Title: A is for Alibi
Author: S. Grafton
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Series: Kinsey Millhone (Book 1)
I think everybody here knows that short books are generally not really my thing. I like super detailed settings, lots of description, and a book that basically walks me through the set up without relying on me to fill in any blanks, since without a doubt I will be unable to fill in said blank. My memory's not good enough to remember all the details of a person's life who I was just introduced to, okay? I can't even remember how old I am (which becomes a problems at airports. I swear I'm the person it says on the ticket. Promise). So it really surprised me that I liked A is for Alibi as much as I did!
This book was probably 50% set-up, 50% actual mystery, which makes sense when you consider the fact that a) it's only 200 pages and b) there are 24 other books in the series, so a little background was necessary. I didn't love it, since it made it feel a little bit like an info-dump, but I can say after having read the second book that I'm really glad that all of the background info was given in this one. It made it a ton easier the second time around. I think the reason it bothered me so much is because the book was so short, since A Song of Ice and Fire gives WAAAYY more background in the first book and it didn't bother me.
I really liked Kinsey though, and I really liked the fact that once she started a task, she felt this overwhelming urge to follow through with it, even when people told her to leave it. Since that's something I struggle with (I can't leave certain things unfinished. It's like an itch that you just can't scratch until you complete the task), it was really great to see that vs. characters that are like "I spent 10 hours trying to build this model rocket but I'm bored now so BYE!!"
No. Finish your rocket.
Also I was very happy that solving the case wasn't a walk in the park for Kinsey (this sounds mean, but I have a point. I promise), since that's what irritates me a lot about mystery novels. It's always that the police have been trying desperately to solve this case for AGES, and then all of a sudden special snowflake comes along and BOOM, case solved.
No thank you.
Kinsey faces a lot of roadblocks that I assume would be somewhat similar to what a real PI faces. There are people that don't want to help her, people who don't want to talk to her, and people that get in the way of her investigation. No one paints neon arrows that point towards the answer. She actually has to solve it herself, which I loved.
Besides the major info-dump, my only other complaint was the pretty obvious plot twist at the end, but I think that was just a by-product of me reading way too many books. At some point it becomes super obvious through no fault of the author. I gave this book on the lower end of 3 stars just because I wasn't in love with the info-dump and the obvious plot twist, but I can say that after reading the second book I'm so glad that I continued on! It's worth it.