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"Q" is for Quarry
Cover of "Q" is for Quarry
"Q" is for Quarry
Kinsey Millhone Series, Book 17
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Sue Grafton delivers an intensely gripping mystery based on an actual unsolved murder in this #1 New York Times bestseller featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone.
She was a "Jane Doe," an unidentified white female whose decomposed body was discovered near a quarry off California's Highway 1. The case fell to the Santa Teresa County Sheriff's Department, but the detectives had little to go on. The woman was young, her hands were bound with a length of wire, there were multiple stab wounds, and her throat had been slashed. After months of investigation, the murder remained unsolved...
That was eighteen years ago. Now the two men who found the body are nearing the end of their careers in law enforcement—and they want one last shot at the case. Old and ill, they need someone to help with their legwork and they turn to Kinsey Millhone.
Kinsey is intrigued by the cold case and agrees to take the job. But revisiting the past can be a dangerous business, and what begins with the pursuit of Jane Doe's real identity ends in a high-risk hunt for her killer.
Sue Grafton delivers an intensely gripping mystery based on an actual unsolved murder in this #1 New York Times bestseller featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone.
She was a "Jane Doe," an unidentified white female whose decomposed body was discovered near a quarry off California's Highway 1. The case fell to the Santa Teresa County Sheriff's Department, but the detectives had little to go on. The woman was young, her hands were bound with a length of wire, there were multiple stab wounds, and her throat had been slashed. After months of investigation, the murder remained unsolved...
That was eighteen years ago. Now the two men who found the body are nearing the end of their careers in law enforcement—and they want one last shot at the case. Old and ill, they need someone to help with their legwork and they turn to Kinsey Millhone.
Kinsey is intrigued by the cold case and agrees to take the job. But revisiting the past can be a dangerous business, and what begins with the pursuit of Jane Doe's real identity ends in a high-risk hunt for her killer.
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  • From the book 1.

    It was Wednesday, the second week in April, and Santa Teresa was making a wanton display of herself. The lush green of winter, with its surfeit of magenta and salmon bougainvillea, had erupted anew in a splashy show of crocuses, hyacinths, and flowering plum trees. The skies were a mild blue, the air balmy and fragrant. Violets dotted the grass. I was tired of spending my days closeted in the hall of records, searching out grant deeds and tax liens for clients who were, doubtless, happily pursuing tennis, golf, and other idle amusements.

    I suppose I was suffering from a mutant, possibly incurable form of spring fever, which consisted of feeling bored, restless, and disconnected from humanity at large. My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm a private detective in Santa Teresa, California, ninety-five miles north of Los Angeles. I'd be turning thirty-seven on May 5, which was coming up in four weeks, an event that was probably contributing to my general malaise. I lead a stripped-down existence untroubled by bairn, pets, or living household plants.

    On February 15, two months before, I'd moved into new offices, having separated myself from my association with the law firm of Kingman and Ives. Lonnie Kingman had purchased a building on lower State Street, and though he'd offered to take me with him, I felt it was time to be out on my own.

    That was my first mistake.

    My second was an unfortunate encounter with two landlords in a deal that went sour and left me out in the cold.

    My third office-related error was the one I now faced. In desperation, I'd rented space in a nondescript cottage on Caballeria Lane, where a row of identical stucco bungalows were lined up at the curb like the Three Little Pigs. The block-short, narrow, and lined with cars-ran between Santa Teresa Street and Arbor, a block north of Via Madrina, in the heart of downtown. While the price was right and the location was excellent-in easy walking distance of the courthouse, the police station, and the public library-the office itself fell woefully short of ideal.

    The interior consisted of two rooms. The larger I designated as my office proper; the smaller I was using as a combination library-and-reception area. In addition, there was a galley-style kitchen, where I kept a small refrigerator, my coffee pot, and my Sparkletts water dispenser. There was also a small fusty half-bath with a sorrowful-looking toilet and sink. The whole of it smelled like mildew, and I suspected at night wee creatures scuttled around the baseboards after all the lights were turned off. By way of compensation, the building's owner had offered unlimited cans of an off-brand paint, and I'd spent the better part of a week rolling coats of white latex over the former pulsating pink, a shade reminiscent of internal organs at work. He'd also agreed to have the rugs cleaned, not that anyone could tell. The beige high-low, wall-to-wall nylon carpeting was matted from long wear and seemed to be infused with despair. I'd arranged and rearranged my desk, my swivel chair, my file cabinets, sofa, and assorted artificial plants. Nothing dispelled the general air of weariness that infected the place. I had plenty of money in savings (twenty-five thousand bucks if it's anybody's business) so, in theory, I could have held out for much classier digs. On the other hand, at three fifty a month, the space was affordable and satisfied one of my basic principles in life, which is: Never, never, never, to live beyond my means. I don't want to be compelled to take on work to meet my overhead. The office is meant to serve me, not the other way around.

    Since the bungalows on either side of...
About the Author-
  • New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton is published in 28 countries and 26 languages—including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian. Books in her alphabet series, begun in 1982, are international bestsellers with readership in the millions. And like Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Robert Parker, and John D. MacDonald—the best of her breed—Sue Grafton has earned new respect for the mystery form. Her readers appreciate her buoyant style, her eye for detail, her deft hand with character, her acute social observances, and her abundant storytelling talents. Sue divides her time between Montecito, California and Louisville, Kentucky, where she was born and raised. She has three children and two grandchildren. Grafton has been married to Steve Humphrey for more than twenty years. She loves cats, gardens, and good cuisine.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 4, 2002
    Although this latest Kinsey Millhone novel features all of Grafton's tried and true elements of suspense and humor, there's something unusual here: the story—of an unsolved homicide that occurred in 1969—is based on a real event. Grafton became interested in this case, of an unidentified white female whose decomposed body was discovered near a California quarry. While Grafton was writing the novel, Jane Doe's body was exhumed and a forensic artist did the facial reconstruction, in the hopes that seeing the victim's image might trigger someone's memory. Kinsey is pulled into working on the case when her old friend Con Dolan asks for her help as a favor, to help Stacey Oliphant, an aging, ailing policeman, fulfill his dream of solving the mystery of Jane Doe's murder. There's not much to go on, as the case has been cold for years, yet the trio—Kinsey, Dolan and Stacey—persevere; slowly, leads begin to turn up. Kaye gives a fine performance. While she's well accustomed to reading Kinsey (she's been the audiobook reader for the entire series) and performs that part with gusto here, she also deftly handles the craggy old voices of Dolan and Stacey (although at times it's hard to distinguish between them). By turns sassy, professional and heartbreaking, her portrayal of Grafton's beloved heroine will delight fans. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Forecasts, Sept. 16).

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 16, 2002
    While Kinsey Millhone is as energetic and tenacious as ever, and the plot hustles along at a gratifying pace, her 17th adventure is a little slow getting underway with all the initial accumulated biographical data. Two policemen out hunting discover a teenage girl's body near a quarry off California's Highway 1. Eighteen years later, the two recruit Millhone to help them try to identify the victim. Stacey Oliphant, now retired from the force, and Con Dolan, unwillingly sidelined by heart trouble, are as quarrelsome as an old married couple, but they both desperately want to find the killer in the quarry case. Their inquiries lead the trio from Santa Teresa to Quorum, a town in the desert near the Arizona border. At the time of the murder, a wrecked red convertible was found near the crime scene—stolen from an auto shop in Quorum. When Millhone and her cohorts talk to the grumpy shop owner, Ruel McPhee, and his charming son, Cornell, they get little information. Visits around town and probing conversations reveal various family secrets and covert liaisons, until the somewhat precipitous unmasking of the killer. Grafton briefly shoehorns in Millhone's interactions with her lost family, but that subject continues to feel as artificially imposed as it did in earlier books. A marvelously successful addition, however, is the twosome of Dolan and Oliphant. Their deftly rendered relationship is a delight; with any luck, the duo will appear in future Millhone mysteries. A main selection of the Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Mystery Guild, and a BOMC featured selection. (Oct. 14)FYI:
    Based on an actual unsolved murder that occurred in California in 1969, the book will include on the last page a recent forensic reconstruction of the real victim's face, in the hope this will help solve the crime.

  • Reviews for Q is for Quarry and Sue Grafton

    "Rock solid."

    People Magazine

    "[Q is for Quarry] is so well-written that many readers might consider it one of her best."

    USA Today

    "...makes us hold our breath..."

    New York Times Book Review

    "Q is for Quarry provides more insight into the detective's convoluted family relationships...and it's a cracking good story, as well."

    Bookpage
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Kinsey Millhone Series, Book 17
Sue Grafton
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