, 2010 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So Kinsey Millhone is hired by a guy to deliver a $25K check to a fifteen-year-old boy. Before she can get the delivery made -- or track down the guy who hired her, who wrote a bad check -- the guy is dead. His daughter employs her to find out why, even though no one seems to like this guy at all -- except, perhaps, Kinsey. This could easily have been called The Case of the Blondes, as everyone around her conveniently fits the description of the woman who seems to be involved in the man's death. ...more
Rishi Prakash
I came upon the book accidentally at Delhi book fare. The name looked interesting so i picked it up!

D is for Deadbeat is the fourth in author Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series — by all accounts it’s a popular series as she has already got 24 books published in the order of alphabets, and I can understand why.

If you’re looking for a well-crafted Whodunit, this is your next read. The mystery is solid, the twists unexpected and nicely done keeping you glued till end.

The story stays firmly withi
Another really far-fetched ending. I'm starting to remember why I stopped reading this series at 'Evidence' in the first place, years ago...nonetheless, I'm going to give my re-reading-and-then-continuing-on-with-the-alphabet project another few books before I give up, because after all they ARE enjoyable page-turners that you blaze through in a day or two.

Also: this was supposed to be set in 1982 (writing in 1987 or so)--would Kinsey/anyone *really* have mentioned worries about getting AIDS as
May 30, 2016 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you eat out, and you want a gourmet experience. Sometimes you eat in, and you want a clean healthy meal. And sometimes you're in a hurry, hungry, and just want to shovel in a Value Meal #1.

D is for Deadbeat lacks nutrition, isn't gourmet, know exactly what it's going to taste like. And it's easy to shovel in. Perfect for a plane ride across the country, in a middle seat, next to big fidgety people.

What's it about? Oh who cares...Kinsey gets hired to look into something th
Jan 04, 2014 Alondra rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Shelves: books-i-own
3.5 Stars

Good grief, that was sad all the way around. Good story, and I didn't figure the killer out until almost the end. Kinsey is a smart-ass, which I usually love; but she didn't have enough sympathy for the victims of Daggett. If a drunk takes out your family/child/friend; how much do you really care if he gets killed or meets an unfortunate accident? Even when you have spiritual faith, the human side of you comes into play and there is that part that is dead and does not care. She didn't s
Randee Baty
Mar 24, 2014 Randee Baty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, mystery-pi
Again, Sue Grafton has written a completely different type book from the 3 that precede it in the series. She always manages to come up with something new for Kinsey Millhone. The only flaw I find in the books is that Kinsey, at times, seems so patronizing about the normal things that regular people do in their day-to-day lives. I get that she's independent with no family ties and feels no need to do the socially acceptable things but she really seems to look down on those who do have family tie ...more
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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 25 books)
  • A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone, #1)
  • B is for Burglar  (Kinsey Millhone, #2)
  • C is for Corpse  (Kinsey Millhone, #3)
  • 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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“You never know which people will affect your life.” 21 likes
“A woman should never, never, never be financially dependent to anyone, especially a man, because the minute you were dependent, you could be abused.” 18 likes
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