Book Review – S IS FOR SILENCE by Sue Grafton

s silence graftonS is for Silence Book Synopsis:

This is the nineteenth novel in Sue Grafton’s ever popular “alphabet” series featuring PI Kinsey Millhone.

Just after Independence Day in July 1953 Violet Sullivan, a local good time girl living in Serena Station Southern California, drives off in her brand new Chevy and is never seen again. Left behind is her young daughter, Daisy, and Violet’s impetuous husband, Foley, who had been persuaded to buy his errant wife the car only days before …

Now, thirty-five years later, Daisy wants closure. Reluctant to open such an old cold case Kinsey Millhone agrees to spend five days investigating, believing at first that Violet simply moved on to pastures new. But very soon it becomes clear that a lot of people shared a past with Violet, a past that some are still desperate to keep hidden. And in a town as close-knit as Serena there aren’t many places to hide when things turn vicious…

Book Review

This is the second novel by Sue Grafton that I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed B is for Burglar  over a year ago and was looking forward to reading another Kinsey Millhone mystery.

Unfortunately S is for Silence didn’t quite live up to expectations for me. The murder mystery story itself was quite good, with a reasonably complex plot with clues gradually unveiled through flashbacks from multiple characters viewpoints. For me however, the element I most enjoyed in B is for Burglar, the personal touch of PI Kinsey Millhone, was somehow lacking this time round. Rather than being a central figure, she seemed to play a lesser role in this novel. Of course she ultimately solves the mystery, but she just didn’t seem to be the controlling force. Protagonist Kinsey, generally likeable because of her no-nonsense, independent attitude, was just a bit too distant in this novel for my taste.

Note, I probably went in with too high expectations for this novel and perhaps made an error jumping from Letter B straight to Letter S in this alphabet series. As a stand-alone novel, the story told is an interesting mystery and is definitely a nice easy read.

Perhaps Grafton and Millhone were experiencing a rough patch in their long-term relationship at S ? Or perhaps my reading tastes have changed?

BOOK RATING: The Story 3 / 5 ; The Writing 3 / 5

BOOK DETAILS: S is for Silenceir?t=bookbookrevi 20&l=as2&o=1&a=0425212696 (Amazon).

I purchased a good quality used copy for a bargain price from BetterWorldBooks.comf777c37w1 LPVUUMTPLNMSSUSUV .

Genre: Mystery, Crime-Detective, Thriller

About the Author:  Sue Grafton’s website is packed full of great information for the Kinsey Millhone fan.

Other Reviews of S is for Silence: The Independent ; Jandy’s Reading Room ; Blue Rectangle  

Disclosure: If you click a link in this post and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

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  1. I’ve only read A is For Alibi but I’m going to reread it for a challenge & I’m hoping to finish off the series. I’m hoping to go in order so I don’t have the same issue you did. Oy, that’s too bad :/

    P.S. I have an award waiting for you here. Congrats :)

  2. I had bought 5 of her books last Nov, at used bookstores as I had wanted to read one of her. I must say the cases are good but I dont care for Milhone at all. I have A is for Alibi, B-is for Burglar, C is for Corpse (I have read all three) and I still have Ris for Ricochet and S is For Silence. So I probably wont care for it, however it will go towards one of my Challenges! Thanks for your review.

  3. I really want to try a Sue G book, I considered just starting from A and working my way through, maybe I will ask followers which one has been their favourite. Glad to see B was a good start for you.