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S is for Silence

(Kinsey Millhone #19)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  22,034 ratings  ·  1,043 reviews
Just after Independence Day in July 1953 Violet Sullivan, a local good time girl living in Serena Station Southern California, drives off in her brand new Chevy and is never seen again. Left behind is her young daughter, Daisy, and Violet's impetuous husband, Foley, who had been persuaded to buy his errant wife the car only days before . . .

Now, thirty-five years later, Da
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2005)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,034 ratings  ·  1,043 reviews

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Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to S is for Silence, the 19th book in the "Kinsey Millhone" mystery series, written in 2005 by Sue Grafton. This is a top-notch installment in the series, proving why Grafton is so good at inventing characters who stick with you and never get boring. Kinsey takes on another case that she believes will be simple, against her better judgment. She hates delving into crimes that are over 30 years old, but she needs the money. And as she slowly weeds her way thru the
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kinsey works the case of a missing woman. The woman has been missing for over 30 years, and her daughter hires to Kinsey to finally discover what happened to her mother. It's been many years, but Kinsey finds many people to question about the missing woman and the night she disappeared.

The 19th book in the Kinsey Millhone series. A missing person case about a woman who had a reputation around town, and nobody was surprised when she disappeared. It was never solved if she went on her own, or if
Apr 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: whodunit
As posted in []:

Ever since *A is for Alibi*, I've been hooked to the Kinsey Millhone series. Therefore, Sue Grafton became one of my favorite authors. Throughout the series, some were great and some were not so great. Nonetheless, I was extremely excited to get the paperback edition of *S is for Silence*. I read this book every opportunity I could take advantage of.

It's 1987. Kinsey has been hired by Daisy Sullivan to find out whatever happened to her mother, Violet, who di
In this the 19th in the Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Series by Sue Grafton, Kinsey is asked to investigate a cold case. What happened to Wife, Mother & town floozy Violet Sullivan, who disappeared 35 years ago? Most people still around from then, believe one of two scenarios. She left town with one of her many male “friends” or she was murdered by her abusive drunk husband Foley.
Not as much Kinsey in this book, as instead of being completely from her point of view, S jumps back & forth betwe
May 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
By far and away my least favourite of the Kinsey Millhone books. (All right, to be honest, I have only the vaguest of memories of all except the last. Still, I can't believe that I'd have read all those other books if they'd been like this one.) This had problems in several ways, and probably just one of them would have been enough to make me dislike the book, but combined it was pretty terrible. Digital audio loan from the library, thankfully, and at first I kept reading because I thought the p ...more
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is different. Grafton employs a couple of strategies that are often used in mysteries today, the concept of the protagonist taking on a "cold case" (which Kinsey has done before) and the use of flashbacks...and the type of flashback that has a new chapter simply taking place in the past, making the cold case characters come alive as Kinsey investigates the in "the future". Grafton's future, the timeframe where she sets Kinsey, is 1987, and the disappearance she is tracking occurred in ...more
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I suspected everyone.
E.M. Lynley
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
2.5 but I'll round up to three stars.

It's been a few years since I read one of Grafton's books. I read R is for Ricochet when it came out, then nothing till last week.

I liked all the flashbacks, even though it felt a bit like whiplash moving between POV characters. But once I got used to it, I decided it was nicely done. I think Grafton managed to capture a lot of interesting characters and keep them fairly well defined. My favorite was Kathy, who starts off as a rich, selfish meddling teen and
This was exactly what I was in the mood for! I have always enjoyed this series and it's so great that Grafton is still keeping me so entertained. This one really checked all my boxes. I loved all the flashbacks and that the mystery involved the town tramp. It was also great that I thought for sure I had it figured out and then I was wrong. What!?! HeeHee! I just loved this one and after 19 books, that's really saying something.

I both liked and didn’t like this story. I like the cold case aspect and I really liked watching how the disappearance of Violet affected each character over time. Sue Grafton did an excellent job of telling the past through the eyes of so many characters that it gave the reader a great deal of suspects who each had their own reasons for being glad Violet disappeared. What I didn’t like was that Violet was not a likable person and I found myself wondering why her daughter cared so much. Also thi ...more
Randee Baty
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, mystery-pi
Fans of Sue Grafton will say that she never writes the same book twice and I agree with this but in S is Silence she definitely harkens back to a couple of her previous stories. The story immediately reminded me of Q is for Quarry and N is for Noose. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book. I did. But for the first time I felt she was recycling ideas.

Kinsey is hired to find out what happened to Violet Sullivan 30-some years ago. She disappeared without a trace leaving a 7 year old daught
Jo Ann Sharkey
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who loves mysteries and Sue Grafton
Shelves: favorites
I love Sue Grafton! I bought this book a few weeks ago and have been saving it as my plane read for my trip to Scotland. Grafton never disappoints. The style of this book was different from her typical writing in that Grafton uses flashback techniques to tell her story. While many writers might reveal too much or give us clues to enable the reader to figure out "who did it," Grafton keeps us hanging with just enough information. I was in suspense until the very last chapter.

I will say that I mi
Jun 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: mystery-thriller
If Grafton had been on the next letter, she could have called it T is for Trashy. I wanted a lighter, familiar read, what I got was a trashy, predictable read. You'd think by this point in the alphabet Grafton would have gotten the hang of character development. Not one character shows growth or redemption. Around page 200 I was ready to quit, I should have.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, mystery
4 Stars (Review to Follow)

...I missed Kinsey
Skye Skye
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I always read Sue Grafton's novel for sheer enjoyment; Kinsey Millhone is a breezy, neat and avant-garde protagonist whose tactics make me smile. However, S is for Silence, is a departure from the norm, and my thoughts are ambivalent.

The plot surrounds a long-ago disappearance, and Kinsey is called in to investigate. At the onset of the novel, flash backs to the early '50s are employed, and for the most part, Grafton does this easily using grace and accuracy. However, in many cases, too much tim
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: w
kinsey strikes (view spoiler) again
i'm feeling stingy today, however, with grafton changing up her style it gets an additional star
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a hoot...when the murderer was revealed ....geesh...I had to think about who that person was!!! Perhaps a bit too much wine!! LOL Another good read!!
Mindy Tysinger
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I kind of see saw on this series. I definitely like some more than others. I think though this might be my favorite so far. It was different in style than her other books. Kinsey is hired by the daughter of a woman who disappeared on July 4th, 1953. The story jumps back and forth between the days before her disappearance and present day where Kinsey is interviewing all those involved. It really made for an interesting read.
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kindle, mystery
I enjoyed S is for Silence but I hope Kinsey doesn’t do another cold case at least for a while. I liked how the story went back and forth between the present and the past when Violet was alive from different characters points of view. I figured out who did it. Twice. And when I got to the end, I found out who really did it.
Pris robichaud
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it

"S" Is For Super, 6 Jan 2006

"When Liza Mellincamp thinks about the last time she saw Violet Sullivan, what comes most to mind is the color of Violet's Japanese silk kimono, a shade of blue that Liza later learned was called "cerulean" a word that wasn't even in her vocabulary when she was fourteen years old."
Kinsey Millhorne is asked to help solve a thirty-four year old mystery. "What happened to Violet? She just disappeared." by her daughter, Daisy. Daisy has been unable to get past this loss
Benjamin Thomas
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
The 19th book in the Kinsey Millhone series proved once again that the author is not content to simply repeat the formula of earlier novels and rest on her laurels. This time, Kinsey is hired to solve a cold case of a missing person named Violet Sullivan who disappeared 34 years previously. Most people assume Violet is dead but Violet’s daughter holds out hope that she simply ran away from her abusive husband and so hires Kinsey to close the loop.

The author uses quite a few flash back chapters,
aPriL does feral sometimes
It is 1987, and PI Kinsey Millhone arrives in Serena Station prepared to uncover old secrets and disturb honest citizens. Her new client, Daisy Sullivan, has decided the disappearance of her mother, the neighborhood sexpot, in 1953, and the lingering suspicion that her father, Foley, an alcoholic, had something to do with the disappearance, has become an unbearable taint on her life that she has been unable to move past.

Violet Sullivan had her way with every important businessman in the little
If the weather is cold and the wind is howling outside, why not settle down with a cup of hot chocolate and Sue Grafton's S is for Silence, another clever contribution to the Kinsey Millhone series. This pleasant little romp has Kinsey investigating the 1953 disappearance of a woman, Violet Sullivan, local legend and "town harlot" who was loved by few and despised by many. Everyone in town, it seems, has had some sort of involvement with Violet........and has their tale to tell.

The story is set
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective, mystery-us
I think S is for Silence by Sue Grafton was a bit of a return to form for Grafton. While I enjoyed the previous three books; P, Q and R, I just thought they were ok. S was so much better.
The story is a cold case. Kinsey is hired by Daisy Sullivan to find her mother, Violet, who disappeared when Daisy was a child, 35 years previously. Kinsey doesn't want to take the case as she feels it's a waste of her time and Daisy's money. But Daisy is persuasive and gets Kinsey to accept the job for 5 days.
James Sajo
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
I do like Sue Grafton's style. This particular book had a cast of thoroughly unlikable characters, thus a frighteningly realistic story.
She adds plenty of small detail -- not so much in the description of trees and smells and that kind of thing so many authors (me included) try to incorporate -- but in processes such as digging very large holes with a bulldozer (something I guess most of us have never done). These sidebars of detail don't really add to the story, but are evidence of her terrific
Sep 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This one was different right from the start. This book flipped from first person accounts of the past to Kinsey’s current investigation of those events. This is one of my favorite books in the series. Really well done and a nice change of pace to keep the series fresh.
Una Tiers
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, it packed with lies, unfairness and greed. This was a re-read and Kinsey's getting on my nerves.
Paula Dembeck
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it
In this episode of Grafton’s Alphabet Series, private investigator Kinsey Millhone takes on another cold case. This time she is hired by Daisy Sullivan whose mother went missing thirty four years ago. Daisy wants to know what happened to her and more importantly wants to confirm that her mother did not reject or abandon her. Once again, Kinsey is reticent to take on an assignment from the distant past, not confident she can dig up anything new on a case this old. But her dogged search for the tr ...more
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good who-dunnit. This series never ceases to entertain. I listened to it, and did find it a little difficult to keep track of all of the characters. The plot was interesting, and she switched between the then current time (1987) and the time of the murder (1953) to recreate the circumstances of the murder.
Aug 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017
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Play Book Tag: S is for Silence by Sue Grafton 3.25 stars 5 12 Dec 29, 2018 09:44AM  
Play Book Tag: S is for Silence by Sue Grafton 3 stars 4 15 May 11, 2017 04:38PM  
The Women's Myste...: S is for Silence 1 13 Aug 09, 2013 09:32PM  
S for Silence 1 32 Sep 26, 2008 02:25PM  
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Sue Grafton was a #1 New York Times bestselling author. She is best known for her “alphabet series” featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. Prior to success with this series, she wrote screenplays for television movies. Her earlier novels include Keziah Dane (1967) and The Lolly-Madonna War (1969), both out of print. In the book Kinsey and ...more

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)
  • 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)
“He might be a man without character, but she was a woman without courage. Of the two, which was worse?” 12 likes
“She was the type who went to bars intent on conversation, while he was the type who went in hopes of being left alone.” 2 likes
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