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A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  135,420 Ratings  ·  3,824 Reviews
Laurence Fife was a slick divorce lawyer and slippery ladies' man. Until someone killed him. The jury believed that it was his pretty young wife, Nikki, so they sent her to prison for eight years. Now Nikki's out on parole and Kinsey Millhone's in for trouble. Nikki hires Kinsey to discover who really killed her husband. But the trail is eight years cold, and at the end is ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 215 pages
Published June 1st 1987 by Bantam Books (first published April 15th 1982)
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Two reviews in the same morning? I guess it’s your lucky day (ha-ha - NOT). And just look at that bright and shiny 1 Star rating. That should be a sure fire way to earn me some new friends. If you’re not interested in reading through my reasons behind not liking this book, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of my reaction upon finishing . . .

Houston commercial photography

So the long story of how I began my relationship with Kinsey Millhone at this late date is as f
...more
James
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review
4 stars to A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, the first book in the Kinsey Millhone private investigator cozy mystery series. It's the book that started it all for me...

The opening lines of the book grab you when the narrator tells you that she killed a man. You want to know more about this situation. Then you get to know a little bit about Kinsey. Twice-divorced. 32. New to PI work. You already start to root for her as much as you ask questions about her former life.

In this one, it's all
...more
Jen
Dec 07, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kinsey Millhone is a single female working as a private investigator in Santa Theresa, California. She is hired by Nikki Fife, the convicted murdered of Lawrence Fife (her husband), to find out who really killed him. Her investigation leads her into a series of other murders that seem to be connected.

I don't know if I can even justify one star on this book. I was at no point able to "connect" with Kinsey. I love a strong female character, but she does not fit that bill. She is crass which makes
...more
Phrynne
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting that Kinsey Millhone and Vic Warshawski both appeared for the first time in the same year. I wonder why the market suddenly felt the need for two female P.I.s. It was a very good thing anyway!!!
Vic has been a favourite of mine for some time now but this is the first time I have tried this series by Sue Grafton and I did enjoy it. Kinsey's approach to detecting was reasonably realistic, I liked the old style feel to everything(was the 1980's really that long ago!) and the writin
...more
Matthew
Feb 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tea Jovanović
Godinama sam pokušavala da nagovorim srpske izdavače da objavljuju ovu divnu autorku... Detektivski romani, a pritom i duhoviti i zabavni... I uvek sam dobijala isti odgovor... "Problem su naslovi... Autorka ide po abecedi... Prvi naslov ne bi bio problem, a šta s drugim i ostalim naslovima..." Svesrdnu pomoć pružao mi je i Zvonimir Majdak (preko koga se završavaju autorska prava), ali nismo uspeli... U Hrvatskoj je prevedeno nekoliko naslova, ali se izdavači nisu marketinški pretrgli tako da ni ...more
Robert
Me and Kinsey on Santa Teresa Boulevard. And Las Vegas Boulevard. Sorry wrong decade, but I was having a nostalgic Paul Simon moment, and I just couldn’t turn it down. And yeah I figured I would use improper grammar and discreetly reference KINSEY AND ME: STORIES which I haven’t yet read and I may never get to based on my current TBR shelf and future book endeavors. For those of you curious about the Paul Simon reference that would be “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” which graced the world ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
“My own mystery, unplumed, undetected, was sorted into files that were neatly labeled but really didn't say much.”

Kinsey Millhone, an average detective with a conscience and a relaxed lifestyle, lands a whopper of a case to open this first of many, many books. Her client's wishes? To find out who really killed her husband AFTER she's released from prison for doing the deed.

Mildly paced with other mediocre tension, the book mainly wins through the point of view of the detective. She's a down-to
...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: My name is Kinsey Millhone. I 'm a private investigator, licensed by the state of California. I'm thirty-two years old, twice divorced, no kids. The day before yesterday I killed someone, and the fact weighs heavily on my mind.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A IS FOR AVENGER
A tough-talking former cop, private investigator Kinsey Millhone has set up a modest detective agency in a quiet corner of Santa Teresa, California. A twice-divorced loner with few personal possessions and fewer personal attachmen
...more
James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that introduced Kinsey Millhone and helped inaugurate a new era in crime fiction when female investigators like Millhone and Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski could go toe-to-toe with the bad guys and more than hold their own with their male counterparts like Spenser, Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.

Millhone has a modest solo practice as a P.I. that she runs out of a small office in the fictional town of Santa Teresa, California. Orphaned as a child and twice divorced, she lives a q
...more
Emma
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosy-mystery, crime
4.5 stars. Really surprised by how much I enjoyed this! It's dated of course, set and written in the 1980s, at the forefront of PI novels with ballsy female protagonists. I loved that no one had mobiles, but relied on a call service, and that case files were handwritten or typed. The case was a good one. I'm looking forward to continuing with this series. I believe the author died while writing the 'Z' story...a shame she didn't quite get to finish..
Crystal Starr Light
A is for Aggravating, Anguish, Awful, Apathetic...take your pick
I had heard the name Sue Grafton bantered around. After my aunt recommended it, I decided to check out her infamous alphabet series.
Kinsey Millhone is a former cop, a twice divorcee, and a private investigator. Nikki Fife, a woman accused, convicted, and imprisoned for murdering her philandering husband, Laurence Fife, has just been released on parole and wants her name cleared. She comes to Kinsey, who takes the case and begins the
...more
Brenda
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery, own-read
When Nikki Fife appeared on her doorstep, Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone was surprised to see her. She had only recently been released from prison after serving eight years for the murder of her husband Laurence. Now she was hiring Kinsey to find out who really killed him – she knew she didn’t, but no-one had believed her when she was convicted. Now she needed the truth…

Kinsey had been to the trial eight years previously and formed an opinion then – she felt that Nikki was innocent but wit
...more
Marwan
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read D,F,H and O before and F was my favorite. But now it's A. I'mean it was filled with twists till the end, and has some thrill in the final chapter.
The story revolves around the murder of a divorce attorney named Laurence Fife. His wife Nikki was found guilty for the murder even though she claimed to be innocent till the end.
After she went out of jail eight years later, Nikki hires Kinsey Millhone, a private Investigator to find out who killed her husband and framed her. However, as Ki
...more
Edward Lorn
This spoiler is for my buddy read with Kells. Kells, if you would, please click on "view spoiler". Danke. (view spoiler)

I enjoyed this book for the most part. The writing doesn't feel too terribly dated, in fact the only thing that really stood out was that there was no
...more
Obsidian
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-2017
The first book in the Kinsey Millhone series. Though I love the series, the first book did have some issues. I think at times the book's flow got a bit rough. And the characters are not very developed yet. Grafton gives a short description of Kinsey. It takes a lot of books to find out about her last, how she came to live with her aunt, and her past marriages. Getting the build up to all of that is wonderful though.

Kinsey at the time of his book is 32 and twice divorced. A private investigator w
...more
Ingrid
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
No. 1 in a series I had planned to start reading for ages. Not disappointed, but not ecstatic either. It's a nice detective story, straightforward and pleasant to read. I always think that an author has to find his or her feet in the first part of a series anyway.
Ammar
This novel is over 35 years old and it does show its age, but it doesn’t take away from it.

We get introduced to Kinsey Milhone, 32 years old . Was a cop. Now she’s a P.I

She is investigating the murder of an attorney. The alleged killer spent 8 years in prison and when she got out she retained Kinsey’s services to find who is the true killer as she is innocent.

The novel spans 16 days and takes places in various cities in California and in Las Vegas.

Kinsey is a strong real woman who knows what
...more
Jim
It was entertaining in a mundane way. The reading by Judy Kaye was pretty good, too. To quote John Prine, it was "Pretty good, not bad. I can't complain, but actually, everything was pretty much the same." IOW, it was as standard a mystery thriller as I've ever read. Nothing to rant or rave about, which makes it eminently forgettable, yet still enjoyable enough.

The heroine, Kinsey, is a private detective who is hired to look into an old murder by the woman who served time for the crime. Grafton'
...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
2018 Reading Challenge: local author
The Rory Gilmore Challenge

I basically started with A and not the letter actually on the list because if I ended up liking it I wanted to start from the beginning. I bought B it was good, but not fantastic. But she is from my home state, so I feel like I should support her.
Kelly
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won't bother to review the whole A through S (so far) series, and I doubt I could remember my reaction to each individual book in any case. As a whole, though, I love this series. Sure, it's total pulp fiction, but it's enjoyable nonetheless. First, the series is based in Santa Teresa, CA, a very thinly disguised Santa Barbara, which makes it great fun for anyone who's lived in SB. (My *favorite* alteration is that Mission Street become Missile Street!) Second, Kinsey Millhone is your prototyp ...more
Jamise // Spines & Vines
This was my first Sue Grafton book. It was a solid read but it did not have the elements of a thrilling mystery that I enjoy. It missed the mark on the suspenseful twists and turns that I typically thrive on in a good mystery. Kinsey is likable. I was instantly drawn to her drive and fortitude. Being that this is the first book in the Alphabet Series, I'm looking forward to reading the remaining books in this series. I'm anxious to see Grafton's growth & development as a writer and to see ho ...more
Michelle
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kuyh-2016
This was my first Sue Grafton book. I liked it! Kinsey is smart, sassy, witty, bold and likable! This takes you back to when detective work was exactly that. No modern technology to help out, just good ol' paper trails and landlines. Imagine what Kinsey could do if she had a smartphone!
I gave it 3 stars. Sue Grafton did have me guessing at times, but I did find a lot of it predictable. I will continue reading the series. I look forward to seeing how Kinsey develops.
Melki
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series-mystery
I guess I just got used to reading Janet Evanovich.

There is no wacky granny or crime-fighting-ex-hooker sidekick.

Nothing explodes.

Kinsey just seems so damned dull.
Donna
Even though it took me forever, I really enjoyed this book! I enjoyed Sue Grafton's writing style & the characters she created. Defintely will read more in this series.
Deborah Markus
I needed a brain-break, so I thought I'd reread a few of Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries.

I don't read mysteries as a regular thing, and I don't know why I first picked up the Kinsey Millhone books, back when she was only on C or D. They were steady sellers at the feminist bookstore where I worked, but I didn't buy them. I listened to them on my Walkman on cassette tapes I borrowed from the library.

That's right, folks. I'm old. Be nice or I'll start telling you horror stories about being right
...more
Ace
Nov 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first in the series of Kinsey Millhone, she is s a bit of a character, down to earth and low maintenance, I think I could be friends with her.

Outdated to the max for this day and age, no internet, no mobiles and think 'corduroy A-line skirts' and turtle-neck sweaters. Still, I think a little trip down memory lane is adding to my enjoyment. I will read on to B!
Alealea
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was pretty fun ! Once I warmed up to the writing and the main character, I was taken by the mystery and even though my first guess was the right one, I wasn't sure at 100% til the end. (that part was a bit disappointing, my first guess being the correct one).
It's not revolutionary but it holds a lot of promises. The whole series is so going to my to read-list !
And there were some kick-ass cynical quotes ^^!

On another note, I can't helped but wish the main character had another orientation ;)
...more
Book Concierge
Audiobook performed by Mary Peiffer

Book #1 in the Kinsey Millhone series. Kinsey is a private investigator who is asked to look into an old murder case – by the woman convicted of poisoning her unfaithful husband. Nikki Fife has served her time but she swears she was innocent and wants to know who DID kill her husband. As Kinsey begins looking into the old case she discovers that a young accountant who did the law firm’s books also died shortly after Nikki’s husband – and of the same poison. The
...more
Denise
Dec 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition


A is for Alibi was written in the 1980's by Sue Grafton. It is her first in the alphabet series. It is a short, interesting fast read. Kinsey Millhone is a Private Investigator, intelligent, independent and discovering herself.
The plot was unfolding at a good pace and kept me engaged until the end. Many of the supporting characters were interesting and well developed.
The ending came abruptly, leaving you with the desire to discover more about Kinsey. At times, I smiled when Kinsey used a typewr
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Rory Gilmore ...: Sue Grafton/Kinsey Millhone series 7 34 Apr 30, 2018 05:31AM  
Play Book Tag: A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton 3 15 Oct 31, 2017 11:02AM  
Good mystery/action/police procedural authors 1 14 Oct 16, 2017 10:22AM  
The Mystery, Crim...: * Feb / Mar 2017 Group Read - A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton 59 142 Sep 08, 2017 06:16AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: # 33 - A Is for Alibi 1 2 Jul 10, 2017 07:06AM  
Alphabet Murders: A 2 2 May 07, 2017 09:30AM  
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4,984 followers
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
More about Sue Grafton

Other books in the series

Kinsey Millhone (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • 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)
  • K is for Killer (Kinsey Millhone, #11)

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“Except for cases that clearly involve a homicidal maniac, the police like to believe murders are committed by those we know and love, and most of the time they're right - a chilling thought when you sit down to dinner with a family of five. All those potential killers passing their plates.” 65 likes
“You try to keep life simple but it never works, and in the end all you have left is yourself.” 26 likes
More quotes…