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W is for Wasted [Hardcover]

Sue Grafton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 10 2013 Kinsey Millhone Mystery (Book 23)
Of the #1 New York Times–bestselling Kinsey Millhone series, NPR said, “Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters.”

Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I’d never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue.

The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He’d been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He’d been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone’s name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.

Two seemingly unrelated deaths, one a murder, the other apparently of natural causes.

But as Kinsey digs deeper into the mystery of the John Doe, some very strange linkages begin to emerge. And before long at least one aspect is solved as Kinsey literally finds the key to his identity. “And just like that,” she says, “the lid to Pandora’s box flew open. It would take me another day before I understood how many imps had been freed, but for the moment, I was inordinately pleased with myself.”

In this multilayered tale, the surfaces seem clear, but the underpinnings are full of betrayals, misunderstandings, and outright murderous fraud. And Kinsey, through no fault of her own, is thoroughly compromised.

W is for . . . wanderer . . . worthless . . . wronged . . .

W is for wasted.

Frequently Bought Together

W is for Wasted + Takedown Twenty: A Stephanie Plum Novel
Price For Both: CDN$ 38.25

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Praise for W IS FOR WASTED
“Grafton is a writer of many strengths—crisp characterizations, deft plotting, and eloquent dialogue among them—and she has kept her long-running alphabet mystery series fresh and each new release more welcome than the last. Her greatest skill may be the way she melds disparate, unwieldy, often difficult subjects into a cohesive whole that satisfies as both entertainment and art. It's one thing to write a bestseller (or 23), but quite another to do so while addressing larger societal ills. Achieve both, and you reach the pinnacle of the profession—as Grafton has. Her work is layered, textural, sensate—ingenious and satisfying in any genre. . . Lesser authors churn books out; Grafton continues to knock them out of the park.”—Louisville Courier-Journal
“‘W is for Wasted’ is further proof – as if it were needed – of Grafton’s immense talent. And her ability to give equal weight to the story of the detective and the detective story sets her apart in the world of crime fiction.” ––Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Kinsey Millhone, the well-nigh immortal sleuth in this enduring series, still has time to play her rebel role simply by living a spartan existence in a world of greedy narcissists…How sweet it is to see the California private eye back in her garage apartment…It’s also fun to watch her at work, taking notes on index cards, typing reports on a Smith-Corona and here’s what really matters—communicating with people face-to-face.” ––New York Times Book Review
“Involving, amusing and fast-paced.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Nearing the conclusion of this celebrated series, Grafton continues to shape Millhone’s character, toughened by circumstance but still both understanding and forgiving.”—Booklist
“Grafton has lost none of her ability to bring her character vividly to life: Kinsey is as witty and engaging as ever, although somewhat more subdued and thoughtful owing to the emotionally charged tasks she has to perform. As Grafton nears the end of her long-running alphabet series, readers of mystery and suspense and Grafton’s many fans will delight in and savor this latest addition.”—Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for Sue Grafton

“After three decades Grafton’s iconic detective remains a quirky delight. With the help of McDonald’s pit stops and her single no-wrinkle black dress, Kinsey is sure to keep up the good fight through W, X, Y and Z—taking punches for the little guys and keeping the bad ones at bay.” —People

“Millhone’s complexity is mirrored by the novels that document her cases: books that nestle comfortably within the mystery genre even as they push and prod its contours.”—The Wall Street Journal
“I’ve come to believe that Grafton is not only the most talented woman writing crime fiction today but also that regardless of gender, her Millhone books are among the five or six best series any American has ever written.”—The Washington Post
“Grafton purposively begins with a standard situation . . . and then sets about breaking every cardinal rule of the mystery novel.”—The Los Angeles Times

About the Author

SUE GRAFTON lives in Montecito, California, and Louisville, Kentucky.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars W IS FOR WAY TOO LONG Sept. 19 2013
By little lady blue TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed the story as I have all the previous Grafton/Millhone novels to date. While Kinsey did not seem her usual spunky self with her snappy repartee perhaps the plot did not call for it. I liked the mix of addiction medicine and scientific fraud and found it all quite believable even though I think it was a bit of a departure from past plots and themes thus making this not as light reading as previous story lines. I was glad to see some of Kinsey's old flames make an appearance & I especially enjoyed Ed the cat who brought a smile to my face. I hope to see him featured in future books.

Bogged down with a mishmash of unrelated, needless and unnecessary detail and descriptions is why I rate this 3 stars. It took forever to get to the crux of the matter. I was tempted to skip but didn't, what I did instead was I kept putting the book down for extended periods of time. Simply put, the book (484 pages) was just way too long.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Great" should begin with W! Sept. 10 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
About nine months ago, author Sue Grafton published a stand-alone book called " Kinsey and Me" which was a group of short stories, divided into two sections. The first part were short stories about the Kinsey Milhone character, basically 15 pages or so in length, and all pretty good. The second section was more short stories, this time about a character called "Sue Grafton". The book was not as much a hit with her fans as her "Alphabet" books have been, but "Kinsey and Me" was important in a way to understand Sue Grafton and her writing and her characters.

We now have her new book, "W is for Wasted". The story of Kinsey Milhone and her involvement in two murders and a whole bunch of cover-ups. Related to one victim and knowing the other in a peripheral fashion, Kinsey is drawn into the murders. Kinsey is also drawn back into her birth family and its problems. For a while, Grafton had made her twisted family tree large parts of her stories. They weren't particularly interesting and in recent books, she's left her aunts, grandmother, and cousins out of the story. Now some are back and are a bit more interesting and some of the characterisations the reader saw in "Kinsey and Me" are there.
Is "W" a character study or an action-plot book? I'd say it's a bit of both. Sue Grafton has always been an interesting, off-beat writer. Kinsey Milhone and her life are set in the 1980's - a eon or two ago in terms of technical development. Living before cell phones and Ipads, Grafton refuses to move her characters forward in time. "W" is an excellent story and one that goes along well with her previous "stand-alone", as well as her alphabet series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long wait & let down Sept. 20 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm surprised at how favorable the other reviews are. It's been a while since Kinsey's last, and I thought W is for Wasted was disappointing and the title dangerously suggestive. The plot is okay, but it's well padded with detail and extraneous events that quickly grow tedious. The ending is okay, but too preachy about the homeless. More important is that resolution turns on a twist about guns that I saw coming when the shooting takes place early in the book. Certainly not up to earlier stories. Three more letters in the alphabet; I hope things improve.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars w wasted my time Nov. 4 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I W asted my time with this so-called novel.... the story is all over the place with stupid details non-pertinent etc
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hanging in there May 10 2014
By Hal
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think it must have been B or C or maybe G that I had read some time ago. A lot of it came back to me, as I read W. An interesting story, suspenseful and fast moving.

Although I like Kinsey, I won't likely need to check in on her for a while.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Love Ed the Cat Feb. 4 2014
Some Kinsey books are better than others. Unfortunately this is one of the others. However, the introduction of Ed the Cat to the Kinsey - Henry household is a delight to cat lovers. Hope he is still around in the next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read! Jan. 31 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I so enjoy spending time with Kinsey and I already can't wait for the next book. X is for ...?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super Read Jan. 10 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Keeps you on edge up to & including the last page, looking forward to reading X when it is published!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought this for my Mom for Christmas last year. ...
Bought this for my Mom for Christmas last year. She loves Sue Grafton, so you can't go wrong if you are a Grafton fan :D
Published 4 days ago by Caro
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. One of my favourite authors
Published 12 days ago by Toni
1.0 out of 5 stars Too much unnecessary information. Some paragraphs went on and on about...
Too much unnecessary information. Some paragraphs went on and on about one subject. Usually I enjoy her novels, but not too pleased with this one.
Published 13 days ago by Sandra Leatham
4.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best yet in this enjoyable series
Possibly the best yet in this enjoyable series. Kinsey is like comfort food. Just the right blend of plot and character development of the principals.
Published 17 days ago by Ronald E. Dines
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read
Published 19 days ago by Janice Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Sue Grafton
Love Sue Grafton, There is so much time between her books, that I forget what a great writer she is.
Kinsey is always entertaining.
Published 1 month ago by Merry
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent as always love Sue Grafton characters
Published 1 month ago by David Brunette
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Can't wait for "X"!!!
Published 1 month ago by Tuula A. Maunula
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoy all of Grafton's book --- have all up to date.
Published 2 months ago by Edith M Elliott
4.0 out of 5 stars and loved all of them
not the same as her other books . read them all up to this one , and loved all of them . but find this slightly boring at times .
Published 2 months ago by Bob Doonan
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