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A is for Alibi was the first in the series of detective novels, each named for a letter in the alphabet, and it was the book that started it all for Sue Grafton. The books have been an incredible success, published in 28 countries and in 26 languages. An indelible part of our culture, Sue’s book spines pop up on tv screens all over -- one of our favourites is when Carmela in The Sopranos reads G is for Gumshoe.
The series is centred on a scrappy detective named Kinsey Millhone. She’s tough, plainspoken, twice-divorced – words that could also describe Grafton herself. Her childhood in Kentucky was difficult; both parents were alcoholics. Later in life, she was involved in a custody battle with her second ex-husband that got so bitter Grafton thought about the ways she could, you know, make him "disappear." Instead, she took that idea and all the dark anger she felt and unleashed it on the page.
Her latest offering, W is for Wasted, debuted at number one on the New York Times Bestseller List. But with this comes the bad news: More than 30 years into Kinsey’s run Sue’s only got three letters left.