K is for Killer

“Kinsey is one of the most persuasive of the new female operatives…She’s refreshingly free of gender cliches. Grafton, who is a very witty writer, has also given her sleuth a nice sense of humor – and a set of Wonder Woman sheets to prove it.” Boston Herald

by Sue Grafton

This is an older series. This book was written in 1994 but I loved it from the beginning. I just never finished reading all of them.

Since I am a mood reader and I do want to finish this series, I have been attempting to read one a month from A-Y. Sadly Sue Grafton passed away before she could finish the last book in the series. I felt sad with her passing and I felt sad because she came so close to finishing the series.


K is for Killer is the story of Lorna Kepler’s death. Her body had been discovered weeks after her death and the medical examiner wasn’t able to determine how she died. Lorna’s mother, Janice, believed it was murder.

Janice knocks on Kinsey’s office door one night and assumes Kinsey is the receptionist. Janice doesn’t know that Kinsey is a one-woman detective agency. Kinsey reluctantly agrees to do a little investigating before she commits to working on the case.

Kinsey discovers that there were several people who might benefit by Lorna’s death. She also finds out that Lorna is involved in some illegal and dangerous activity. The more Kinsey learns about Lorna, the more she wants answers too.

As Kinsey gets closer to solving the case, she stirs up some interest from people she’d rather not get involved with. A couple of thugs grabbed her and dragged her into the back seat of a limousine. The guy tells her he is an attorney representing someone else and explains why they need to know what happened to Lorna. Kinsey isn’t sure the attorney isn’t the guy Lorna was involved with.

Kinsey gets some help from Danielle, a friend of Lorna’s and Cheney a cop. She eventually puts all the pieces together and solves the case at the end.


This wasn’t my favorite Sue Grafton book. Most of them grab my interest and drag me through the alleys and old motel rooms along with Kinsey as she investigates. This one wore me out. Kinsey spent most of the book working through the night. She’d make appointments with people at maybe 1:00 or 2:00 o’clock in the morning. I found that hard to believe sometimes. Then she would drag her butt home at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning and sleep all day. She kept talking about her body adjusting to the time change. Mine struggled with it. I sometimes felt tired for her.

Henry and Will were out East and Kinsey didn’t spend much time at the Hungarian lady’s restaurant. I missed some of those characters. She did meet a DJ, Hector, and his dog that I thought were interesting characters. Also, she made friends with one of Lorna’s hooker friends Danielle who sat Kinsey down and gave her a good haircut. At first, I thought Danielle was obnoxious when she showed up at Kinsey’s place and started looking through her kitchen cupboards and drawers. I had a hard time picturing Kinsey letting her do that.

There were times, I felt like someone else wrote this book. It felt off compared to Grafton’s previous books. I guess if I read through a memoir or biography, something may pop up to explain why the writing didn’t feel the same. I do have a couple books about Sue Grafton. I guess this gives me a good reason to move them up in my to be read pile.

With that said, it was a slow read in the beginning but as I got further into the story, I did finally get hooked. It usually happens sooner for me in her books. By the time I was hooked I did need to know what happened and the remainder of the book flew by.

This was an enjoyable read. I did give it 3 stars only because I felt the beginning was slow but I would recommend it to anyone who has been reading the series. I feel committed to completing the series. I do love the characters, the setting, and her story lines. I would love to go to visit, see her mini-home, and eat some of Henry’s fresh baked cinnamon rolls.

Title: K is for Killer

Author: Sue Grafton

Year Published: 1994

Category: Mystery

Pages: 292

Rating: Goodreads 3.98

Setting: Santa Teresa, CA

Coming Soon: What Did I Read in May?

I hope you’re enjoying the Spring/Summer like weather. I have been moving more and it feels good. I hope to get out to visit more bookstores soon. A friend invited me to join her to visit a newer bookstore in Ames, IA and then visit Reiman Gardens in Ames also. I have never been to Reiman but from what I can tell it has plants and butterflies and some art work? My friend is a volunteer there and we talked about doing this before. Now I just need to do it.

Have you made plans this summer to get out more? Are you reading or are you in a slump? Do you have any suggestions for books I should read? I did win another Goodreads book. Lisa Jackson’s The Last Sinner. I haven’t received it yet but I plan to read it fairly soon so I can review it.

The book I plan to read next is about a writer who goes to a Thriller writer’s conference and there is a murder. Writers, books, conference, murder, what’s not to like?

Happy Reading,


The Lost Women of Lost Lake

By Ellen Hart

I like to read new genres and sometimes it is intentional. This time it was by accident, but I am glad that I did.

I have never read gay fiction. This is a gay mystery. Part of me wondered why it needed to be a separate genre. Isn’t a mystery, a mystery. So, I guess it is considered a sub-genre, like paranormal mystery or historical mystery and makes it easier for readers to find what they are looking for.


The Lost Women of Lost Lake is part of the Jane Lawless mystery series. Jane owns a couple of restaurants, and she is also a part-time P.I. She often helps friends in need.

A friend Tessa has sprained her ankle and Jane and another friend Cordelia decide to go help Tessa and her partner Jill out while Tessa is convalescing.

Tessa is a playwright and involved in a local play. Because Cordelia has acted and directed plays, she decides to go along with Jane to help Tessa while Jane helps Jill by cooking. Jill also owns the premier resort in the area.

When a journalist arrives in town with a photograph and asking questions about a bombing in the past that killed a Chicago police officer, a local woman and the journalist turn up dead.

Jonah, the teenage nephew of Jill and Tessa hitch hikes from St Louis to Lost Lake after running away from home. His parents had moved him away from Lost Lake and he missed his girlfriend and wanted to finish high school in Lost Lake. Jonah begs his aunts to let him stay with them. Within a couple days, he breaks his curfew and gets grounded.

Jane sees a strange man looking into Jill’s study window. Tessa has a strange paranoid reaction and Jane uses her investigative skills to help solve what is going on.


I purchased this book at a Library book sale so wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never heard of this author but the description on the jacket seemed intriguing.

I enjoyed this read immensely. The plot was interesting, and it hooked me with the strange man looking in the window. (I guess that is a personal fear of mine.)

The characters were interesting and most felt three dimensional. I loved the setting. Love small towns and a home on a lake. (A dream of mine.) The author made me care about the characters enough that I needed to know what happened to them.

The threat seemed realistic and that pulled me through to the end. The sub-plots were also well written and tied into the main story nicely.

Sometimes it’s good to browse for new-to-you books and authors. The cover attracted me originally. A chair on a deck overlooking a lake with a full moon reflecting on the water. What’s not to like? All I needed to know was that it was a mystery. I read so many series that I can’t promise to read the whole series until I finish some already on my radar but if I see more from this author, I will check them out.

I gave this book 3.5 stars and would recommend to anyone who loves mysteries set in a small town with strong female leads.

Title: The Lost Women of Lost Lake

Author: Ellen Hart

Year Published: September 27, 2011

Category: Mystery, Gay Mystery

Pages: 336

Rating: Goodreads 3.70

Setting: Lost Lake MN

About the Author:

According to Entertainment Weekly, Ellen Hart is a novelist in the cultishly popular gay mystery genre. She is also a Lambda and Minnesota Book Award winner. Three-time winner of the Golden Crown Award. A recipient of the Alice B Medal. Official GLBT Literary Saints and Sinners Festival in New Orleans. Has a GCLS Trailblazer award for Lifetime Achievement in the field of Lesbian literature. Was named a Grand Master for the Mystery Writers of America. The author of over 30 crime novels in two different series. Ellen Hart has taught an Introduction to Writing the Modern Mystery through the Loft Literary Center. Ellen lives with her partner Kathleen Kruger in Eden Prairie, MN.

I have been finding ways to buy books without overspending my budget. This is the first I have reviewed from a library book sale. I was surprised what books were available. One from an author I had hoped to read. I’ve shopped in a few thrift stores recently too. I will continue to buy new books as often as possible, and I do plan on using the library more. This was a good find. I look forward to reading more of my newfound treasures.

Where do you get your books? Do you have a favorite bookshop? I do love the library and I do like to support the authors, but I think buying used can help me find new authors without breaking the bank.

Coming soon:

A tour of Wall of Books, a bookstore I frequent in Ankeny, IA.

I hope you enjoyed this review and hopefully I have introduced you to a new to you author.

Happy Reading,


Read so far in February

I have read the following three books so far this month and I am about half way through with a fourth. If I do complete that one before the end of February, I will post my review of it also.

I have been working on my novel more this month and I do feel like my focus is improving.

The first book I completed was The Thursday Murder Club. This was an enjoyable read. It is set in an English retirement center and the sleuths are four septuagenarians who meet to discuss old murders. When a developer is murdered near them, they jump at the chance to investigate an active crime. Of course, they do all the things you would expect older people to do, basically get in the way of the investigation, they do help catch the killer. While doing so, the reader does suspect each of them. The characters are quirky, which I like and the plot was complicated enough to make me want to keep reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series.

Richard Osman is a well known face on British television as host of quiz shows. He has also created and worked as an executive producer Numerous UK and US television shows. This is his debut novel. He lives in London.

The second novel I read this month is The Butterfly Sister. I found this one from a local independent used book store. I had never heard of the author but I picked it up by perusing the shelves and was first drawn to the cover. It is the photo of the clasp and lock for an old suitcase.

In this one, a woman receives the suitcase of a missing woman she’d known at college. It was sent to her by the airlines because she’d once borrowed it and apparently the woman had not removed her name tag. The college holds bad memories and the woman is tempted to throw it away but tries to do the right thing and contacts the woman’s family. That is how she finds out about her disappearance. The protagonist agrees to deliver the case to the woman’s mother but before she turns it over to the police, she attempts to see if the contents would help her to locate the missing woman.

This was a good thriller and it did keep me wanting to read more. I did spend one late night finishing it. Messing up my wellness goal of going to bed earlier. But with the pandemic, I find myself stuck home most days anyway. So what if I do have a late night once in a while?

Amy Gail Hansen is a freelance writer and journalist living in Chicago at the time this book was written. This too is a debut novel. I would probably read more of her work but not the way that I read other series where I actually wait most impatiently for the next in the series.

The last book was All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny. This author is one of the authors whose series I don’t read immediately when I purchase her books, not because I don’t want to but because I know she only has one book come out a year and I try to pick a time that I can savor the read.

The only negative about this book was that it was not set in Three Pines, Canada but in Paris, France. So instead of getting to hang out with the residents of Three Pines we were introduced to new characters and visited a few of Armand’s family who’d moved to France. In this book, both Daniel, his son, and Annie, his daughter, live in France with their families. Armand’s daughter Annie is expecting their second child at any time and he and his wife have flown over to be there at the happy moment.

One evening after a family dinner, Armand and his wife witness an attempt on his godfather’s life when he is hit by a car. They go to his apartment and find the body of a stranger. The Paris police don’t believe there is a connection so Armand and his son-in-law Jean Guy – who was also his second in command on the homicide squad in Canada start investigating. That puts the whole family into danger.

The story gives you a better picture of Armand’s family dynamics and while he and his son Daniel have had a strained relationship, it slowly changes to give them a better outlook for their future by the end.

Louise Penny’s books are good for making you feel like you are present in the location and her quirky characters are part of the reason her readers are so loyal. Though she deals with serious subjects there is always a little humor sprinkled in. The only thing bad now is that I have to wait for fall for her next book.

If I manage to complete my current read – At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon, I will have another post later this week. If not, I will add it to my reads in March.

Until next time,


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