Kinsey Millhone Series

by Sue Grafton

The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y is for Yesterday begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate—and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.

Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents—until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find…

My Take

Y is for Yesterday is the 25th and last Kinsey Millhone mystery, also referred to as the Alphabet mysteries. (And no, M was not for Murder.) I have read and loved every one of these and I will miss Kinsey. Sadly, Sue Grafton died in 2017 and her family said for them the alphabet now ends with Y. As with other mystery series that I love, part of the attraction is the setting, in this case the fictional Santa Teresa, California in the 1980s. There’s a good cast of friends, neighbors, and allies, and Kinsey herself is an original character.

I was too lazy to give the full treatment to 25 books but that is not a sign that they should not be read. I’ll probably reread them (again) someday.