Series: Kinsey Millhone #14
Published by Henry Holt and Company on April 1st 2010
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Women Sleuths, Private Investigators
Reading Challenges: 2017 COYER Summer Reading List
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
"SMART AND SASSY" (New York Times) P.I. Kinsey Millhone is at it again in "N" is for Noose—another thrilling adventure from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton
Kinsey Millhone should have done something else—she should have turned the car in the direction of home. Instead, she was about to put herself in the gravest jeopardy of her career.
Tom Newquist had been a detective in the Nota Lake sheriff's office—a tough, honest cop respected by everyone. When he died suddenly, the townsfolk were saddened but not surprised: Just shy of sixty-five, Newquist worked too hard, smoked too much, and exercised too little. That plus an appetite for junk food made him a poster boy for an American Heart Association campaign.
Newquist's widow didn't doubt the coroner's report. But what Selma couldn't accept was not knowing what had so bothered Tom in the last six weeks of his life. What was it that had made him prowl restlessly at night, that had him brooding constantly? Selma Newquist wanted closure, and the only way she'd get it was if she found out what it was that had so bedeviled her husband.
Kinsey should have dumped the case. It was vague and hopeless, like looking for a needle in a haystack. Instead, she set up shop in Nota Lake, where she found that looking for a needle in a haystack can draw blood. Very likely, her own.
"N" is for Noose: a novel in which Kinsey Millhone becomes the target and an entire town seems in for the kill.
It’s been a while since I last read Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Mysteries so it took me a while to get back into this book. However, once I did I was hooked! Kinsey Millhone is back to solve another mystery. This time she’s investigating the crime of a murdered police detective in a small Californian town. The clues are minimal, the townsfolk aren’t very helpful, and just when Kinsey thinks she should throw in the towel she finds her own life in danger. N is For Noose wasn’t my favorite Millhone mystery to date, but it was great to catch up with one of my favorite all-time detectives.
I found this book difficult to get into, but I think that was in large part to the fact that I read the previous novel years ago. While Grafton does write these novels for readers to be able to jump into at any time, I find it helpful to begin at the beginning in order to understand the depth of the various relationships Kinsey has in her life. But, it’s not really a must-do. A large part of my difficulty had to do with returning to the mindset of Kinsey, and the early 80’s setting. I’d forgotten that the book wasn’t set in our current time, so the various prejudices towards women and single women especially took me a while to get used to.
As for the mystery, I didn’t find it very interesting at first. Tom Newquist had been a detective who died suddenly one night, but his death wasn’t expected. His widow didn’t doubt his cause of death but hired Kinsey to figure out why Tom was so distracted before his death. At first glance, it looks like Selma Newquist is a kook, but then strange things begin to happen to Kinsey. This is where I became more invested in the story and Kinsey’s case. Once the action picked up the novel grabbed my attention, and held on until the end. While I didn’t like any of the characters, I did enjoy how any one of them could have committed the crime. This ratcheted up the suspense as the novel reached its climax, and helped renew my interest in completing this series.