In her 10th alphabet adventure, southern California PI Kinsey
Milhone is working again for California Fidelity, navigating her
way through a plot-driven tale that will remind readers of her
earliest appearances, despite Grafton's deft introduction of new
material. Shady financier Wendell Jaffe has recently been decreed
dead, five years after his real estate empire collapsed and he
disappeared from his beloved 35-foot ketch off the coast, an
apparent suicide. California Fidelity has just paid his widow
$500,000. But then Jaffe is spotted in Mexico with another woman.
Kinsey's investigation lands her in some tough spots--such as a
drunken stranger's hotel room where she pretends to be a
hooker--gets her shot at and leads to a dramatic resolution at sea.
It also introduces her to a genealogist who requires Kinsey to
revise her notion of herself as an orphan alone in the world. While
maintaining full control of her plot's variously colored threads,
many of which are tied to Jaffe's family (his 18-year-old son is on
the lam from a murder charge), Grafton cameos such familiar
characters as Kinsey's octogenarian landlord Henry, his older
brother William, and Rose, the neighborhood bar owner. But the
spotlight remains on Kinsey who, without a love interest to
distract her, sticks to the case at hand and tries, with limited
success, to assimilate the existence of a not too distant family,
whom readers will likely learn more of in "K." 500,000 first
printing; major ad/promo; Literary Guild selection; author tour.