cover image Kinsey and Me: Stories

Kinsey and Me: Stories

Sue Grafton, read by Judy Kaye. Penguin Audio, unabridged, six CDs, 7.5 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 978-1-61176-157-3

The larger “Kinsey” part of this collection consists of nine stories that feature Grafton’s durable private detective Kinsey Millhone doing what she does best: solving crimes and delighting readers, albeit in an abbreviated format that relies more on quick twists of plot than depth of character. Judy Kaye, who has been narrating the series from the start, does her usual, spot-on job of capturing the sharply observant sleuth in all her moods—from snarky and suspicious to wistful. It’s the “Me” section of the collection that presents a surprise: 13 linked semi-autobiographical stories, written after the death of Grafton’s mother that follow the life of a woman named Kit Blue, from her youth as the resentful, guilt-ridden child of alcoholic parents to her late 20s, when she receives a letter from her father that helps her make peace with the past. Kaye’s rendition of these stories is flawless. Her Kit even sounds like a young Kinsey Millhone, sharing the same suspicious outlook, the same reaction to disappointment and—on rare occasions—to happiness. A Marian Wood Book/Putnam hardcover. (Jan.)