P IS FOR PERIL by Sue Grafton
A KINSEY MILLHONE NOVEL
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2001
When Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone is asked to find a missing person, she is reluctant to take the job. The man's ex-wife gives her a strange feeling. Still, money is money and she can't turn down a fifteen hundred dollar retainer.
Dr. Dowan Purcell has gone missing before and he's recently been withdrawing large amounts of cash from his bank. With a big-spending ex-stripper of a wife, problems with Medicare at his work, and an ex-wife who won't stop nagging him, Millhone wouldn't blame him for wanting to disappear. Still, he's been gone for weeks now. The more Millhone investigates, the more she finds things that don't just add up. Or do they add up to murder?
Millhone's life isn't completely on hold while she's on the Purcell case. A too-good-to-be-true office for rent would be perfect, allowing her to get away from the office politics at the office she now shares, and it even comes attached with a cute landlord. Except, she wonders, is Tommy Hevener a little too good to be true?
Author Sue Grafton can be counted on to deliver an enjoyable mystery filled with twisted motives, danger, and a little breaking and entering by the intrepid detective. P IS FOR PERIL is a fine addition to her 'alphabet' series of mysteries. Strangely, Grafton has chosen to set this novel in the 1980s, giving us a younger Millhone than in other recent mysteries.
Fans of Kinsey Millhone will want to pick up this addition to the series. Readers new to the series might want to start with one of the earlier novels. By 'P,' much of Millhone's interesting early character development is complete reducing reader interest for those not committed to the series.
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