Book: Kinsey and Me: Stories | Author: Sue Grafton | Started: 2/23/14 | Finished: 2/24/14 | Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis: In 1982, Sue Grafton introduced Kinsey Millhone. Today, Kinsey is an icon of detective fiction and her creator is at the top of her form. This collection is both a look at Sue Grafton’s own early life in the guise of the character Kit Blue, and a fascinating glimpse of Kinsey Millhone in nine tales featuring the spunkiest, funniest, and most engaging private investigator in the entire detective novel genre.
My review: Have you ever read a whole series by an author and not known how they decided on the main character? Where did they get the name? Why did the character live in this city? Why did the character have seventeen dogs? Sue Grafton opens up about how Kinsey came about in this book.
At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to read it before I finished the series because I was worried about spoilers of books I have yet to read. This book didn’t do that at all. In fact, I would have loved to read this book before I started the series because it’s a great introduction to Kinsey and Grafton herself. After Grafton introduces us to the beginnings of Kinsey, she lets us read the nine short stories she wrote with Kinsey’s character.
These nine short stories are fun, intense, and interesting- a lot like her books. I enjoyed reading the short stories that she wrote prior to writing the books because we get to see Kinsey before she was Kinsey.
The second part of the book is about Grafton and her life before Kinsey. I love getting to know the authors that I am reading, so this book was especially good. There are 13 short stories through the eyes of “Kit” who Grafton says is her as a younger person. I enjoyed this part of the book because it was like reading one of my favourite authors’ autobiography but through the eyes of a fictional character. Quick, easy to read chapters, but were very fun to read.
The only thing I will say about this part is if someone wants to read this but is triggered by alcoholism, they should be careful when they get to this part. There is a lot of mention of alcohol and alcoholism and could be triggering for people.
This book could be read before the series starts, during the series, or after the series. It wouldn’t ruin the series and it might even make it better. If reading before the series, you get to know Kinsey before you really meet Kinsey. That way, you’ll know some of the things about her that I didn’t know until now. If reading this book during the series or after the series, it’s like going on the third date with someone and just now getting to really know them. It was fun before, but now it’s even more fun because you know them better. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to read the series, anyone reading the series, or anyone that’s already read the series (that is out so far)
Memorable quote: “Women [in novels] have moved from the role of ‘femme fetale’ to that of prime mover, no longer relegated to the part of temptress, betrayer, or loyal office help”
Things I took from this book: Grafton is a very good short story writer and I would love to read more of them. Grafton does a great job of integrating Kinsey and herself to make one great fiction character, without pushing too hard to get herself seen in the character.