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

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  891 ratings  ·  57 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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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
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.
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
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
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
I wanted to like it, but I just didn't get drawn in. I'm going to try further down the alphabet.
Read all of Sue Grafton's books........
Elizabeth Craft
Second time through the series...
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.
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 2 of 5 stars
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.
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.
My sister in law turned me on to this series and I have loved them all.
Deborah Gore
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.
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.
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!
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!
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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.
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.
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.
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. ?
Casey Ols
I finished A is for Alibi. I thought that it was ok. It was a quick read and I was able to follow the story pretty easy. I am going to read a different book before I read the other books.
I enjoy all of the Kinsey Millhone books. I'm on J at this time. They are witty and fun and funny at times. Sort of a lighthearted read but highly entertaining. Perfect for what they are.
She is like a female version of James Rockford of the "Rockford Files" TV show. I'll be reading them all in order. I liked her old landlord Mr. Pitt.
Lynda Kelly
My first introduction to the Sue Grafton A-Z series and I loved it !! She'd onto S ot T now, I believe, so I've a LOT of catching up to do now !!
Mary Ann
These were great mysteries, fast moving, lots of details, kept me guessing right to the end. Will have to check out the rest of the alphabet.
Another series in the female private eye genre, but slightly less hardboiled than VI Warshawsky. Enjoyable stories and a decent lead character
Michelle Love-Day
Sep 02, 2010 Michelle Love-Day marked it as to-read
A friend of mine recommended this series. I love good mysteries!! And they represent every letter of the alphabet. Should be interesting.
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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)
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)

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