B Is for Burglar Mass Market Paperback – Sep 1 1986
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'Kinsey Millhone (is) just about the gutsiest as well as the shrewdest of her kind.' Observer --This text refers to the Audio Cassette 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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
I would like to comment on the audio tapes brilliantly narrated by Judy Kaye. I had already read a few books in the series and had enjoyed them very much when idea of trying the audio cassettes occurred to me. Spending two hours per day in the car going to and from work, I found myself stressed out and tired of the news or music on the radio. Since listening to these audio tapes on my commute, I find myself more relaxed, less apt to speed, and surprisingly able to concentrate very well on my driving while listening. What a cure for road rage! Granted, it's not an idea for everyone. I am one of those people who never talks on cell phones while driving because that seems too distracting, but the audio books seem to be no problem for me. I also listen to the tapes in my walkman while at the gym (makes that time on the treadmills or exercise bike go fast!)
Now these aren't the first audio books I have tried, but they are the first that I have been really happy with the narration. Judy Kaye does such a great job, I have a hard time believing that she isn't really Kinsey Millhone - or worse yet - that Kinsey doesn't really exist. Judy's vocal quality and inflections are perfect for the character and while she also does very well on the voices of other characters, she doesn't try to overdo them either. When Kinsey is afraid, tired, ecstatic, - whatever the feelings - Judy's voice lets you know before the words even have a chance to sink in.
You only have to compare to some of the other books on tape out there to truly understand the difference.Read more ›
When Elaine Boldt is missing everyone just assumes that she has taken off for Florida like she does every year, but when no one in Florida has heard from her things get odd. Kinsey starts out by talking to the people in Santa Terese who might have seen her before she disappeared, but they all say that they say her shortly before she heads off Florida.
While in Florida Kinsey meets an intersting woman who claims that she is a good friend of Elaine and she is just staying in Elaines place untill Elaine gets back. Kinsey isn't to sure of this woman's story and starts to look further.
The more Kinsey looks the deeper she gets into this case. This book had me wanting to know more about who did what and how things got to be this way. This was definitly a page turner for me.
I'm looking forward to more of Kinsey's adentures and fun.
Most recent customer reviews
Great read on a lazy afternoon. Always like the Kinsey Millhone character. The alphabet mysteries would make a good tv series.Published 19 months ago by Nicole P
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. Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2013 by C. Mills
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... Read more
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.Published on May 14 2010 by Chris
An excellent book for mystery lovers. I've just discovered Sue Grafton and started from the beginning (A is for Alibi). Read morePublished on May 31 2004
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... Read morePublished on May 15 2004 by Josh Aterovis
The second in Sue Grafton's alphabet series really helps the series pick up speed. This one takes Kinsey from California to Boca Raton Florida and back.Published on May 13 2004 by Sarah Sammis
"B is for Burglar" is Kinsey Millhone's report on her search for Elaine Boldt, a wealthy woman who, instead of going to her Florida condo, has disappeared. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2003 by erica
The plot is very clear, but I feel that I missed a lot by listening to the abridged version. For example, I never really "got into" the characters. Read morePublished on June 22 2003 by the_student