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B Is for Burglar [Mass Market Paperback]

Sue Grafton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, Sept. 1 1986 --  
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1986 Kinsey Millhone Mysteries
Finding wealthy Elaine Boldt seems like a quickie  case to Kinsey Millhone. The flashy widow was last  seen wearing a $12,000 lynx coat, leaving her  condo in Santa Teresa for her condo in Boca Raton. But  somewhere in between, she vanished. Kinsey's case  goes from puzzling to sinister when a house is  torched, an apartment is burgled of worthless papers,  the lynx coat comes back without Elaine, and her  bridge partner is found dead. Soon Kinsey's clues  begin to form a capital M -- not for missing, but  for murder: and plenty of it.

Winner of the 1985  Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award and the  1985 Anthony Award for Best Novel.

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"The best new private eye."--The Detroit News

"Exceptionally entertaining…an offbeat sense of humor and a feisty sense of justice."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Millhone is an engaging detective-for-hire…P.I. Kinsey Millhone and her creator…are arguably the best of [the] distaff invaders of the hitherto sacrosanct turf of gumshoes."
--The Buffalo News

"Once a fan reads one of Grafton's alphabetically titled detective novels, he or she will not rest until all the others are found."--Los Angeles Herald Examiner

"Millhone is a refreshingly strong and resourceful female private eye."--Library Journal

"Tough but compassionate…There is no one better than Kinsey Millhone."--Best Sellers

"A woman we feel we know, a tough cookie with a soft center, a gregarious loner."--Newsweek

"Lord, how I like this Kinsey Millhone…The best detective fiction I have read in years."--The New York Times Book Review

"Smart, tough, and thorough…Kinsey Millhone is a pleasure."--The Bloomsbury Review

"Kinsey is one of the most persuasive of the new female operatives…She's refreshingly free of gender clichés. Grafton, who is a very witty writer, has also given her sleuth a nice sense of humor--and a set of Wonder Woman sheets to prove it."--Boston Herald

"What grandpa used to call a class act."--Stanley Ellin

"Smart, sexual, likable and a very modern operator."--Dorothy Salisbury Davis

"Kinsey's got brains and a sense of humor."--Kirkus Reviews
--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Finding wealthy Elaine Boldt seems like a quickie case to Kinsey Millhone. The flashy widow was last seen wearing a $12,000 lynx coat, leaving her condo in Santa Teresa for her condo in Boca Raton. But somewhere in between, she vanished. Kinsey's case goes from puzzling to sinister when a house is torched, an apartment is burgled of worthless papers, the lynx coat comes back without Elaine, and her bridge partner is found dead. Soon Kinsey's clues begin to form a capital M -- not for missing, but for murder: And plenty of it.

Winner Of The 1985 Private Eye Writers Of America Shamus Award And The 1985 Anthony Award For Best Novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A female PI with spectacular wit and insight Aug. 7 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kinsey is hired to track down a missing person. It seems like a straight-forward, "quickie" case at first, but it quickly turns into much more than that, as she begins to suspect that the person in question isn't just missing - but dead.
I love first-person, private detective stories, and Sue Grafton has to be one of the best writers of this type of mystery out there. Kinsey is so realistic, you can't help but root for her. I love that I only know as much as she does (thanks to that first-person viewpoint), and I discover the clues right along with her, which usually keeps me guessing until the last few pages. I thought a couple of loose ends could have been wrapped up a little better in this particular book, but it wasn't enough to detract from the storyline as it developed.
Just a quick example of Kinsey's wit and insight: "There is no place in a P.I.'s life for impatience, faintheartendess, or sloppiness. I understand the same qualifications apply for housewives." (page 33)
I'm reading the books in order, and although I enjoyed 'A' is for Alibi slightly more (I liked Kinsey romantically involved, even if her choice of partner left a little to be desired), I'm eagerly looking forward to reading 'C' is for Corpse.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good read June 28 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read on a lazy afternoon. Always like the Kinsey Millhone character. The alphabet mysteries would make a good tv series.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, slow ... not for me Jan. 3 2014
By The Baking Bookworm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Note: This review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (www.thebakingbookworm.blogspot.ca).

My Review: I read this book over Christmas holidays. I wanted a fun, light read which, if I'm being honest, would be quick so I could meet my goal of reading 65 books in 2013. I'm not new to Sue Grafton but I'm no expert either. I read 'A is for Alibi' several years ago after hearing how much one of my good friends adores this series.

Personally, I was surprised at how little I liked it because she and I are usually pretty on par with liking books. Since our experiences were so different with Grafton's first Kinsey book I began to think that maybe I was too hard on A is for Alibi when I reviewed it back in December 2009 (see my review of A is for Alibi on my blog). So, I decided to pick up B is for Burglar just in case I was wrong about my initial feelings about this author and series. Sadly, I feel the same way. I just didn't love it.

I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I just don't love Kinsey. She's an OK protagonist but is she written strong enough and interesting enough to carry an entire series? No. She's no Stephanie Plum or Alex Cross ... she's forgettable.

Similar to the first book in the series, this book was very predictable (I guessed 'whodunnit' half way through again), it had red herrings that were only mildly diverting, tonnes of characters who weren't well fleshed out and a plot that was hard to get excited about. As I was reading I kept thinking 'What am I missing? This is supposed to be a great series!'

The very rushed ending that left me wanting was the straw that broke this camel's back. This wasn't a bad book ... it just wasn't interesting or memorable. I think Kinsey and I will part ways now.

My Rating: 2/5 stars
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3.0 out of 5 stars ok Oct. 19 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'd actually give it 2.5 stars if I could. When it takes me longer than usual to finish a book, it's not a good sign. But, I did read it all which means there was some entertainment value, good suspense and good character development. I must admit to speed reading the end. The fact that it was written in 1985 also played a part in the enjoyment of the book - Kinsey today would have a cell phone, would not be so helpless and would not be digging through her purse or bag to find 20cents for the pay phone.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A likeable and quirky PI! June 14 2011
By Darlene TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This is the second book in the Kinsey Millhone, aka Alphabet Mystery, series.

Kinsey Millhone, Private Investigator, is hired by a woman to find her sister, who appears to have gone missing, in order to settle a relative's estate.

When I started this book, I forgot it was written back in 1985 when parachute pants and Mohawks were in style and people didn't email and use the internet or cell phones! How archaic to have to use the typewriter instead of the computer ;) I have forgotten how different everything was back then!

Kinsey is a very likeable protagonist: she's a bit of a loner, quirky, self-reliant, and tough.

Grafton's books are a fast read for me, and I enjoy them.

I also like Mary Peiffer's narration of these books. She did the first one as well.

MY RATING: 3.5 stars!
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4.0 out of 5 stars And this is just B! May 14 2010
By Chris
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The mystery was clever, the supporting characters (especially Pat Usher and Beverly Danziger) were interesting, and Kinsey and Santa Teresa will be visited with again, guaranteed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent May 31 2004
By A Customer
An excellent book for mystery lovers. I've just discovered Sue Grafton and started from the beginning (A is for Alibi). I read this book in 1 week (which is great for a Mom with 2 toddlers). I highly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and fun May 15 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Grafton continues to develop and expand on Kinsey's character with the second book in her series. Its been less than 2 weeks since the events of "'A' is For Alibi", when Kinsey is approached by a new client, who needs her to locate her missing sister, so she can recieve her portion of a late relatives estate. When Kinsey cant find any evidence that points to where the sister has dissapeared to, she suggests going to the police, and her client promply fires her, but she continues to persue the case anyway. Grafton deftly takes us through many twists and turns on the way to solving the mystery, which once again culmunates in Kinsey nearly getting herself killed.
A very well told story, that keeps the reader interested, but is very similar to the first book in the series. Kinsey continues to grow and develop throughout this book, and I can't wait to see what happenes to her next
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