M is for Malice, Sue Grafton - 06.18.07 ***
N is for Noose, Sue Grafton - 06.19.07 ***
O is for Outlaw, Sue Grafton - 06.20.07 ****
In my haste to get to the next book in the series, I keep forgetting to stop and talk about each book as I finish it! So today I shall update y'all on the last three that I've read.
In M is for Malice, Kinsey reluctantly accepts a job from one of her newfound cousins, a lawyer from San Francisco, who is representing the Malek family. Papa Malek has died recently, leaving approximately $20 million to his four children, one of whom has been missing for 18 years since Papa Malek kicked him out of the house. Kinsey begins the search for the missing brother and finds Guy Malek easily, informs him of his father's death, and incorrectly assumes that her part in the family drama is done. But when Guy returns to claim his share of the inheritance, old memories bubble to the surface and threaten to tear the family even further apart, and when Guy is found murdered, his head bashed in while he slept, the three remaining brothers all seem to share means, motive and opportunity. Did one of Guy's siblings murder him for his share of the money, or is there more going on than meets the eye? Kinsey swears to find out.
N is for Noose finds Kinsey in Nevada, where she has been caring for her friend Deitz after a knee surgery. When an old client of his calls and asks for his help, Deitz sends Kinsey down to Nota Lake to see if she can help the recently widowed Selma Newquist, whose husband Tom, a deputy with the local police, has recently died of a heart attack. Selma believes that something was bothering Tom before he died, but he didn't seem to confide in anyone, his recent case notes are missing, and when Kinsey starts asking questions the town folk close ranks and either refuse to talk to her or misdirect her anyway they can. When Kinsey gets attacked late one night she nearly gives up on the case, but after returning home to Santa Teresa the few nagging clues she has won't let her go. After speaking with a mystery woman in Santa Teresa who knew Tom, Kinsey discovers that Tom was following some leads on what may be a double homicide, but with his notes missing, and no clues to speak of, Kinsey is stumped. She returns to Nota Lake, and suddenly the pieces start falling into place. Tom knew a secret - but whether it's corruption in the police force or corruption in Tom's own home, Kinsey won't find out for sure until it's nearly too late...
In O is for Outlaw, we are introduced to Kinsey's first ex-husband. We met her second ex-husband Daniel several books ago, and while he's alive and well, the Mickey may not be so lucky. Fourteen years ago Mickey was implicated in a fatal beating, and when he asked Kinsey to lie about where he was the night of the death, she leaves him and files for a divorce. Having not spoken to him or rarely even thought about him since then, two strange things happen in quick succession - a fourteen year old letter suddenly arrives that may prove Mickey really was innocent of the crime, and almost immediately after the letter arrives, two cops from LA do the same with some bad news. Mickey has been shot twice - with a gun that once belonged to Kinsey, and is currently in a coma at UCLA, where the doctors don't expect him to survive. Feeling vaguely guilty about her treatment of Mickey so long ago, the begins to search for the shooter with a vengence. As she tries to find out what Mickey's been up to since she last saw him, she begins to reunite with the old police gang, people who were once a part of Mickey's life - and her own. Some have done well for themselves, some not so much, and she begins to realize that Mickey knew secrets about each of these people - secrets that some of them would be willing to kill to protect.
I've been liking these books so much because I can usually figure out who the bad guy is right about the same time that Kinsey does - but I have to admit that this one blind-sided me!