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O is for Outlaw (Kinsey Millhone #15)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  20,418 Ratings  ·  555 Reviews
Through fourteen books, fans have been fed short rations when it comes to Kinsey Millhone's past: a morsel here, a dollop there. We know of the aunt who raised her, the second husband who left her, the long-lost family up the California coast. But husband number one remained a blip on the screen until now.

The call comes on a Monday morning from a guy who scavenges defaulte
Paperback, 354 pages
Published January 2nd 2001 by Ballantine Books (first published 1999)
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Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars for O is for Outlaw, the 15th book in the "Kinsey Millhone" mystery series, written in 1999 by Sue Grafton. What an amazing treat for longtime fans of this series with the "O" alphabet book. We've known Kinsey for a long time, but very little about her life before the books began. We met the ex-husband(s), heard a snippet here and there, but we never actually got a lot of details about this wonderful heroine. Well now we do... and more than we'd hoped. When she bu
Feb 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Finished the book on audio. I don't like the new reader. She makes Kinsey sound older. She sounds like Kinsey's name should be Judy. I know that IS the reader's real name. But her voice ages her and puts her in the era when a quirky funky name like Kinsey just did not happen.
Henry sounds like a much older and more frail sounding man. Not someone that Kinsey found as an much older bur still very attractive man. Rosie sounds like a curly haired busy body flake, not the tall dark and brooding mada
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, sue-grafton, 2002
I realized as I was reading this book that it was more out of a commitment to finish the alphabet with Sue Grafton than out of a love for the character. I feel like the series has been up and down in terms of my interest. The books O, P and Q are where my interest really flagged off. If you are going to start the series - do not read O,P or Q first. Cuz you won't pick up another one.

In this book Kinsey delves into her past and more is revealed about her than in any other book. Normally that has
Petula Darling
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: series
After reading 15 books in this series I can't help but marvel at what a great job Kinsey does at keeping the peace in California, since she's clearly the only person who is capable of solving a crime or putting away criminals.
I'm more than happy to let Kinsey step in for the police when it can be justified, as it makes for an interesting story. I hate it, however, when Sue Grafton has the police involved in a story only to have them bungle everything ridiculously. It's one thing to have them una
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
A "storage space scavenger" calls Kinsey Millhone saying that he has items that once belonged to her. A rented storage space has fallen into arrears, and he has bought the contents. The storage space had been rented by Mickey Magruder, Kinsey's first ex-husband.

Kinsey buys a box of items that were originally hers. In it, she finds a letter addressed to her that reached Mickey after she had left. The letter is from a woman named Dixie Hightower, a barmaid. From it, Kinsey learns that Mickey had h
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, mystery
4 Stars (updated after much thought - 5/1/16)

This was a good story, with a lot of missing pieces to the puzzle. Why was her ex-husband shot?? AND...what in the heck does that have to do with Kinsey, 15 years after they were divorced?? She hasn't even seen him in that time.

There are many clues as to what is going on, but for the life of me; I could not figure it out until the very end. Sometimes, people are just crazy. It was the least likely place for me to turn. Oh well, good story nonetheless
Nancy Moore
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Awesome read! Through 14 books in the series, we never found out anything about Kinsey's first husband, Mickey Magruder. In this 15th book in the series, Kinsey has heard nothing from Mickey and hasn't even thought about him in years. Suddenly her past comes to haunt her when she receives a visit from police informing her that Mickey has been shot and is fighting for his life and she may be a suspect! We go on a suspense-filled journey with Kinsey to find out who shot Mickey.
mitchell k dwyer
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, reviewed
This far into the series, the best thing about a Kinsey Milhone book is what it adds to a reader's understanding of (and liking for) the main character. Author Sue Grafton knows this, and she seems to be pacing herself through the remainder of the alphabet with developments in Kinsey's love life, revelations about her past, and coming to terms with abandonment issues in the face of new relationships with family members she's only known about for a short time.

In N is for Noose, Grafton sweeps Kin
Mar 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: increadibly tollerant mouth breethers
'O', the things one does while waiting for a car inspection... I would have rather talked to the fat man sitting next to me. Alas, he was on his cell phone for hours, (must have a sweet battery,) so I was left choosing between year old copies of 'Better Homes and Gardens' and this P.O.S. I regret my choice. Did I have to know that when the protagonist backed from a parking space, she first turned the key then put the car in reverse? Really? Every fucking time? How 'bout just once she forgets to ...more
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've started reading the alphabet series from this one, and I loved it. It had the twists, the thrill. However, I didn't like Kinsey much. I mean she breaks into people's houses to find evidence, I know it's for the investigation, but she admitted that she enjoys doing it.So when she was caught red-handed, I said "serve you right". Other than that, she's fine.
The novel digs up Kinsey's past, more precisely, an unsolved murder which her ex-husband, Mickey was accused of and which made him resign
Una Tiers
Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it
While Kinsey is clever, this book is depressing. The central figure, Mickey, has no role other than to lie in bed like a soap opera victim while their contract is renegotiated.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book
Kinsey isn't too concerned when a storage unit salvage man contacts her, he found a box of her possessions and figures she'd be interested in having them back, curiosity killed the cat or so the saying goes, and in typical PI fashion Kingsey soon finds herself dangerously close to meeting that very fate. The box introduces us to a past we know nothing about, her first ex-husband,Mickey and the cause of their failed marriage. He's been shot, in ICU and in a coma. Determined to find the cu
Jordan Berg
Jun 13, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: who has read Sue Grafton
I love Sue Grafton’s book as she follows private eye Kinsey Millhone through the alphabet. Her books reflect the dying art of private eye mystery books. Sue Grafton is genius at playing homage to this classic genre while updating it with her heroine Kinsey. That is why I was so disappointed by O for Outlaw. This one is more sentimental than her other books and it suffers because of it. While I was glad to learn more about Kinsey, it is certainly not Grafton’s strong writing skills. If you like t ...more
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
It's been years (gulp, decades) since I read Sue Grafton, and in that time I'd forgotten how much I liked Kinsey Millhone. In many ways she's the most realistic of the PIs found in this genre, and she seems especially human now, following the box which inexplicably leads her back into her past from an angle she did not suspect.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-1999
For gumshoe Kinsey Millhone, the year is May 1986 and she has just turned 36 years old. Sue Grafton explains prior to the novel's start that for Kinsey, time moves slower, but at no fault of her own. Grafton says that A is for Alibi began in May 1982, B is for Burglar takes place in June 1982, and C is for Corpse is in August 1982 and so on bringing us to May 1986.

In this novel, Kinsey Millhone receives a phone call from a stranger, claiming he has a box salvaged from storage with her mementos i
May 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2002-reads
RATING: 3.75

One of the craftiest things that Sue Grafton has done in the writing of the Kinsey Millhone series is to be miserly about revealing information about Kinsey's past throughout the books. In that way, she keeps a part of Kinsey unknown to her readers. In O is for Outlaw, Grafton focuses on a part of Kinsey's past that many are very curious about, her first marriage to a cop named Mickey Magruder.

Kinsey is approached by a man who buys old auction items or abandoned storage bins and then
Woody Chandler
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I still do not think of this as "hard-boiled" detective fiction, but the series is becoming more plausible with each novel. There is an exposition in the edition that I read that explains that the timeline begins in 1982 and this novel, published in 1999, is set in 1986. It seems like an unnecessary obstacle to place in one's way as a writer, but Ms. Grafton seems okay with it. I still do not understand all of the exposition in terms of driving and the interiority, much of which strikes me as na ...more
Benjamin Thomas
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
The 15th novel in the “Alphabet” series featuring Kinsey Millhone is once again, a classic Sue Grafton mystery novel. I’m reading these books in order and it is fun to watch the character of Kinsey Millhone progress through her adventures and especially when we get to learn more about her earlier life. This novel really goes into her past because this time the client for her PI skills is none other than her first husband whom she has not been in contact with since their brief marriage ended 14 y ...more
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My 5-star rating may be based a bit on being so happy to reconnect with my fictional “friend” Kinsey. It’s been almost a year in my time, but still it’s May 1986 in “Kinsey time” as far as I can figure. So…she is still 36. Her birthday is later this month – unless I’ve lost a year, that is. (True to Grafton’s usual timetable, “O” was published in 1999, a year after “N.”)

Kinsey still uses notecards to organize her case ideas and pay phones when she needs a contact out in the field. Interestingly,
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥

Basic Info

Pages/Length: 10hrs and 36mins
Genre: Mystery

At A Glance

Love Triangle/Insta Love/Obsession?:
Cliff Hanger: Eh.
Triggers: n/a
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Score Sheet
All out of ten

Cover: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 6
World Building: 5
Flow: 5
Series Congruity: n/a*
Writing: 6
Ending: 6

Total: 5

In Dept

Best Part:
Interesting series.
Worst Part: I was a bit lost.
Thoughts Had: Hm; Plum is that you?!


Continuing the Series:
Recommending: yes

Short Review: This is my first Kinsey Millhone Mys
aPriL does feral sometimes
Kinsey is getting more and more cowboy as her past relationships change from what she had previously decided about them. Guilt from ignoring or walking away from people who got to close to her in her past seems to fuel a rage to throw herself into her PI work years later when those folk come back. If I were a psychiatrist I'd say she has an attachment disorder. This book reveals more about the first marriage she had with a cop. She self-describes herself as starry-eyed and naive, but I think she ...more
3 1/2 stars

I usually listen to audio books on tape in the car. Sadly, right in the middle of this one, my cassette player decided to quit working. That meant I had to make time to finish this up at home, thus explaining the length of time it took to listen to this.

I've only read one other of this series some years back so have very little of the MC's history. Learning the history of her marriage and subsequent split added some nice dimension to the story even if it seemed to muddle the plot a li
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed each of the installments in the alphabet series. This one is particularly interesting because we learn more about Kinsey's personal life, particularly about her first marriage. I have always liked her as a protagonist: she's tough and down-to-earth. She can hold her own with the police, with rich folks, with grungy lowlifes. I wish I knew some of the things she knows -- picking locks is a cool skill :) She does put herself into some dangerous situations. It was fun for me, in this ...more
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Phew thank goodness this book is much better than the last one! There was a small streak of Kinsey books I didn't like as much, but this one reminded me why I love this series. I was completely intrigued by this mystery that she got caught up in. This story did a great job of giving us glimpses of Kinsey's personal past, bringing back people from her pre-PI life. I also appreciate they way "bad" characters and "good" characters are really portrayed as both, and nothing is black and white. I love ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This was another good episode in the Kinsey Millhone series. I really liked getting some background into Kinsey's past life. Learning about her first marriage and the ending of that marriage gave a glimpse into her current personality. I also like how Kinsey worked to change things and fix past "sins". I also enjoyed the new characters from Los Angeles--her ex-husband's landlords. They were a lot of fun and I'd have liked more interaction with them. The main disappointment was the motive for the ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, audiobook
Just got this from the library so I'll be bombing through the next 3 books thanks to short due dates on the P & Q!

Hmm, 3.5 stars, and that's partly because I'm not impressed with some of the audiobook changes - it starts and ends with music in the background (lame music, which is distracting - I really don't like that option) and they've changed narrators - the new one is good, but I'm quite fond of the previous narrator and so it's startling to have new voices for the different characters.

Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another great Kinsey outing, from the hilarious scene when she crawls in the dong'd door to the chilling, shocking final sentence. this may be the most introspective we've ever seen Our Heroine, as she contemplates her marriage to Mickey and regrets her betrayal of him. As always, Kinsey's disdain and utter contempt for the rich--with whom she invariably is forced to rub elbows--shines through with humor. Less characters become important (like Duffy and the landlady sisters) . Even though we kno ...more
Sep 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
I know, I know. It's just a detective book and you read it and move on. You don't review them.

But I really want to say a few words here. Grafton is such a terrific writer, her formula is a complete winner. She gets away with being, if you ask me, thin on plot.

Kinsey is cynical in the most attractive of ways and about everybody: men, women, rich, poor. She couldn't give a damn about clothes, looks, what people think of her. Her observations about life make you nod and smile all the way through.

Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: suspense-mystery
Loved this one. Never get tired of Kinsey's escapades. This time, the case is more personal, and we get a chance to find out more about the first guy she married. The set-up is a little too elaborate (forced) for my taste, but the unraveling is satisfactory as always. Not reading these mysteries in any particular order - since Kinsey remains in the 1980s throughout the series, it's no big deal. Nevertheless, her character continues to deepen if not grow.
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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 26 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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“So much of the past in encapsulated in the odds and ends. Most of us discard more information about ourselves than we ever care to preserve. Our recollection of the past is not simply distorted by our faulty perception of events remembered but skewed by those forgotten. The memory is like twin orbiting stars, one visible, one dark, the trajectory of what's evident forever affected by the gravity of what's concealed.” 11 likes
“The Latin term pro bono, as most attorneys will attest, roughly translated means for boneheads and applies to work done without charge.” 3 likes
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