W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
(A Marion Wood Book/Putnam, 2013, 496 pages)
W is for Wasted is the 23rd novel in the alphabet series by Sue Grafton. In this novel, Private Investigator, Kinsey Millhone, investigates two seemingly unrelated deaths. Pete Wolinsky, a shady private investigator and acquaintance of Kinsey, is found dead in an apparent robbery attempt. R. T. Dace, a homeless man with addiction issues, is found dead on the beach of natural causes. Dace has Kinsey’s name and office number in his pocket. Kinsey is asked to identify the body, but has never seen the man in her life. Why did Dace have Kinsey’s number in his pocket? As the plot unfolds, Kinsey discovers why Dace has her number and that the deaths of Wolinsky and Dace are related.
W is for Wasted takes place in California in 1988. Grafton tries to keep the novel period specific so she is writing about Kinsey using phone books and typewriters rather than Google and computers. Kinsey buys a 1983 Honda which seems ancient in 2013, but isn’t too old for a novel set in 1988.
Grafton’s alphabet series is coming to an end. The first title in the series is A is for Alibi. I’m wondering what titles she’ll use for X, Y, and Z. I have read that the last title will be Z is for Zero. If you are looking for a mystery with an interesting female heroine, you might want to give Grafton’s alphabet series a try.