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O is for Outlaw [MP3 CD]

Sue Grafton , Liza Ross
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1 2009
Once Mickey Magruder was a cop with a wild streak. And Kinsey Millhone was a younger cop who adored and married him. Then Mickey was implicated in a fatal beating, and Kinsey walked out. Now, fourteen years later, she comes face-to-face with those tragic years and Mickey's harrowing downward spiral after he lost the job he loved--and the marriage he loved a little less.

Mickey lies dying in an L.A. hospital. Trying to find out how Mickey got there, Kinsey uncovers evidence that he was innocent of the beating charge. But as she searches through the lives that swirled around Mickey's--lives gone wrong and lives gone well--Kinsey must also search the blind spots of her own life, including one that hides a killer.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Amazon

Wise-cracking, staunchly independent, and chronically curious, Grafton's gritty gumshoe Kinsey Millhone is back. This time, the alphabet series star will take on the toughest case to date: her past. What begins as a random phone call from a "storage space scavenger" (someone who buys the contents of defaulted storage units) leads Kinsey to a box of old papers and personal effects that her ex-husband, Mickey Magruder, left behind. Inside, she finds a 15-year-old unsent letter from a bartender that, among other things, reveals her former hubby was having an affair. The letter also contains details about the murder of a transient--a crime for which Mickey was blamed. Although never convicted, Mickey was ruined--losing his job, wife, and friends. But 15 years later, Kinsey realizes that foul play may have been involved in the murder, a deadly temptation for her.

Die-hard fans will especially enjoy Kinsey's self-disclosure--something she's infamous for not doing--about her childhood, the fate of her parents, and the randy details of her first marriage. A very vulnerable and interesting side to Kinsey's character is also revealed when her obsessive-compulsive fact-finding bent is mixed up with matters of the heart.

A fast, fun read, O Is for Outlaw is packed with Grafton's clear, colorful imagery and signature metaphors: "Our recollection of the past is not simply distorted by our faulty perception of events remembered, but skewed by those forgotten. The memory is like orbiting twin stars, one visible, one dark, the trajectory of what's evident forever affected by the gravity of what's concealed." --Rebekah Warren --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Grafton's fans will be thrilled with this knockout 15th Kinsey Millhone mystery, which deals with Kinsey's first marriage. In a complex story that zigzags between past and present, the California PI gets involved again with her first ex-husband, former cop Michael "Mickey" Magruder, who initially reappears in her life by chance when she comes across memorabilia he kept after their separation 14 years earlier. The mementos include an undelivered letter addressed to Kinsey, providing Mickey with an alibi for the beating death of Vietnam vet Benny Quintero, the unproven charge against Mickey that prompted Kinsey to leave him. Conscience-stricken, Kinsey looks up acquaintances from her early marriage, questioning her judgment and values at the time. Then two Los Angeles police detectives inform her that Mickey has been shot and is in a coma, and Kinsey decides to investigate. As usual in Grafton's novels, the PI encounters a string of offbeat characters who lead or mislead her in a gyre of confusion; here, many of them had motive and opportunity to shoot Mickey. In time, Kinsey stumbles on a clueAat first bewilderingAthat leads back to the Vietnam War and, eventually, points the way to Benny's killer and Mickey's assailant. In addition to her distinctive humor, sharp sense of place and crisp dialogue defining character, Grafton adds depth to this outing through unexpected details of Kinsey's past. Meanwhile, Kinsey's examination of her youthful self-righteousness and na?vet? initiates a provocative contemplation of guilt, morals and loyalty that graces one of the very best entries in a long-lived and much-loved series. Agent, Molly Friedrich at Aaron Priest. $500,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection; author tour. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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The Latin term pro bono, as most attorneys will attest, roughly translated means for boneheads and applies to work done without charge. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars V is for Very Good! April 13 2004
By Mrs taz
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. I've read other/most of the alphabet series by Sue Grafton and this is one of the best. Kinsey is such a realitic character and the humor wrapped in and around the mystery is a treat.
One criticism I have is that many of the characters are so similar, plus we have a lot of fathers and sons with the same last name, so it can be confusing to keep it all straight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I am still not tired of Kinsey Nov. 2 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's pretty hard to keep a series going this long without readers saying yeah, yeah, yeah, enough already. Not so with Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone. She's got enough quirks, character flaws, secrets, and depth of character to probably keep me interested right up to Z is for Whatever Grafton comes up with.
In O Is for Outlaw, Kinsey gets re-involved with ex-spouse Mickey Magruder and exposes some details of her past marriage, which will delight regular readers who pant for the newest addition to the series. This one gets tricky, switching back and forth between past and present, as Kinsey stumbles on some memorabilia that provides him with an alibi for an incident that let to Kinsey leaving him in the first place. Then, bingo, Mickey gets shot and is lying in a coma, and Kinsey investigates the shooting, which leads to all sorts of complications.
I do believe this is my favorite so far.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This time it's personal. May 31 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Grafton's writing just gets better and better! In O IS FOR OUTLAW, Kinsey Millhone has to deal with a violent assault on her ex-husband at the same time that she's a suspect in the attack. And an old mystery is revived and solved. Kinsey is already such a complete character, it's like having more icing on the cake to have even more personal insight into her character. I can't praise it highly enough. Simply the best. A symphony with never a note out of place.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! March 5 2003
By A Customer
Grafton is now back in form after being in the dumps with "'M' is for Malice" and "'N' is for Noose". This one will endure as one of her better novels. It is also nice to finally find out about her first husband. Read it and enjoy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars C is for [Crud] Nov. 21 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The author was recommended to me by a voracious reader of mystery, a good friend whose opinion I respected. Unfortunately, the book was banal. Why doesn't she write "Z is for Zero", which clearly states the content of her whole alphabetical series, and be done with it- spare us the rest.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the recent entries Aug. 7 2002
If you aren't a Kinsey fan and you're looking at getting into the series - you should probably start at the beginning. Not that you couldn't enjoy this book by itself. In my opinion, its the best of the books since at least K is for Killer - the series had started to sag once Kinsey's family got involved - and Kinsey is once again in fine form. This time on the hunt for her ex-husband's attempted murderer - the book has a satisfying (yet somewhat contrived) conclusion. With the requisite wit of any Millhoune mystery - this one satisfies, and I'm definitely looking forward to the rest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The masterpiece July 16 2002
Any Sue Grafton is 5 stars, but I think this is the best of the series. L is for Lawless was the funniest. B is for Burglar the most ingeniously plotted. Sometimes Grafton has a tendency to pick her culprit out of the hat with last-minute revelations just before the end. Here the plot builds up steadily to a logical climax and logical culprit.
This is the one about her her first husband, a cop falsely accused of killing. All the novels are self-contained but this is series that is well worth starting with A is for Alibi. It's kind of like reading Proust as characters reappear.
She likes to set every scene carefully. Buildings, weather, clothing, food and characters' physical appearance are all carefully described with details about how they look, how they sound and how they smell. Some readers may find this holds things up. Kinsey Milhone is put in peril at the end of each book and saved in the nick of time, and this sometimes gets implausible. The novels are all set within a fairly narrow times frame, in the 1980's (no cell phones or DNA evidence) and another implausibility is that of a private eye handling two or three murders a year, but if we worried about that we wouldn't be reading private eye stories anyway. Otherwise a perfect writer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kinsey's first husband appears from her past June 10 2002
This is the 15th novel in the author's alphabet series. The year is 1986. Kinsey's first husband was never that far away, but they had not been in contact for 14 years. A box of old belongings, from an abandoned storage unit, and a visit by two LAPD detectives, drags Kinsey back into her past. She ends up investigating why her ex-husband was shot. Dredging into the past, she discovers she misjudged him in regard to one issue, but had been blind to a different fault.
Investigation of both the past and present reveals an entirely different picture of things from what Kinsey had believed, and it becomes a whodunit until the real villain is revealed. Along the way, we discover some flaws in Kinsey's own character. She risks major criminal prosecution to obtain some minor gains (the scene with the dog is funny), and fails to cooperate with the police to the point of being obstructive. She also does enough dumb things to make one wonder how she survives. Perhaps the criminals are dumber.
Overall, the book is light reading for a rainy day. There is some violence, but nothing overly graphic. There is some mention of sexual encounters, but nothing descriptive.
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