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X by Sue Grafton: #AToZChallenge #BookRecommendations

Have you read the book X by Sue Grafton ? If yes, what did you think of it? What crime novels have you read lately ?

Two more days and we will be done with A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I’ve been yammering on about thrillers of all stripes, mysteries, and crime novels for 26 days in April, based on the letters of the alphabet. All posts are linked here.

Since I’m writing up thriller and crime novel recommendations, I’m also giving away a 50 USD Amazon Gift card, to support reading, and to help my next novel THE BLUE BAR along on its journey.

Entries involve:



After Whisper Network by Chandler Baker, I bring you X by Sue Grafton.

X by Sue Grafton: Book Description

When a glamorous red head wishes to locate the son she put up for adoption thirty-two years ago, it seems like an easy two hundred bucks for P. I. Kinsey Millhone. But when a cop tells her she was paid with marked bills, and Kinsey’s client is nowhere to be found, it becomes apparent this mystery woman has something to hide. Riled, Kinsey won’t stop until she’s found out who fooled her and why.

Meanwhile, the widow of the recently murdered P. I. – and Kinsey’s old friend – Pete Wolinsky, needs help with her IRS audit. This seemingly innocuous task takes a treacherous turn when Kinsey finds a coded list amongst her friend’s files. It soon leads her to an unhinged man with a catalogue of ruined lives left in his wake. And despite the devastation, there isn’t a single conviction to his name. It seems this sociopath knows exactly how to cause chaos without leaving a trace.

As Kinsey delves deeper into the investigation she quickly becomes the next target of this tormentor. But can Kinsey prove her case against him before she becomes the next victim?

X by Sue Grafton: Excerpt

I never hear the word “Nevada” without thinking of Robert Dietz. This coming May, we would celebrate our sixth anniversary of barely ever seeing each other. Truly, in the time I’d known him, I don’t think we’d been together two months at a stretch, and that was only once. But now I needed his Nevada smarts and I dialed his number in Carson City. Three rings and his machine picked up. I listened to his message, which was terse and to the point. I waited for the beep and said, “Hey, Dietz. This is Kinsey. I need a favor from you. I’m looking for a woman named Susan Telford in Henderson, Nevada, and I wondered if you’d see what you can find out. There are thirty-three Telfords listed, and it doesn’t make sense for me to tackle the job from Santa Teresa. Pete Wolinsky put her name on a list of six women who are all connected in one way or another to a man named Ned Lowe. Before Pete was killed, he went to some lengths to do background on Lowe, who seems like an all-around bad egg. If you have questions, call me back, and if you don’t want to do the job, that’s fine. Just let me know.”


About the author, Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton was a #1 New York Times bestselling author. She is best known for her “alphabet series” featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. Prior to success with this series, she wrote screenplays for television movies.

Why pick up X by Sue Grafton

The iconic Sue Grafton did something of an alphabet challenge herself with her alphabet series– I haven’t read all of the books in it, but the few that I have, I’ve loved. The books are set in the eighties, so for those of us born in the last century, it brings a sense of nostalgia.

I also love that Kinsey Millhone is a likable investigator with a heart, and that no matter how dark the case, she never gives up. I remember X for the way the whole book exploded–I had gone in expecting a far tamer villain, and an easy breeze of a read.

Having written the detective for more than two dozen books, Grafton knows her character like the back of her hand, and that really shows in this intriguing and ultimately rewarding read. If you’ve never read Grafton, I’d suggest starting at the beginning of the series, because those were more taut. This one is later in the series, so a little slower, but still a good read for fans of Kinsey Millhone, one of the first and best written female private investigators that I can remember.

Have you read the book X by Sue Grafton ? If yes, what did you think of it? What crime novels have you read lately ?

A to Z Challenge Giveaway


Through the month of April,  to celebrate the challenge and get some support for THE BLUE BAR, I’m  holding this giveaway:

Enter to WIN a 50 USD Amazon gift card for this


Entries are simple: click the RAFFLECOPTER link above, and follow the instructions. It calls for a Goodreads add, a subscription request, and a follow on Instagram.

If you enjoyed the post,  click on any or all of the following to stay updated:

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Arlee Bird says:

    Sue Grafton is a very appropriate pick for the A to Z Challenge since it was partly her series that inspired me to start the Challenge in the first place. I’ve yet to read any of her books though.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  • I loved this entire series. What a wonderful story.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yeah, the whole series takes you back. Glad you love it, too, Jacqui.

  • Deepti Menon says:

    What an interesting premise for a thrilling story! Thank you for the wonderful recommendations, Damyanti!

  • Mark Murata says:

    So, this will feature a P.I. in a pre-cell phone, pre-internet age? This will be old-fashioned detective work. This would even be pre-Spice Girls!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes! It did. All of her books are set in the eighties. Even when she wrote much later.

  • Jemima Pett says:

    Why have I never comr across this before? I’m always in dire need of X-titled books 🙂
    On my TBR!

    • Jemima Pett says:

      PS She doesnt appear to have done a Z yet, accoding to Goodreads. Maybe the pandemic got in her schedule’s way 🙁

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Hahahah yes. I knew if I couldn’t find a book I liked for AZ, I could always fall back on her.

  • mitchteemley says:

    I do enjoy mysteries, but have never read Grafton, even though she’s one of the biggies.

  • Sue Grafton is definitely an icon when it comes to crime fiction, isn’t she?
    Have a great weekend.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Absolutely, she was. Have a great one, too, Sandra. Sent you a Twitter DM.

  • It’s been quite a while since I read a Grafton book, and I’m really not sure why. I like her, and I absolutely love the idea of wrtiting through the alphabet! I’ll be adding this one to my list, and maybe even reading my way to where I left off.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, you could Deborah. It will certainly be rewarding–I love the nostalgia of them.

  • I have not read Grafton in so long. I am overdue. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog today.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Love visiting you, Cheryl. Yes, Grafton’s books are a delight.

  • Yay for a female detective!

  • cassmob says:

    I’m a huge fan of Sue Grafton and have read all her books at least once. Along with Sara Paretsky, Grafton was a leader in writing about female sleuths. It’s intriguing to relocate yourself in the 80s with such a different technological world. And aim sure we all wish we had a neighbour like Kinsey’s.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, Pauleen. that’s what I love about her books–the time machine quality. Those born in this century call them historical fiction now 🙂

  • I read a few from the series and enjoyed them. However I stepped aside when I realised that she doesn’t ‘grow’. Perhaps I was asking too much…

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, to have the same character over more than three decades does grow stale after a while. Grafton was incredibly good at what she did, but you’re right, character growth through the series would have made it resonate even more.

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