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P is for Peril

(Kinsey Millhone #16)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  23,260 ratings  ·  919 reviews
It is now nine weeks since Dr Dowan Purcell vanished without trace. The sixty-nine-year-old doctor had said goodnight to his colleagues at the Pacific Meadows nursing home, had climbed into his car and driven away never to be seen again. His embittered first wife Fiona is convinced he is still alive. His second wife, Crystal a former stripper forty years his junior is just ...more
Paperback, 370 pages
Published May 28th 2002 by Ballantine Books (first published October 27th 2000)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  23,260 ratings  ·  919 reviews

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Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to P is for Peril, the 16th book in the "Kinsey Millhone" mystery series, written in 2000 by Sue Grafton. What's Kinsey to do when she has the possibility of taking a case for a recently missing doctor who has two wives? OK, well, he did divorce the first wife. But she desperately wants to find him. His second wife, a former stripper, doesn't seem to think he's still alive. Kinsey takes the case, deals with both of them, and tries to find a way to stay out
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Missing person case that ends without an actual end. I looked around for a minute like a dog who gets fooled by the fake ball throw thing.

It turned out that my ebook wasn't defective. This one had a non-ending. I mean, there was an implication, but it wasn't enough!!

The hatred is getting stronger. It is burning!

Also, Kinsey, or Sue Grafton, discovered Sauconys in this book. (It's a brand of tennis shoe). I don't know if the author was getting some sort of kick-back, or if she just thought it was
P is for puzzled, as I think most fans will be when they reach the end of this book. I have read and enjoyed all the alphabet books, and have really enjoyed Kinsey and her eccentric band of friends and relations. But there was far too little of that in this mystery. The story of the missing physician Dow Purcell was fairly uninvolving. The people in his life were people you cared little about, and the solution, or lack of one, at the conclusion of the book is very puzzling. Although I think I un ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2020
Not one of Grafton's best but not bad either. Kinsey floundered around a bit and was actually exceedingly lucky not to be dead in a garage next to another character who was not so lucky.

There were several investigations going on at once and Kinsey gets taken for a ride in one of them. I was pretty pleased with myself because I suspected trouble from the outset. On the other hand I was totally wrong about the murderer.

The ending was unusual in that it was remarkably sudden and abrupt. Usually th
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: By the time I rang the bell, my breathing had slowed and I'd done a quick mental review of the subject I was here to discuss. Fiona Purcell's ex-husband, Dr. Dowan Purcell, had been missing for nine weeks. She'd had a messenger deliver a manila envelope filled with newspaper clippings that recapped events surrounding his disappearance. I'd sat in my office, tilted back in my swivel chair, my Sauconys propped on the edge of my desk while I studied the articles she'd sent. She'd arranged ...more
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
This is the 16th book in the Kinsey Millhone. I have read/listen to the other 15 books in this series, and I have posted reviews for most of the other books in the series. I listen to audiobook of this book. The main character is Kinsey who is a PI. Kinsey hired by Fiona to find out just what has happened to Dr Dowan Purcell. Fiona is Dr. Purcell first wife not his current wife. Dr. Purcell just vanished without trace. I found this book very good. I love the path that Kinsey had to take to solve ...more
This book was good. It seemed much lighter after having listened to M, N and O which were especially dark stories in my opinion. I’m realizing more and more as I go through the stories that very rarely are any of the characters likable except for those in Kinsey’s immediate circle. What made this one a little different was the side story of Kinsey needing new office space and her involvement with the Heavener brothers. With the main mystery being fairly straight forward, this side story provided ...more
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, fiction
what the hell was that ending? i seriously thought there was an entire chapter missing from my ebook and went looking for it. but no!

also, no one was really in peril, except for kinsey, who is always in peril, and in this instance said peril had nothing to do with the case. i wish the whole book had been the brother subplot instead of some medicare scam involving a lesbian stripper. (...put that way, it doesn't sound half-bad! but i assure you, it is bad.) probably my least favorite of the seri
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was such a good Kinsey Millhone mystery. I loved that I did not see the ending coming until Kinsey finally grasped what really went on. There were so many players in this one that I was wondering who was the murderer. I also liked we get to see Kinsey contemplating a new romantic interest who was not all that he seemed.

"P is for Peril" has Kinsey employed by an ex-wife of a missing man (Dr. Dowan Purcell). His ex-wife Fiona believes his current wife, Crystal had something to do with things
mitchell dwyer
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, mystery
P is for Peril is such an unusual book in its own series that the discussion of this novel on the Sue Grafton message board has been turned into a sticky; it is permanently affixed near the top of the topic order so it can easily be found by visitors in search of some kind of explanation.

I hadn't even noticed that the book doesn't include Grafton's now-customary epilogue, which takes the form of Kinsey Milhone typing up a quick summary of the case and ties up some of the loose ends, but I had no
Mar 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Fairly standard Sue Grafton. I sometimes wonder why I stick with this series but they’re well written and I like the familiarity and predictability of Kinsey Millhone’s character. This one centres on fraud in different guises. It has a few tense moments here and there and a few twists to keep the reader interested. I suspect the issues with Medicare and Medicaid fraud would be much more interesting to a US audience, however. Average fare so an average 3 stars from me.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Still love Kinsey Milhone...but there were 2 things I didn't like about this one. First, the narrator...I listen to these on my long commute, and I REALLY don't like the new narrator (Judy Kaye). I miss Mary Peiffer. I can get past it, but not happily. Kaye says too many of the lines with inappropriate ironic inflection, which I find really annoying. Second, I hated the ending. I like Grafton's books because she ties everything into a neat bow at the end. All i's dotted, all t's crossed, all que ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought the story was just fine - (at least) two mystery lines going on - although I thought the "personal" one wrapped up too neatly. I didn't understand others saying there was not much to the invetigation.
Tom Mc Kenna
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ending although obvious was to say the least too rushed for me.
Mark Baker
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2020
Nine weeks ago, Dr. Dowan Purcell vanished without a trace. Now, his ex-wife, Fiona, has hired PI Kinsey Millhone to figure out what happened to him. Kinsey isn’t sure she can cover any ground that the police haven’t already covered because they have been as thorough as they can be, but she gamely agrees anyway. Soon, she is caught in a web of speculation. It seems everyone has a theory, from Fiona to Dr. Purcell’s current wife, Crystal, to family and friends. But can Kinsey find any clue to fig ...more
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
FIRST READ: I hadn't read one of her books for about 2-3 years. It was good to pick her up again. I like the independent single woman. I was single for a long time and appreciate her attitude.

SECOND READ: PI Kinsey Millhone's trademark dry sense of humor is largely absent in the first half of the 15th book in this justifiably popular series, though it resurfaces as the suspense finally begins to build in the second half. In the bleak November of 1986, Kinsey looks into the disappearance of Dr. D
Benjamin Thomas
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
I’ve enjoyed all of the Kinsey Millhone novels so far but this one was a bit of a letdown. I did some quick research after I finished it and “P” is almost always ranked near or at the bottom of all of the books in the series.

Unfortunately it is easy to see why. There are two mystery plots at work in this novel. The main one concerns a missing nursing home administrator. Kinsey is hired by his ex-wife and she proceeds to do her research from every angle imaginable. I always enjoy her methodical a
Grafton, Sue - 16th in series

In her latest adventure, Kinsey Millhone enters the world of noir. A shadowland in which the mysterious disappearance of a prominent physician leads Kinsey into a danger-filled maze of duplicity and double-dealing... It is now nine weeks since Dr Dowan Purcell vanished without trace. The sixty nine-year-old doctor had said goodnight to his colleagues at the Pacific Meadows nursing home, had climbed into his car and driven away - never to be seen
Oct 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm very, very glad that I started reading Sue Grafton again. There was something about P that reminded me of my favorites in the series (I, J and K) and has me eager to get caught up. That said, I'm not sure what it is. It could be the way Kinsey's personal troubles mess with her life while she's working on a case, or it might just be her attitude while working -- I'd need to re-read Grafton's earlier books to be sure. Or, it could just be that P is well written and tightly plotted. No matter t ...more
Kinsey Millhone mystery No. 16!: A 69 year old doctor vanishes and his two ex-wives have different viewpoints on what's happened, one thinks he's a live, the other thinks he's dead! Kinsey is on the case, as is her new admirer, who is on her case! One of her most interesting dealing with concerning duality and the nature of Kinsey's assumptions and intuitions. 6 out of 12

Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Family dynamics takes on a big role in this case when Kinsey Milhone is hired to look into the disappearance of Dowan Purcell, a doctor specializing in geriatrics. What is strange is rather than being hired by his current wife Crystal, it is his ex-wife Fiona who calls her up. Kinsey finds herself being drawn into an awkward mix of interviews with many of Dow's relatives and co-workers at the nursing home he managed. The latter is even more bizarre as it becomes clear that the institution is bei ...more
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really liking this new format. I think Grafton is doing a great job of really bringing the storyline out.

In this novel, Kinsey is hired by an ex-wife, to locate her currently missing ex-husband. One evening, he walks out of the nursing home he manages and just disappears. It's been a couple weeks and Kinsey's not certain she'll be able to do more good than the police have, but decides to take the case. The twists and turns this novel goes through are a lot of fun to follow.

Honestly? This is
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Out of the first 15 books in this series this is the first one that left me just hanging. This book seemed to miss out on the usual depth of the mystery series which surprised me. Kinsey's main case was drawn out and just lacked any real significance. The other personal case of Kinsey's kind of just popped up and seemed almost like a page filler.

My gripe is the way it ended. Out of all the books there is usually a letter type of epilogue that Kinsey writes to end the book. This time the story j
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I especially liked this one! I'm listening to this series on CD in the car. The reader is Judy Kaye. I listened to a few with a different reader who I liked. "O is for Outlaw" is the first one I listened to with Judy Kaye. I wasn't sure I liked what she brought to the character of Kinsey Milhone, but she started to grow on me. I thought she did a great job with the characters in "P".

I like that only a few months have passed in Kinsey's life when the next book comes along. In "P", she's still in
Mar 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These "alphabet novels" are nothing short of perfect mystery. Grafton's cleverly crafted characters will stay with you long after you are finished reading the books. Kinsey Milhone, her landord/best friend, Henry and all the others seem so much like real people it is hard to imagine a world without them. I was on the edge of my seat with all the twists and turns, never forseeing what was coming next. I felt that each novel, as Grafton advanced through the alphabet, improved in every way. I would ...more
This is definitely not my favorite Kinsey Millhone mystery. The whole story was a little disjointed. Grafton had more than one storyline going and the whole thing came off a little weird. Then, the story ended so abruptly that I was left confused as to what even happened. I am used to Millhone's end of the story wrap up and there was none here. I actually looked to see if the library book had been damaged and pages removed. Overall, I liked it because I like the series and I like the character, ...more
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it

Kinsey investigates the disappearance of Physician. Did he skip the country because of potential Medicare fraud, was he kill to collect the insurance by his vengeful ex-wife or the ex-stripper new wife, or did the step daughter do him in so she can runaway with the money she stole from his account. There is a second story line involving brothers who may have gotten away with murder in Texas.

This book has a lot more intrigue than usual. The author keeps you guessing all the way until the end.

P is
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, mystery
I enjoyed this book like I have all of the other books that I have read in this series. I enjoyed being back in the world of Kinsey Millhone. I liked the two plots that were going on and the author kept me guessing with the main mystery.

The first story line dealt with a missing man and Kinsey was brought in to find out what happened to him. The second story line dealt with Kinsey finding out something disturbing about someone she came in contact with. She was given the task of tripping them up
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I always think the writing and the plot are good, some plots just appeal to me more than others and this one was not my favorite. I also enjoyed the secondary story of Kinsey's office search more than the main case. I also didn't like how the ending wasn't wrapped up as neat as it usually is.
I really enjoyed this. The writing was really very good, funny and not overly dramatic. Character development was just right. The main plot was interesting, the side story was kinda weird and only slightly unbelievable. I figured that one out right away. Kinsey’s a great character, but I can’t believe she’s not taking a defense class along with all her jogging.
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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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