Title: C is for Corpse
Author: Sue Grafton
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Series: Kinsey Millhone (Book 3)
This was a harder read for me to get through than the second book, but easier than the first. My issue was mainly that I knew that Bobby was going to die from the second that I started the book, and so it was hard for me to focus on the actual search when I just kept looking for the jump scare that was going to kill Bobby. I'm one of those people where if you tell me to look for a certain part I'll put my blinders on and look, and that's what happened for me since the blurb told me that Bobby was going to die.
What I really liked about this installment versus the previous two is that there was a nice little subplot (like a mini mystery!) that didn't detract from the main story in any way. In fact, it helped move the action along much quicker, as there wasn't a ton of down time/drag time where Kinsey does some random stuff in order to fill time between clues (I'm looking at you, suspiciously out-of-place running subplot). My only little complaint about this was that it was fairly obvious how the whole mini plot was going to go down, but it turned out to have an extra layer of unpredictability that helped it redeem itself.
My favorite thing about this series in general is the fact that you honestly have no idea who the killer is until the very last couple of pages, at which point you realize that you met the killer on page 20. There is no last-second character that pops out at the last second, the killer is always one of the characters that you are introduced throughout the novel. That's part of what makes these books such fun reads for me, as I'm constantly trying to decode potential hidden messages in body language and dialogue, and without fail I am always shocked at the end. Some random character that you met for .2 seconds might be the killer, or maybe the killer is someone that Kinsey has formed an attachment to over the course of her investigation. You really never know with this series, which is part of the reason why it's so great.
I'm writing this review after having finished F is for Fugitive, so I can definitely say that the series gets better as it goes along, and I would definitely recommend continuing on even if this installment wasn't your favorite. Grafton manages to craft mysteries that are interesting, convoluted, and shocking. I'm not normally a huge fan of the mystery genre, but this series is a great way to get yourself familiar with the structure of the genre, and it's definitely making me want to pick up more mysteries for the future.