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J is for Judgment (Kinsey Millhone, #10)
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J is for Judgment

(Kinsey Millhone #10)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  46,451 ratings  ·  656 reviews
"J" is for Jaffe: Wendell Jaffe, dead these past five years. Or so it seemed until his former insurance agent spotted him in the bar of a dusty little resort halfway between Cabo San Lucas and La Paz.

"In truth, the facts about Wendell Jaffe had nothing to do with my family history, but murder is seldom tidy and no one ever said revelations operate in a straight line. It wa
Paperback, 360 pages
Published December 16th 1997 by Ballantine Books (first published 1993)
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John Toffee Personally I'd say no. Whilst the books are individual stories they do refer back to earlier books and the character development is lost.

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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  46,451 ratings  ·  656 reviews

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Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
"J" is for Jaffe: Wendell Jaffe, dead these past five years. Or so it seemed until his former insurance agent spotted him in the bar of a dusty little resort halfway between Cabo San Lucas and La Paz.

Kinsey Millhone is on the trail of this Jaffe fellow. Each book has its own flavor. I didn't give the book 5 stars because of some dead passages where attempts to drum up suspense were lost on me. Once where Kinsey thought someone was shadowing her, and once where she was being pummelled with bullet
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to J is for Judgment, the 10th book in the "Kinsey Millhone" mystery series, written in 1993 by Sue Grafton. As I read the book details of this one, I vivdly recalled the main character, Wendall Jaffe, and Kinsey's pursuit of this case. Wendall supposedly died 5 years ago, and his wife collected major bucks from his insurance policy. But when he's spotted alive not all that far away, Kinsey takes the case. And when she gets into it, her life starts to explode. She
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 4000-books
A fun, entertaining read but for me not one of her best. I am still debating whether I like Kinsey or not but I will say she certainly has no shame!
The story in this one was good and I totally missed on who the murderer was going to be. There is a great need to suspend belief while reading though because many of the events are unrealistic.
Anyway - good entertainment when you need a light read!
Mark Baker
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, mystery
Kinsey is surprised to be hired once again by California Fidelity. They’ve just paid out a claim on Wendell Jaffe’s life insurance five years after his supposed dead at sea only to hear he’s been spotted down in Mexico. Kinsey locates Jaffe only to have him vanish again. Can she prove he is still alive?

This is another fantastic mystery. The characters are strong and help pull us in. The story itself has plenty of twists and turns before we reach the climax. We have some time for updates from the
Kinsey Millhone is one of my favourite fictional detectives. I read several books in Sue Grafton's 'Alphabet' series some years ago, and loved them. It was a pleasure to reacquaint myself with Kinsey this time, with the letter J, which I had not read previously.

As always, Kinsey is an endearing mixture of gauche and genius, as she darts around, following leads and munching on junk food. 'J for Judgment' concerns a case of life insurance fraud, in which a supposedly deceased businessman seems to
Wow. This was a really good one to sink your teeth into. We have Kinsey showing why she is really a good investigator and her also having to deal with changes to her professional life. I thought the writing was great as well as the flow of the book. The ending comes with a very nice gut punch too. What is great though is that some of these characters pop up in a later book.

In "J is for Judgment" Kinsey is asked to investigate if Wendell Jaffe is still alive. This is an issue because years ago,
Benjamin Thomas
This 10th book of the “Alphabet” series is the first one I’ve rated with 5 stars. I’m having a hard time pin-pointing exactly why though. It’s not specifically because Ms. Grafton has “stepped it up a notch” in her writing although the writing has gotten better and better over the series and she is now content to let her characters interact naturally instead of forced into a plot. It’s also not due to our heroine Kinsey Millhone becoming an even more interesting character, even though I find mys ...more
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another great read. More personal facts revealed about the main character. As usual, this novel kept me guessing to the last page.
Another one of those where I didn’t really like any of the characters, they weren’t as bad as the characters in “D is for Deadbeat” but still kind of unlikable. Given that most of them have some past experience with Wendell Jaffe the reasons for the actions a little more understandable.

The best part of this book was all the insight we gained into how Kinsey thinks and her moral code. I really admire her drive for the truth and the value she places on human life – any human life. She really want
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, a-to-y-reread
I loved this one! The last two seemed to be a bit slow moving, but this one had all the right things. On to K!

On a side note, the one thing that REALLY bothers me in this series that I didn’t notice the first time around (which was almost 20 years ago, so please forgive the memory lapse) is the constant body shaming. Kinsey describes Vera, her closest thing to a best friend, as a “big woman” then follows it up with the description of her being 5’10 and 140 lbs. IN WHAT UNIVERSE IS THIS A “BIG WO
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Well, after reading ten of them, I'm reasonably certain that Sue Grafton does not know how to write a bad book. I feel a bit repetitive, but J is for Judgment is terrific. Well written, strong characters, emotional roller coasters, suspense and mystery. Such a great detective series. Kinsey is fantastic, and I love seeing her adapt and grow. I also love the lack of technology and how she always makes it work for her.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm finding it interesting that as I'm rereading these a lot of times I will remember only one thing about the story (in this case that Kinsey goes to Mexico) and not remember anything else about the story. This one was fun watching her track a "dead" man and seeing what was important to Kinsey and what was important to her client. Also fun to see her personal life have some shake up going on with it too.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of this series, and "J" didn't disappoint. PI Kinsey Millhone is a good character, and this story about a Ponzi Scheme crook who faked his death and then suddenly reappeared was engaging and perfect for the beach, which is where I was while reading it.
Originally seen on my book blog!

I knew from the beginning that this had a great story line and was hopeful that it would be a promising book. It was. From the beginning we are thinking a lot of things, for one, why did he fake his suicide? For two, what is now going to happen to his widows insurance money? And for three, is he going to get caught?

The only thing that doesn’t thrill me about these books is that there are always new characters and it can sometimes be hard to keep track of who is wh
3.5 Stars

Pretty good, drama-filled story; with Kinsey being on the slightly bitchy side. I know her job is to get at the truth; but she is NOT a cop. Her self-righteousness, and her being hell-bent on getting at the truth irked me something fierce. She has no right going into other peoples lives. No one has to tell her a damn thing. She is persistent to the point of bullying. People aren't able to grieve, because she is right there saying, "Hey, give me what I want!"

I still love her spunkiness;
in which kinsey visits mexico on the lookout for wendell jaffe, a ponzi schemer who staged his own suicide before leaving the country.

the thing that struck me yet again is that, for a self-alleged misanthrope, kinsey is really good at getting people to talk to her and trust her. she's constantly showing up unannounced at people's homes demanding information and they all invite her in for coffee and a chat, and allow her to come back even after she pisses them off. i know that this stuff makes th
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the first book in the series I gave a 5 star rating too because it was that good. I love that Kinsey stuck it to her old employer and office provider and that she learns some things about herself in the process.

The scene where she sneaks into the hotel room of a suspect is one of the best in the series and I loved the book from beginning to end.

I can't believe how good this series is.
Michelle Beteta
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm partial to this series because I went to school near Santa Barbara and lived in San Luis Obispo, CA for five years. The author does a fair job of describing costal living while weaving murder and intrigue along the way. The main character is whimsical and I enjoy her relationships as they are unconventional and unpredictable.

Read 1/2/19 | 4 stars

Book synopsis: For Kinsey Millhone, the investigation started with a surprise visit from an ex-colleague at California Fidelity – the company that had fired her nine months previously.

Fives hours later she was on a plane to Mexico, hot on the trial of a suicide who'd allegedly just come back to life. After a five year wait, Wendell Jaffe's widow had finally succeeded in having the real estate swindler declared dead, collecting half a millio
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kinsey Millhone works a case involving insurance fraud... a death benefit has been paid in a case where the deceased has recently been spotted and was clearly not dead. The supposedly deceased man was a con artist, and seemed to have a lot to run from when his mysterious death occurred.

The 10th book in the Kinsey Millhone mystery series. Kinsey is back and working a case with her usual cleaver and witty ways. This book introduced more of Kinsey's past, which was an interesting side story, and I
I've been getting this series all over the place; physical library, Audible, e-library audio, and consignment stores! Every format. I liked this one. Wendell Jaffe is dead. Or is he? I wasn't sure where this was going for awhile. There were a lot of potential suspects even though there wasn't a murder. Who was helping Wendell? I liked the ending, a bit more of a mystery.
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hits the spot

So, here I am reviewing an 18 year old Sue Grafton novel. What does this tell me? It could be telling me that I need to find more current things to read, but I remember 1993 just fine so this book did not feel old to me. What it really tells me is that I have not come anywhere near reading this series in alphabetical order and have never went out of my way to find them. Not that I don't like them - I have liked all but a couple. It is more like they have been my backup books when I'
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
All of Grafton's books are starting to blend together. This one didn't do much for me, and I will most likely forget most of the plot by tomorrow. The lull in the middle was rough to get through where she was grasping at straws trying to move forward in the case. I didn't like the cliffhanger at the end- but maybe she'll come back to it in a later novel? Or that person may come back? It seems to me that Kinsey's character was completely unnecessary in the story. Nothing that she did changed the ...more
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like to read a bit before bed, those who enjoy a slower paced mystery
This was a good bedtime book for me. It wasn't fast-paced or racy like the usual whodunits. Nonetheless it had a pace which did not slacken.

This is the first Sue Grafton book i've read. And yes, i started out in the middle. It doesn't matter though as it is like the crime shows on telly. While there are threads of continuity in among the books, each one is a stand-alone story as well.

The story wasn't a typical locked-room mystery, and the plot evolved as we go along. The real highlight of the
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
Another solid, solid outing from Grafton and Millhone. Standard boilerplate stuff to say on the mystery front, didn't blow me away, but was fully satisfying. The personal story is potentially great, will have to see how it develops over the next book or so, but I really liked the angry, careful, confused way that Kinsey's approaching this . . . seems honest. Moreso than is standard for this kind of story.

It's reads like this that make me bound and determined to catch up on this series next year.
Jul 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This episode in the Kinsey Millhone series was somewhat lackluster in comparison to the rest of the series. I enjoyed the story, but it just wasn't as exciting as I've come to expect from Sue Grafton. The mystery held promise (a man who faked his own death), but the ending was rather plain. Grafton tried to save the ending in the epilogue, but the ploy was very contrived. I did like learning about Kinsey's family story and that saved the book from a 2 star rating. Plus, since I read out of order ...more
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-2012-books
Another fun and easy Kinsey Millhone mystery. Wendell Jaffe committed suicide 5 yrs earlier, but the insurance company still isn't convinced he is dead. This is the first time I'd heard the word "pseudocide". Kinsey explores the circumstances leading up to Wendell's pseudocide and the effect it had on his family. At the same time, she discovers, with mixed feelings, some family of her own. Good tale, lots of action, some more insight into Kinsey's brain. Now on to "K".
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started out a little slow, got better as it went on.
Kinsey Millhone, PI, is hired to chase down a lead on a guy who had disappeared and was presumed dead. His wife had been paid the insurance money, but then someone spotted the supposed dead guy down in Mexico. Kinsey catches a flight to Mexico, checks into the hotel he was seen at and starts surveillance. She makes a darn nuisance of herself with everyone, why anyone talks to her and why she doesn't get kicked out of every house is a mystery to me. My favorite part of the book is when Kinsey imp ...more
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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)
  • K is for Killer (Kinsey Millhone, #11)
“It's disconcerting to realize how little you have to say to someone who once occupied such a prominent place in your bed.” 91 likes
“The hard thing about death is that nothing ever changes. The hard thing about life is that nothing stays the same.” 53 likes
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