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W is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone, #23)
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W is for Wasted

(Kinsey Millhone #23)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  26,335 ratings  ·  3,070 reviews
Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I’d never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue.

The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He’d been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He’d been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identi
Hardcover, 486 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Marian Wood Books/Putnam (first published September 4th 2013)
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Michael She was riding/driving on her spare tire when she went to the garage in her own car & then drove home with her own car after the repaired tire was…moreShe was riding/driving on her spare tire when she went to the garage in her own car & then drove home with her own car after the repaired tire was replaced with the spare. (in the trunk?).(less)

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3.90  · 
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 ·  26,335 ratings  ·  3,070 reviews

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Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kinsey Millhone is a 38 year old private investigator from Santa Teresa .
The year is 1988, way before cell phones and computers (Yikes!). Kinsey is called into the coroner's office in an attempt to identify the body of a homeless man found with her phone number in his pocket. This was about to be a life-changer.

This book delves into Kinsey's background and family. Slow at times, even considered putting it away for a while but kept pushing on. Once you are that far into a series it’s personal!
When Sue Grafton passed away about 3 months ago, and her family said they wouldn't be publishing the final 26th book of the Alphabet series, I was very disappointed. The world lost a fantastic writer, creator and author, not to mention human being and literary supporter. Grafton's books kept me sane for a decade... I immersed myself in the world of Kinsey Millhone and Santa Teresa, California. It's one of the most vividly drawn series of books I have ever found. I hadn't finished the last few bo ...more
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
W is for waste of time! I've read all of Sue Grafton's books and generally really enjoy them. However, this book was too long, tedious and didn't have enough plot or character to hold my interest.

Kinsey Millhone is generally witty, smart and bold. Here she seems a shadow of her former self. It's as though she had a personality transplant.

The plot isn't engaging enough to carry the story and seems trite and forced. When the lawyer stripped out of her wet running clothes I nearly put the book down
Moira Russell
If Grafton keeps on switching out of Kinsey's voice in the first person (which is why I read the books) to her third-rate third-person narration, I'm not going to buy these new anymore (yeah yeah, some threat, what are there, three more to go at this point?) because her non-Kinsey writing is so bad. This sucks, because I've been reading this series since about 1988. It's just really limping toward the finish line.
David Baldacci
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What could be better than curling up with another installment of the award-winning Kinsey Millhone series? Long live Kinsey.
Apr 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
Oh my gaawd! How are these books getting longer when there is so much less story????

This one could have been wrapped up in a bow (and been the worst gift ever) in about 100 pages, but noooo! 500 pages!

We get such amazing things, such as the step-by-step details of Kinsey changing a light bulb. Why did she change the light bulb? It still worked! Did she really need to, let's read all about her reasoning with the pros and cons of this life-changing move.
What steps did it take for her to acquire t
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"W" is for Wonderful, Wise, and Winning, and also for Weeping as it makes me sad to realize Grafton will writing only three more of these. I have been a huge fan since she started with "A is for Alibi" and have loved following Kinsey's development.

I was surprised at the length of this book (almost 500 pages) but I couldn't put it down and the pages just flew by. Grafton is doing a superb job of starting to tie up the loose and unknown ends of Kinsey's life in preparation for the final "Z" book
Deborah Klein
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
I have to imagine that fans of Kinsey Millhone read these ever more tedious books for their love of the character (which I share), and their beautiful sense of place in the fictional North California town of St. Theresa, and whatever additional burg (here, Bakersfield), that Kinsey finds herself forced to visit. Otherwise, the books are problematic. The mysteries are always easily solved; shame on you if you didn't figure this one out early on, but the primary problem is the appalling lack of ed ...more
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not my favorite by this author.

• I felt like I was slogging through this. It took me nearly a week to finish - a rarity for me. I didn't even like the title, nit-picker that I am.

• Characterization was uneven. Anna was so unlikeable she was almost a caricature. Yet Henry, a long-time recurring person was a cardboard silhouette. Kinsey herself was less dimensional than I would expect after having been the focus of 23 books. Really, it feels like Ms. Grafton is herself losing interest.

• I didn't
Claire Grasse
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm usually Grafton's biggest fan but this... this was just a disappointment all around. Kinsey was both too unpredictable (since when has she liked CATS?? She's never had any affection for cats.) and too predictable (how many pieces of rye toast can one detective eat in a novel?). The issue of homelessness felt preachily addressed in my opinion.

I've never been a fan of the swinging from POV to POV -- mainly because it feels as though we're getting info Kinsey isn't and yet **BOOM** she solves t
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it

In this 23rd book in the 'Kinsey Millhone' series, the California private detective investigates two suspicious deaths. The book can be read as a standalone though familiarity with the characters is a plus.


Private Detective Kinsey Millhone is between jobs when she becomes involved with the deaths of two men. Pete Wolinksy, a disreputable P.I. acquaintance is found shot to death in a Santa Teresa park, presumably by a mugger. And R.T. Dace, an alcoholic, ex-convict vagrant who Kinsey never m
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
So here's the thing. I enjoy the Kinsey Millhone books – this is the longest I have ever stuck with a series- but I don't remember the individual books at all. I have the impression that "L" was my favourite, but I couldn't tell you why. When I read one of the books I remember Henry, William, Dietz & the rest of the crew, but a month later I won't be able to tell you any of the names. I certainly don't remember the plots! But these books have always been a good, quick escapist read.

This is n
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This is the author's 23rd installment in the Kinsey Milhone alphabet mystery series, and I sense Weariness setting in. The previous several entries have focused on topics (elder abuse, long missing persons) and the underlying focus here is homelessness. "W is for Weak" could have been the title, as the plot meanders along until the last 20% of the book, when a Wee bit of suspense is introduced. The climactic action between Kinsey and the bad guy was ridiculous: she carried on being attacked IN S ...more
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I read "A is for Alibi" as a young teenager, and I've followed Kinsey steadily ever since. This series is my equivalent of comfort food, taking me back to the days when I first discovered the joys of getting lost in a good mystery novel. Kinsey Millhone, V.I. Warshawski and Carlotta Carlyle were such exciting finds for a teenage girl like I was then.

Now at letter W, Grafton spreads her wings a bit in crafting a more complex plot than she usually does. But the eventual resolution feels more than
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So--I was sitting in the dentist's chair, my mouth full of cotton rolls and sucking tubes, and he started talking about a mystery series he follows (with a well-known male author). He asked me if I read mysteries, and I mumbled the Grafton alphabet series, probably my favorite of several I read. "The alphabet books? Eh. Read a couple, and they're too formulaic for me," he says.

It was too hard to finish that conversation (which wasn't going anywhere) while being drilled and filled, but I would st
Carol Jean
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
It's never a good sign when an author has her characters spend a lot of time reading menus. I lost the thread of the story at Denny's and it took a while to pick it up again. Also, perhaps because Grafton is getting older, there are several mentions of needing to pee or finding ladies' rooms. Cut to the chase, please!

I found the side story confusing and confusingly presented, and frankly most of the main story bored me. Kinsey is developing too many family connections, none of them interesting
Oct 01, 2013 rated it liked it
This latest installment in the Kinsey Millhone series was not up to Grafton's usual standards. As Kinsey slowly moves through the 1980's, the anachronisms in the series become more frequent, which bothers me. I want to volunteer my services to read the galleys and identify these gaffs for removal before they go to press. It's a small thing, I know, but anachronisms are a distraction and annoyance.

More troubling, however, was the social issue of homelessness, central to the theme because two of
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm sure it's not what Sue Grafton had in mind when she picked "wasted" to represent the 23rd in the popular alphabet-based series featuring private investigator Kinsey Milhone, but it sure seemed appropriate to me as I slogged my way through this book. In fact, it wasn't until the 30th chapter or so - 82% of the way through on my Kindle Fire - that things really started to get interesting.

I'm not exactly sure why, except much of what I read in those other chapters just seemed tedious. Page aft
Lisa Vegan
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every reader who’s read A through V, and hurry up because these books are improving!
It was so wonderful to be in Kinsey’s company once again, and Henry’s, the only landlord I’ve ever loved, let alone liked. Henry is one of my very favorite people/characters.

My only 2 quibbles with this book, it’s that I’d have wanted even more of Henry than was provided and the author’s reflections on homelessness, particularly in the last few pages, when she writes a bit of here own philosophy, I think, and I believe misses the mark.

William is a hoot; I love him. Best of all, there is a new ch
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime

This series featuring PI Kinsey Millhone has been going for over thirty years now and dipping into this one immediately felt like slipping on a favourite soft and cosy sweater. All our old friends are there in Santa Teresa, her landlord Henry, his brother William and wife Rosie and one time lovers Dietz and Cheney make cameo appearances. The novel opens with two seemingly unrelated deaths, a shady PI and a homeless man. Kinsey has ties to both and becomes involved in investigating their deaths.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not my favorite book in this series--but then again, there is no such thing as a bad Sue Grafton alphabet series book. This one shared some Kinsey early family background. I found some of the plots outside the realm of believable even for a fiction novel. That being said, I still enjoyed reading it and you will also if you are a Sue Grafton fan.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this after the death of Sue Grafton. Bittersweet but she was an amazing storyteller. We finally get to know something about her father's side of the family. Homeless people, fraudulent medical research, murder, family relationships and so many twists and turns.
May 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is an uncorrected proof copy I won through Goodreads in a ‘First Reads’ giveaway. I noticed very few errors, site for sight the only one that comes to mind.

I admire Grafton for not cranking out the same basic novel over the last 30 years. She took chances in many of the later ones, telling the stories in different formats to keep the series from getting stale. She does that again here.

W Is For Wasted has two main plots – the death of a shady PI Kinsey knows only slightly and the death of a
Mar 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
This was a tedious book to get through. I feel obligated to finish all the Kinsey Millhone books, but this was so slow to get off the ground and when it finally did it was predictable and trite. And enough already about her elderly neighbors and about her jogging, showering and eating icky sandwiches. There was a ridiculous amount of filler detail. Descriptions of everything you can imagine. The descriptions, mind you, have nothing to do with the plot. There is one totally gratuitous scene where ...more
Alex Duncan
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Two dead bodies change the course of somebody's life. I won't tell you who. You'll want to find out for yourself.
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This installment was slower paced and less of a page turner than earlier books in the series, and seemed to have even more description than usual. We do get to know more about Kinsey's family, though.

I like how Grafton has kept this series in the 1980s. I enjoy how Kinsey has to do things the old-fashioned way without a smart phone to do the leg work for her. However, with all the detail we are given--Kinsey looking for a parking space, finding a parking space, entering the building, talking to
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Unlike many of her contemporaries (Elizabeth George and Janet Evanovich, I'm looking at you) Sue Grafton's writing seems to improve over time. Instead of becoming repetitious, her stories and our understanding of Kinsey and her world have become more nuanced and deeper. I know it's stupid because she's a fictional character, but after 20+ books written in the first person, I feel like I know Kinsey and I like her - she's almost real to me.

So, needless to say I could not wait to get my hands on t
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grafton-sue
There were still the digressions by another character, but it didn't seem like as many as in the prior book - or else they were more entertaining. The incidental characters were very interesting, even the ones who weren't likeable.
Carla Remy
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This felt dense, detailed and sprawling. But it was actually so good, and the mystery ends satisfyingly.
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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)
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