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"C" is for Corpse
Cover of "C" is for Corpse
"C" is for Corpse
Kinsey Millhone Series, Book 3

You haven't read a thriller until you read #1 New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton's novels with her unforgettable P.I. Kinsey Millhone...

"C" is for Corpse

He was young-maybe twenty or so-and he must once have been a good-looking kid. Kinsey could see that. But now his body was covered in scars, his face half-collapsed. It saddened Kinsey and made her curious. She could see he was in a lot of pain. But for three weeks, as Kinsey'd watched him doggedly working out at the local gym, putting himself through a grueling exercise routine, he never spoke.

Then one Monday morning when there was no one else in the gym, Bobby Callahan approached her. His story was hard to credit: a murderous assault by a tailgating car on a lonely rural road, a roadside smash into a canyon 400 feet below, his Porsche a bare ruin, his best friend dead. The doctors had managed to put his body back together again-sort of. His mother's money had seen to that. What they couldn't fix was his mind, couldn't restore the huge chunks of memory wiped out by the crash. Bobby knew someone had tried to kill him, but he didn't know why. He knew he had the key to something that made him dangerous to the killer, but he didn't know what it was. And he sensed that someone was still out there, ready to pounce at the first sign his memory was coming back. He'd been to the cops, but they'd shrugged off his story. His family thought he had a screw loose. But he was scared-scared to death. He wanted to hire Kinsey.

His case didn't have a whole lot going for it, but he was hard to resist: young, brave, hurt. She took him on. And three days later, Bobby Callahan was dead.

Kinsey Millhone never welshed a deal. She'd been hired to stop a killing. Now she'd find the killer.

"A" Is for Alibi
"B" Is for Burglar
"C" Is for Corpse
"D" Is for Deadbeat
"E" Is for Evidence
"F" Is for Fugitive
"G" Is for Gumshoe
"H" Is for Homicide
"I" Is for Innocent
"J" Is for Judgment
"K" Is for Killer
"L" is for Lawless
"M" Is for Malice
"N" Is for Noose
"O" Is for Outlaw
"P" Is for Peril
"Q" Is for Quarry
"R" Is for Ricochet
"S" Is for Silence
"T" Is for Trespass
"U" Is for Undertow
"V" Is for Vengeance
"W" Is for Wasted
"X"

You haven't read a thriller until you read #1 New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton's novels with her unforgettable P.I. Kinsey Millhone...

"C" is for Corpse

He was young-maybe twenty or so-and he must once have been a good-looking kid. Kinsey could see that. But now his body was covered in scars, his face half-collapsed. It saddened Kinsey and made her curious. She could see he was in a lot of pain. But for three weeks, as Kinsey'd watched him doggedly working out at the local gym, putting himself through a grueling exercise routine, he never spoke.

Then one Monday morning when there was no one else in the gym, Bobby Callahan approached her. His story was hard to credit: a murderous assault by a tailgating car on a lonely rural road, a roadside smash into a canyon 400 feet below, his Porsche a bare ruin, his best friend dead. The doctors had managed to put his body back together again-sort of. His mother's money had seen to that. What they couldn't fix was his mind, couldn't restore the huge chunks of memory wiped out by the crash. Bobby knew someone had tried to kill him, but he didn't know why. He knew he had the key to something that made him dangerous to the killer, but he didn't know what it was. And he sensed that someone was still out there, ready to pounce at the first sign his memory was coming back. He'd been to the cops, but they'd shrugged off his story. His family thought he had a screw loose. But he was scared-scared to death. He wanted to hire Kinsey.

His case didn't have a whole lot going for it, but he was hard to resist: young, brave, hurt. She took him on. And three days later, Bobby Callahan was dead.

Kinsey Millhone never welshed a deal. She'd been hired to stop a killing. Now she'd find the killer.

"A" Is for Alibi
"B" Is for Burglar
"C" Is for Corpse
"D" Is for Deadbeat
"E" Is for Evidence
"F" Is for Fugitive
"G" Is for Gumshoe
"H" Is for Homicide
"I" Is for Innocent
"J" Is for Judgment
"K" Is for Killer
"L" is for Lawless
"M" Is for Malice
"N" Is for Noose
"O" Is for Outlaw
"P" Is for Peril
"Q" Is for Quarry
"R" Is for Ricochet
"S" Is for Silence
"T" Is for Trespass
"U" Is for Undertow
"V" Is for Vengeance
"W" Is for Wasted
"X"

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  • Copyright © 1986 by Sue Grafton.

    Published in December 2005 by St. Martin's Press.

    All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is...

    Chapter One

    I met Bobby Callahan on Monday of that week. By Thursday, he was dead. He was convinced someone was trying to kill him and it turned out to be true, but none of us figured it out in time to save him. I've never worked for a dead man before and I hope I won't have to do it again. This report is for him, for whatever it's worth.

    My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm a licensed private investigator, doing business in Santa Teresa, California, which is ninety-five miles north of Los Angeles. I'm thirty-two years old, twice divorced. I like being alone and I suspect my independence suits me better than it should. Bobby challenged that. I don't know quite how or why. He was only twenty-three years old. I wasn't romantically involved with him in any sense of the word, but I did care and his death served to remind me, like a custard pie in the face, that life is sometimes one big savage joke. Not funny "ha ha," but cruel, like those gags sixth-graders have been telling since the world began.

    It was August and I'd been working out at Santa Teresa Fitness, trying to remedy the residual effects of a broken left arm. The days were hot, filled with relentless sunshine and clear skies. I was feeling cranky and bored, doing push-downs and curls and wrist rolls. I'd just worked two cases back-to-back and I'd sustained more damage than a fractured humerus. I was feeling emotionally battered and I needed a rest. Fortunately, my bank account was fat and I knew I could afford to take two months off. At the same time, the idleness was making me restless and the physical-therapy regimen was driving me nuts.

    Santa Teresa Fitness is a real no-nonsense place: the brand X of health clubs. No Jacuzzi, no sauna, no music piped in. Just mirrored walls, body-building equipment, and industrial-grade carpeting the color of asphalt. The whole twenty-eight-hundred square feet of space smells like men's jockstraps.

    I'd arrive at eight in the morning, three days a week, and warm up for fifteen minutes, then launch into a series of exercises designed to strengthen and condition my left deltoid, pectoralis major, biceps, triceps, and anything else that had gone awry since I'd had the snot beaten out of me and had intersected the flight path of a .22 slug. The orthopedist had prescribed six weeks of physical therapy and so far, I'd done three. There was nothing for it but to work my way patiently from one machine to the next. I was usually the only woman in the place at that hour and I tended to distract myself from the pain, sweat, and nausea by checking out men's bodies while they were checking out mine.

    Bobby Callahan came in at the same time I did. I wasn't sure what had happened to him, but whatever it was, it had hurt. He was probably just short of six feet tall, with a football player's physique: big head, thick neck, brawny shoulders, heavy legs. Now the shaggy blond head was held to one side, the left half of his face pulled down in a permanent grimace. His mouth leaked saliva as though he'd just been shot up with Novocain and couldn't quite feel his own lips. He tended to hold his left arm up against his waist and he usually carried a folded white handkerchief that he used to mop up his chin. There was a terrible welt of dark red across the bridge of his nose, a second across his chest, and his knees were crisscrossed with scars as though a swordsman had slashed at him. He walked with a lilting gait, his left Achilles tendon apparently shortened, pulling his left heel up. Working out must have cost him everything he had, yet he never failed to appear. There was a doggedness about...

About the Author-
  • #1 New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton (1940-2017) entered the mystery field in 1982 with the publication of 'A' Is for Alibi, which introduced female hard-boiled private investigator, Kinsey Millhone, operating out of the fictional town of Santa Teresa, (aka Santa Barbara) California, and launched the bestselling Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries. In addition to her books, she'd published several Kinsey Millhone short stories, and with her husband, Steven Humphrey, wrote numerous movies for television, including "A Killer in the Family" (starring Robert Mitchum), "Love on the Run" (starring Alec Baldwin and Stephanie Zimbalist) and two Agatha Christie adaptations, "Sparkling Cyanide" and "Caribbean Mystery," which starred Helen Hayes. Grafton is published in 28 countries and in 26 languages.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 1, 1986
    The corpse in private eye Kinsey Millhone's third adventure

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    Henry Holt and Co.
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Kinsey Millhone Series, Book 3
Sue Grafton
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