V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton. G.P.Putnam’s Sons 2011.
As any mystery lover knows, Sue Grafton has been working her way through the alphabet with Santa Teresa-based private investigator Kinsey Millhone for quite a few years now. I joined the series, already in progress, with E is for Evidence and have been a fan ever since, never missing a new entry. With just W, X, Y and Z remaining, the books are better than ever. While other long-running series such as Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books have become repetitious, each new Millhone mystery offers a complex interesting story.
In this outing, Kinsey stumbles into an investigation when, while shopping for underwear, she spots a woman shoplifting lingerie. A couple of days later, Kinsey learns that the woman is dead, apparently a suicide. Kinsey is asked to check into the suicide by the woman’s fiancé and it gradually becomes clear that the woman was part of a sophisticated shoplifting ring. Kinsey enters dangerous territory when her investigation comes to the attention of the local mob. Intertwined with the mystery of the suicidal woman is the story of mob boss Dante, which introduces an unexpected romantic thread.
Although I enjoyed it, V wasn’t my favorite Millhone mystery. In particular, I found the character Nora to be so shallow that I really couldn’t empathize with her at all. Still, V is for Vengeance is another satisfying read from Grafton that fans are sure to enjoy.