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Kinsey Millhone Books In Order

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Publication Order of Kinsey Millhone Books

A is for Alibi (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
B is for Burglar (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
C is for Corpse (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
D is for Deadbeat (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
E is for Evidence (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
F is for Fugitive (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
G is for Gumshoe (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
H is for Homicide (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
I is for Innocent (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
J is for Judgment (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
K is for Killer (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
L is for Lawless (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
M is for Malice (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
N is for Noose (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
O is for Outlaw (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
P is for Peril (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Q is for Quarry (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
R is for Ricochet (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
S is for Silence (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
T is for Trespass (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
U is for Undertow (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
V is for Vengeance (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
W is for Wasted (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
X (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Y is for Yesterday (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Kinsey Millhone Collections

Kinsey and Me: Stories (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Kinsey Millhone:

Kinsey Millhone is a fictional protagonist created by American mystery writer Sue Grafton. She is the main character in the first books of the alphabet series murder mysteries and lives in fictional city Santa Teresa in California in the eighties, modeled after the real city of Santa Barbera in California. She has appeared in twenty three of the alphabet murder mysteries series, from the first novel “A Is For Alibi” to the gripping “W Is For Wasted”, published in 2013. Kinsey Millhone is also the main character in two separate collections of short stories by Grafton, including the 1991 book Kinsey And Me, which was originally published with just Kinsey Millhone stories but was later republished in January 2013 with a few stories about and inspired by Grafton’s real life featuring a fiction character version of her mother called Kit Blue. The Lying Game was another Kinsey Millhone short story published in the 40th Anniversary edition of a Land’s End catalogue. It was later added to Kinsey And Me upon its republishing.

The Kinsey Millhone Character And The Alphabet Murder Series

The Alphabet Murder series has seen over twenty three novels get published from letters “A” to “W”. Sue Grafton has said that the last novel in the series will be its twenty sixth installment, “Z Is For Zero”. The character of Kinsey Millhone has also made appearances in works by other authors, Bill Pronzoni and Marcia Muller have their characters spot Kinsey from afar at a convention. In addition author Sarah Paretsky writes that her character envies the quality of Millhone’s organization.

The character of Kinsey Millhone is the main character in the Alphabet murder series by Sue Grafton. She was born on May 5, 1950 and got her name from the maiden name of her mother Rita Cynthia Kinsey, a famous debutante. She married Kinsey’s father Randy Millhone against the wishes of her family which cause a riff in the family. Her mother and father were killed when Kinsey was young, dying in car crash when Kinsey was just five years old. Kinsey was trapped in the car with her deceased parents before she was rescued and eventually went to live with her aunt, Virginia, who had sided with Kinsey’s mother during the rift. Kinsey later finds out her parents were traveling to speak with the family and repair the divide.

In high school Kinsey smoked pot and didn’t do well when she attended community college. Deciding a formal education was not for her, Kinsey went into the police force and joined the police force in Santa Teresa. After two years in the force, Kinsey decided to move on and became a private investigator the firm California Fidelity. Mentored by private eye Benjamin Bird, Kinsey became a self employed private investigator and left California Fidelity. Kinsey likes junk food but also takes care of herself, running three miles every day. She is five feet and six inches tall and weighs about 118. She has dark hair that is also thick and is a loner, having no children. She eats regularly at a tavern run by boisterous Hungarian Rosie and lives in an apartment overseen by her youthful but elderly landlord Henry. She is not married and prefers to wear jeans and turtleneck sweaters, and has one nice black dress for occasions that she has to wear one.

A Is For Alibi

A is For Alibi si the first book in the alphabet murder series and sold 6,000 of the 7,500 copies printed in the original edition. In it Kinsey Millhone is thirty years old, and the novel was published in 1982. It is set in the fictional town of Santa Teresa. Sue Grafton was going through a difficult divorce from her husband at the time and admitted that much of the content of the book was inspired by her fantasies of what she would do to her husband and provided an outlet for all the frustration. A For Alibi opens up with Kinsey investigating the potential murder of successful lawyer Lawrence Fife. His wife Nikki Fife has been out of prison and hired Kinsey Millhone to solve the case of the murder of her husband, for which she was convicted eight years previous. The murder was made possible by crushing white oleander into antihistamine allergy pills.

Kinsey takes the case, and in the course of investigations comes across the path of Charlie Scorsoni, formerly affiliated with Lawrence Fife as his business partner. Kinsey draws a connection between this oleander murder and an identical murder in Los Angeles, this time involving a woman. Kinsey is heading for Las Vegas to follow up a lead and talk with Fife’s former secretary, but she is killed before Millhone can get to her. Kinsey goes back where Nikki Fife’s son recognizes a woman from the photographs. Millhone wakes up and starts to realize that Lawrence’s wife might have been having an affair and been the one who killed Larence. Suspecting her of being in cahoots with her ex-husband, Millhone tries to track Gwen down. She too is killed in a freak hit and run accident by a passing car.

In the end, Kinsey Millhone solves the case she was assigned to do, but the case doesn’t end that easily. The killer of the secretary that worked for Lawrence Fife is still not solved. The killer ends up trying to come after her, but before he can touch Kinsey, she shoots him dead, and solves the case.

B Is For Burglar

B Is For Burglar is the second novel in the Alphabet Murder series and was published in 1985. Kinsey is hired to find the missing sister of Beverly Danzinger, Elaine Boldt. She has gone missing while last seen supposedly getting in a taxi on her way to Boca Raton. After Kinsey wants to go to the cops and Beverly objects, Kinsey quits and tries to figure out what happened to Elaine. One by one, things start making sense, and Kinsey’s leads begin to come together. With a huge twist at the end, B Is For Burglar maintains suspense and surprise at every turn.

Books Made Into TV Series Or Movies

Sue Grafton’s novels B Is For Burglar and D Is For Deadbeat have been made into movies abroad in Japan in 1988 and 1989, respectively. B For Burglar was directed by Genji Nakamara and premiered July 12, 1988. D For Deadbeat premiered on February 28, 1989 and was directed by the Genji Nakamara as well.

More Information About Kinsey Millhone:

Kinsey Millhone is a character in the famous Alphabet series written by Sue Grafton. The stories are set in Santa Teresa in the 80. Santa Teresa is a fictional town but it is known that the town is based on Santa Barbara in California.

Who is Kinsey Millhone?

Kinsey Millhone is a private investigator based in the California area. She has had a very tragic life. She was born on May 5th 1950 to parents, Rita Cynthia Kinsey and Randy Millhone. When Kinsey was born, he family was split because Rita’s parents did not approved of her marrying Randy.

However, in 1955, whilst driving to a meeting to try and mend the feud, Rita and Randy were killed in a car crash. Kinsey was 5 at the time and she spent hours trapped inside the car with her dead parents before she was rescued unhurt.

Kinsey then moved in with her Aunt Gin, her mother’s sister and the only person from her side of the family, that Kinsey knew. Kinsey did not have a normal childhood after that. Her Aunt was very eccentric and Kinsey spend her time in school smoking pot.

She did graduate high school and spent two semesters in Community College before she got bored and quit to join the police. Her career in the police lasted two years before she quit that as well to become a private investigator for an insurance firm.

She then branched out on her own and now has her own Private Investigator Company. She rents her own offices off the company that she used to work for.


Kinsey is a very unique person. She is a loner because she has grown up with very little family. She lives in an old converted garage and she is very close to her landlord, Henry. She considers him to be a father figure in her life and she thinks of his siblings as her siblings.

She is a bit of a contradiction when it comes to how she views physical appearance. She doesn’t really think much of her own appearance, choosing to wear non-gender specific clothing, although she does have a few dresses for when the occasion warrants.

She likes to keep herself fit by running, but she also eats a lot of junk food. She doesn’t really look after her appearance but she has got a bit of an obsession for her teeth. It is also the first thing she notices on other people. She always prefers people who have nice teeth.


Despite her reputation for being a loner, she has been married twice, but they have both ended in divorce. Her first husband was an ex-cop called Mickey and her second husband was a musician called Daniel.

In the later novels, she begins an affair with a guy named Chaney who she remains friends with after they break up and she hasn’t been completely alone throughout the novels. She has had relationships with other guys throughout the stories. None of them have stuck though.


Kinsey hasn’t had many family members in her life due to the feud. She has felt closer to people who have worked with her over the years and of course, Henry. In some of the middle novels, she does make an effort to meet some of her cousins, her Aunt and her Grandmother. She wants to be close to her Aunt because she reminds her of her Mother but she is very wary and doesn’t trust easily.

The Novels

The idea of the novels is that the title of each one corresponds with a letter in the alphabet, hence the name being the “Alphabet Series.” Obviously, they start at A, with A is for Alibi and they are going to end with Z. So, this is not a series that is going to go on forever, readers know there are only going to be 26 novels.

Grafton has stated that the final novel is going to be called Z is for Zero and in that story, Kinsey is going to be celebrating her 40th Birthday and then there won’t be anymore books featuring Kinsey.

The First Book

In the first book, A is for Alibi, the readers are introduced to Kinsey Millhone. She is a private investigator at this point and she does some work for the insurance company.

She is hired by Nikki Fife to investigate her husband’s murder. The murder occurred 8 years earlier and during that time, Fife was imprisoned for killing him.

During the course of the investigation, Kinsey follows some leads to California with the victim’s secretary and then back to California to the victim’s first wife, Gwen. There are sinister plot twists all over the place and Kinsey learns that she may have started a relationship with the wrong person. Everything is set to end in tears for Kinsey. Does she survive and solve the murder?

Where is she now?

The latest novel in the series was released on September 10th 2013 and it is the 23rd book in the series. It is titled W is for Wasted. This book picks up a year after V is for Vengeance.

The plot of this book is that two seemingly unrelated deaths, one a murder and one from natural causes, are not at all what they seem. As Kinsey works the case because she knows the murder victim, she finds out the identity of the death and the two cases seem to be linked.

In this book, Kinsey starts to realize that life as a loner might not be what she wants afterall. In previous relationships, she has always wanted some form of independence, but in this one, it seems she is more self aware of how lonely she really is.

Henry and two former lovers make an appearance in this book and it is clear that she is still the same old Kinsey. She is still eating junk food and it is really refreshing when characters aren’t changed too much between books.

What changes in this book is the narrator. Readers are used to reading from Kinsey’s point of view, but in the beginning chapters, the narrator is the murder victim, until he is killed, obviously. This has been met with a mixed reaction. Some readers love the change and others couldn’t wait until Kinsey took over again.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Kinsey Millhone

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