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N Is for Noose [Mass Market Paperback]

Sue Grafton
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 29 1999 Kinsey Millhone Mysteries
Tom Newquist had been a detective in the Nota Lake sheriff's office--a tough, honest cop respected by everyone. When he died suddenly, the townfolk were sad but not surprised. Just shy of sixty-five, Newquist worked too hard, drank too much, and exercised too little.

Newquist's widow, Selma, didn't doubt the coroner's report. But still, she couldn't help wondering what had so bothered Tom in the last six weeks of his life. What was it that had made him prowl restlessly at night and brood constantly? Determined to help Selma find the answer, Kinsey Millhone sets up shop in Nota Lake, where she finds that looking for a needle in a haystack can draw blood--very likely, her own. . . .

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From Amazon

"Suppose we could peer through a tiny peephole in time and chance upon a flash of what was coming up in the years ahead?" The questioner is Kinsey Millhone, middle-aged, two-time divorcee detective and junk food junkie star of Sue Grafton's popular "alphabet" mysteries; the book is 'N' Is for Noose. If Kinsey had had just a smidgen of foresight, she would never have taken her current case, handed down to her from her on-again, off-again flame and comrade in arms, Robert Dietz. We encounter the two this time out after Deitz's knee surgery, as Kinsey drives his "snazzy little red Porsche" back to Carson City, where she checks out his digs for the first time. To her surprise, he lives in a palatial penthouse, which--under the unspoken bylaws of investigative etiquette--she qualmlessly snoops through. They sit around for a fortnight playing gin rummy and eating peanut butter and pickle sandwiches together, but perennially single Kinsey grows wary: "It was time to hit the road before our togetherness began to chafe."

She heads off to meet Dietz's former client, Mrs. Selma Newquist, a devastated widow whose makeup tips seem to come from Tammy Faye Baker. Her husband Tom Newquist, a detective himself, had been working on a mysterious case when he abruptly died of a heart attack. Selma suspects foul play, but bless her, she isn't the brightest star in the sky and can't figure out what Tom was working on even though he's left behind enough paper to fill a recycling truck. Kinsey digs right in and roams the sleepy, one-horse town of Nota Lake for clues, interviewing a colorful cast of in-laws and locals. Beneath the quaint, quiet, country veneer, she unearths a bubbling hotbed of internal strife and familial double-dealing. Was Tom covering up for his partner? Is Selma protecting someone? Grafton's knack for gritty details and realistic characters ("[Selma's] skin tones suggested dark coloring, but her hair was a confection of white-blond curls, like a cloud of cotton candy"), coupled with the fast-paced, believable story line, makes for another delightful, entertaining read. --Rebekah Warren, Bestsellers editor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The noose of the title implies a tight knot, but the twists and turns of Grafton's latest plot are pretty loose. Not that the fans of self-reliant PI Kinsey Millhone's 13 previous alphabet appearances (from 1982's A Is for Alibi through 1996's M Is for Malice) are likely to object. This story takes Kinsey away from her Southern California coastal town of Santa Teresa to the small mountain community of Nota Lake in the Sierras. There, Selma Newquist hires Kinsey to ferret out the problem that had been seriously bothering her cop husband, Tom, before his recent death from a heart attack. Kinsey's efforts are soon stonewalled as the residents of Nota Lake unite, suggesting that the widow is being troublesome while the good-guy cop should be left to rest in peace. Kinsey wonders whether the townspeople might be right until she is seriously beaten up in her Nota Lake motel room. Focusing on finding the dead man's missing notebook, she follows his trail to a seedy hotel not far from Santa Teresa that he visited a few weeks before his death. While keeping a suspicious eye on the dead man's police partner and a few other local figures, Kinsey determines that Tom Newquist had been investigating an old murder near Nota Lake, which may have had ties to a similar, recent murder. Lots of coincidences, some over-the top characters, including a hyper-raunchy older woman, and some unprepared-for elements contribute to the rather chaotic climax. But Grafton's easy-reading, intelligent prose and her heroine's sharp humor, served up dark and wry, make up for a slew of plot weaknesses. 1,000,000 first printing; Mystery Guild main selection; Literary Guild selection; 18-city author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Sometimes I think about how odd it would be to catch a glimpse of the future, a quick view of events lying in store for us at some undisclosed date. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 4 2014
My wife is a huge Sue Grafton fan
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4.0 out of 5 stars What Mess Does Kinsey Get Herself Into Next? June 13 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
In "N" is for Noose, Kinsey is letting herself in for more than she can handle. Selma Newquist lost her husband in an untimely heart attack as he was driving home. Before the event though, Tom Newquist was deeply disturbed about something, and Selma knew he was. But about what, she wondered? So, Kinsey is hired to find out the secrets of what might have really happened, and in so doing, she gets into a lot of trouble. As she digs deeper and deeper, someone has it in for her to make her stop. She gets physically attacked once, but if she doesn't stop her probing, it may happen again.
A good book overall, and worth the reading time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Kinsey's best outing April 4 2004
By saliero
By now, Grafton's heroine, Kinsey Millhone, is well established amongst the ranks of female detectives. This book possibly isnlt the best of the series.
I found it a little disappointing in that it plods somewhat and I wasnlt at all guessing to the end - to me the perpetrator stood out a mile off. I found some of the peripheral characters just plain boring.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Cold Case file Aug. 18 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A woman wanted to know why her recently dead husband was under stress. She was willing to hire Kinsey Milhone to find the reason. Her husband Tom Newquist had not been sleeping well. The job was in the vicinity of Carson City. It was the sort of place where people might wear a combination of snow and western clothing. The widow of the dead man, Selma, was very helpful. Tom Newquist did not smile. In his picture he had the look of a police officer. Before his death by heart attack he was not necessrily a healthy man. He drank, he smoked, he was overweight, and he was strait-laced. He saw the world in rigid terms. He was a good investigator by all reports. His sister believed he tried too hard to please his wife who was a snob. Kinsey was assaulted and felt herself going into shock. She received help getting to the hospital. I did not realize that investigators liked to dig into old unsolved cases, but apparently they do. Tom Newquist was probably involved in such a venture when he died. Uncharacteristically he ate away from home just prior to his death. An unidentified woman was seen within a quarter mile of his pick up truck parked by the side of the road. The break in the case came from someone in Nota Lake who believed the dead man had an interest in a female investigator from another sheriff's department.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kinsey does a favor for Dietz May 5 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kinsey has just come back from playing nurse to her sometime-lover Dietz who has undergone knee replacement surgery. As a favor to him, she promises to look at a case in the small town of Nota Lake, where a detective named Tom Newquist has just died of a heart attack. His widow feels that her husband died under suspicious circumstances and that she cannot rest until she finds out what really happened. Kinsey decides to take the case and begins interviewing the local people who might be involved. They turn out to be an unfriendly bunch and before she knows it, she suffers some injuries at the hands of a mysterious attacker. That's just the beginning, and before long Kinsey feels like a real outcast among the citizens of the tiny town. She continues to investigate to see what really prompted Tom's death and whether there was foul play involved. This book is a little more predictable than some in the series, but Kinsey's adventures always make for a good read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Grafton's better efforts. Feb. 17 2003
By A Customer
Unlike the preceding 13 novels in this series, Millhone is having a week of rather bad hair days in this one and it shows. It spite of her usually optimistic approach to life, Millone is pessimistic throughout. I would hope this isn't what the rest of the series is going to be like.
Not a particularly good novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Matter of Taste Dec 20 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think most of us here rate a book on the basis of our own tastes--what kinds of books we personally enjoy reading. Sue Grafton's alphabet series really isn't about non-stop action or heart-stopping adventure. What it about is one of the most quirky, engaging characters in modern mysteries: Kinsey Milhone. I've read the whole series to date, and in the process I have come to know and care about Kinsey. As each book comes out, I look forward to finding out what Kinsey is up now; and just as importantly, how she sees her life and the other characters that populate her world. Sue Grafton has crafted Kinsey with a deft touch and a generous dollop of wry humor. For my reading tastes, "N is for Noose" is another delightful installment in the series. I just hope Sue Grafton will start in on numbers when she runs out of alphabet, so this series can go on and on.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good first half Aug. 30 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I actually like the slow and frustrating investigation by Kinsey. The plot pulled me right in - all the agonizing twists and turns. Some new facets of Kinseys charatcter were exposed, I thought. The ending is - ummm - below average. I agree with some reviewers that is it perhaps too surprising - the final explanation adds up - but only just - not good enough, really.
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