Publishing Info: May 15, 1985 by Macmillan
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 25, 2012
Although business has been slow lately for P.I. Kinsey Millhone, she's reluctant to take on the case of locating Beverly Danziger's sister Elaine Boldt. It's a small matter that Beverly should be able to handle herself. So why is she enlisting Kinsey's services? Beverly claims she needs Elaine's signature on some documents so that she can collect a small inheritance. But the whole affair doesn't sit well with Kinsey. And if there's something she's learned in her line of work, it's to always follow your instincts…
Kinsey's hunch proves true when she begins her inquiries into Elaine's whereabouts and discovers that the attractive widow was last seen in a flashy lynx coat boarding a plane for Boca Raton. But the more Kinsey searches for Elaine the more questions she encounters. Is Elaine's disappearance tied in to the brutal murder several months ago of one of her bridge partners? And what happened to Elaine's Persian cat who seems to have also vanished?
Things take a turn for the worse when a stranger vandalizes the home of one of Elaine's neighbors and another neighbor turns up murdered. With her reputation and career on the line, Kinsey risks all to find a missing woman and a killer who's waiting in the shadows to strike again…
Breaking it Down Further: So Kinsey almost blows off the case of missing person Elaine Boldt. She’s a widow in her 40s and has no reason to report to anyone, so why should her sister be so concerned when she can’t get a hold of her? Kinsey likes to make these cases as open-and-shut as she can, but once she starts digging into Elaine’s recent whereabouts, nothing seems to fit. A mysterious friend shows up out of nowhere, Elaine leaves her summer home in Florida inexplicably, and recent murder of Elaine’s California neighbor is still unsolved. Did Elaine flee in fear of a murderer? Or was she in fear of the police? Or was she even still alive?
Another really good Kinsey Millhone mystery! I started reading this series pretty late (takes place in 1982? Oops. I wasn’t even born yet…), but at least now I have a ton of books ahead of me to read! This was another great one — I think even better than the first — because I was completely clueless what happened to Elaine Boldt and the ever-evolving mystery until the very end of the book. Of course I recommend reading A is for Alibi first, although they can be read separately because the two stories are not really tied in together.
I feel like Sue has a really straight-forward style of writing. This is more of a straight mystery than the “cozy” mysteries I’ve grown so fond of! Kinsey’s a hard-working and dedicated investigator. Not much for romance or Kinsey’s own personal stories are tied into the story. Maybe in future novels we get to dig a little deeper into her background.
Really good mystery and clever twist at the end. You can tell something is off the whole book, but I couldn’t figure it out until they let everything unravel in the very end.