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Three Complete Novels: A is for Alibi / B is for Burglar / C is for Corpse (Kinsey Millhone #1-3 omnibus)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,055 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
A New York Times bestselling author appears for the first time ever in an omnibus edition! Old fans and new friends will welcome this collection of Sue Grafton's first three alphabet crime novels: A Is for Alibi, B Is for Burglar, and C is for Corpse. The award-winning mysteries all feature former cop turned detective, Kinsey Milhone, one of the most loved heroines of mod ...more
Hardcover, 768 pages
Published September 14th 1999 by Wings (first published November 15th 1989)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 16, 2012 Joyce rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A little depression recently sent me back to the 80's and to a few mysteries I read at that time. I liked the first three Kinsey Millhone novels better when I originally read them but they hold up fairly well. They stories are compact, the plots logical and the characters are just quirky enough to be real. Although Grafton really hits her stride in the next few novels (up until L),these three give us an idea of the series potential. They're not the strongest in the series but they're far better ...more
Brenda Hancock
Although I actually read the books first, we even bought 2 sets of these books on tape since the first set had a disk missing. We listen as we travel and Don really likes these, too. Although more serious than the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, if you like a good mystery with a strong female character, you will like these as well.
Tulay Leonhardt

Months ago bought this book, friend recommended. Read all three books, not my kind of mystery or thriller. Kinsey as a PI does find who did what and why, but author's long, long description of characters hair, makeup, clothing and furnishings gets boring. Too many unnecessary details makes the book boring.
Feb 13, 2014 Sorento62 rated it it was amazing
I think the first few alphabet Kinsey Millhone mysteries were the best. Gripping, action packed, just fun to read. I remember C is for Corpse being almost cinematic -- I could visualize it as a movie.

I've read the whole series up through V at this point. The series as a whole is good, but not great.
Sep 26, 2013 Barb rated it liked it
I got this one at our library's used book sale this year, and decided to give it a go. Even though it says "three complete novels," it just didn't look too long or involved. I DO judge a book by its cover. I like light mysteries, as well.

I read it, and I felt like all three of the mysteries seemed like abridged stories. I didn't see anywhere on the cover where it said "abridged," but it still felt that way to me. I didn't feel like any of the characters were fully developed, and when the books e
Fay Risner
Jul 10, 2015 Fay Risner rated it it was amazing
The three stories were good mysteries. Kinsey Millhone is a humorous private investigator that figures out the mystery she is hired to solve. Along the way, she introduced me to many other characters that stick in my head. A good read.
Suzanne Macartney
Thought this was the perfect travel-size book so picked it up. "A" was a straight-up mystery, no gore nor serial killers in sight. Refreshing. Though first struck me as a mite Angela Lansbury-esque. Set in the 1980s before intrepid female investigators were common and women commonly explain their marial status with apology. Untimely as the setting seemed I grew to appreciate detective Kinsey Millhone. So I read the next book and then "E" and went back for "C" and so on. Something pleasantly old- ...more
Jul 09, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it
A good mystery series Kinsey is the main chacather she is a pi a hard core get to the bottom type of person the story are full of action I like the series
Oct 26, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
I read this series FOREVER ago because my mom read them. It is a good detective series, and as I recall, the main character (who is a woman) is clever and tough. I'm considering rereading them. I think I only got to K or somewhere around there.

UPDATE: Since I moved to Chicago, I reread the series. I thought it got a little ho-hum around N, but seemed to pick up again around R if I remember right. Anyway, they are fun to read and it's impossible not to like the main character. She is so sarcasti
Feb 21, 2016 Kendall rated it really liked it
Picked this up at the high school garage sale!
Aug 30, 2014 Amanda rated it it was ok
I wanted to like it, but I just didn't get drawn in. I'm going to try further down the alphabet.
Jul 08, 2015 M rated it liked it
I don't alway enjoy an abridged book but in this case, listening to these abridged stories made me want to go check out the full stories and I am hooked on Kinsey now.
Nov 28, 2014 Debi rated it liked it
Read all of Sue Grafton's books........
Elizabeth Craft
Apr 10, 2014 Elizabeth Craft rated it really liked it
Second time through the series...
Santa Al
Mar 25, 2016 Santa Al rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Triple book
Jan 12, 2012 Tricia rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I am struggling a bit I must admit...A is for Alibi, I just didn't feel any emotion for the characters, B is for Burglar, feeling a little more in tune with Kinsey...more when I have finished, I may yet do this set of stories an injustice if I speak too soon!

Struggled with B is for Burglary, gave up...not a good sign from a prolific and varied reader, but I could not for the life of me remember who characters were, they would re-appear and I would be at a loss, simply did not stick for me.
Oct 28, 2011 K1d2 rated it liked it
Finished reading this quite a while ago. Just did not realize I never had marked it as finished. Good intro into the series. Having read some of the later books, I know the author seems to hits her stride and you get a fuller picture of the recurring characters. If you are looking for deep, thought-provoking stuff, this isn't it. But if, like me, you simply want to get into a book series with believable characters and approachable writing and escape from the world for a while, this will do it.
Dec 04, 2008 Gaynelle rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: The casual mystery buff.
Recommended to Gaynelle by: self
I've finished reading A is for Alibi and am nearly finished with B. I've found these books to be too cliche and insulting to women. The message I got from Ms. Grafton about the protagonist is that free-thinking women are a little crazy and this results in their being unlovable by men and all of it can be traced to the absence of strong parental figures. Maybe I'm being too cynical but I don't think I'll read the "C" in the series.
Aug 22, 2009 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I enjoyed these stories a bit more than I thought I would. Between these quick little mystery bites, and Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch books, I may turn out to be a fan of mysteries, after all.
I just like these because Kinsey isn't angsty, and she isn't a bad-ass. She seems, more or less, like women I actually know.
Apr 01, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
My sister in law turned me on to this series and I have loved them all.
Deborah Gore
Jan 15, 2009 Deborah Gore rated it really liked it
This series, The Alphabet Murders, is fun and light-hearted. The same main character is carried thru each of the books. I really enjoyed listening to these books in the car--they were easy to follow and remember even if you missed a while getting back to them.
Jan 11, 2008 Megan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
The three best Kinsey novels Sue has written! C is my personal fave, possessing all of the criteria for a great mystery read: a down to earth heroine, solid plot and a "never saw it coming" ending. I couldn't put any of these down the moment I picked them up.
Feb 25, 2010 Catherine rated it liked it
Very fun, hard to put down, and time consuming. Enjoyed every minute. Looking for to reading the rest of the alphabet. I already had read this one, but its been years and I was still a little surprised by the endings - one small benefit of a really bad memory!
Jul 27, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing
I bought this when I heard Grafton speak at USC about 2006. Awesome, fun, down to earth speaker! I was able to replace the 1st 3 paperbacks with this one, which she signed! I learned about California from Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries before we moved here!
Feb 11, 2009 Mom rated it liked it
This series if very readable. I wait for each new one...for a long time. It is not compelling and I do not put a hold on the book at the library as soon as it is published; but I don't miss any either. Mystery fans will enjoy Kinsey and her landlord.
Dec 27, 2007 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Series of books that are good
I really liked these books and have read all of them up to "S" and "T" but they are in my 2 read books. After reading Stephanie Plum, these seem quite calm. I do like the story lines and the people in them but they are not Janet Evanovich funny.
Jul 06, 2012 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wife and I listened to these (on CD) during a two day trip for those times we could not find an NPR station. It was entertaining, and that can be a high mark when you need something creative while pushing across miles of concrete slab.
Jan 22, 2008 Bexxx rated it really liked it
I didn't realize Sue Grafton was a Santa Barbara, CA author. Since I live here, it's fun to read the descriptions of fictional "Santa Teresa" and recognize them as real areas in SB. Of course she's also a fantastic mystery author.
Apr 12, 2008 Katie rated it really liked it
I've read the series and have liked all of the books. They are easy to read and somewhat predictable, but if you love a mystery-thriller then these are for you. I would suggest to read them in order, but you do have to.
Sep 03, 2008 Anita rated it really liked it
I have read all the books in this series Sue Grafton has writen so far. And although kinsey finds herself in similar situations in each book, I can't get enough of Kinseys dry, sarcastic, idependence. ?
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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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