Monday, November 12, 2007


I just finished P is for Peril by Sue Grafton. I still don't know what happened at the end and that's totally aggravating because dangit, I like my mysteries tied up with a nice little bow. Open-ended endings, those are best left for 'literary mainstream' novels. In general, the book was not the best of the Alphabet series. It was slow, plodding, and just over-burdened with Grafton's key eye for detail. I mean, seriously, the woman describes EVERYTHING, right down to what Kinsey bought at a grocery store. Unless it's a plot point that leads to the killer, I'm not interested in Kinsey's eggs and bread. Add to that a random subplot that had NO bearing on the main story and was a little hard to swallow, and I was left cold.

I do, however, think Grafton's gift is really in her descriptions, rather than her plot pacing. She can describe the heck of out anything and so her scenes and characters are very vivid. But the problem is, we have all of these details and no emotional resonance. It makes it very hard to care about any of the characters. The murder victim himself was merely a footnote to the whole elaborate set-up. It was as if Grafton had 80 million subplots and tangents she wanted to go off into and then decided in the last 3 chapters to pick up the pace and then... nothing. It was as if Grafton got tired, lost track of her 80 million subplots and decided to pack it in. I can only hope that these story threads are meant to be picked up in the next Alphabet book. But as it is, given the density of this one, not sure I'll remember or even care.

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