Grafton has made her main character so rich and enthralling that it’s like having an imaginary friend. Strange you say? Yeah, I can’t argue with you, I may very well have some issues. I read through Kinsey’s bio on Wikipedia like it’s for real. I think it’s a testament to just how crafty Grafton is. The woman can write some fun stuff.
In this iteration of the adventures of private detective Kinsey Millhone, Grafton throws in a few new things and a fresher take on one of her favorite topics.
For the first time that I can recall she bases the mystery on a real-life case. She talks about it in an extended author’s notes section (I don’t recall her doing that before either). She gives the reader insights into her methods and goes into some detail on the journal she keeps during the writing of each book. Do you ever think that the next generation will study these journals posthumously like we study Van Gogh’s sketches? Hey, pop culture often ends up being termed classic after a period of time. Don’t rule it out.
Additionally, she really pushes the envelope on Kinsey’s fast food fetish. The reader gets a detailed description of a McDonald’s meal no less than three times. Kinsey even gets a colleague addicted to fast food. At one point, Kinsey heads out to grab some McDonald’s shortly after her colleague had just finished dining at Burger King. Her colleague says:
Oh, I’ll be eating again. The Whopper was good, but it didn’t fill me up. I’ve been thinking we should do a study – purely scientific – a side-by-side tasting, a Whopper and a Big Mac, to see which we prefer. Or go vertical – McDonald’s hamburger, cheeseburger, a QP with cheese, and a Big Mac. What do you think?
That vertical tasting idea is pretty funny. Grafton, I think, is rebelling against the healthful, agricultural, Santa Barbara lifestyle. Kinsey runs and lifts weights, but loves fast food. So she’s healthy, but unapologetically cheats a lot. I’m guessing that she’s flaunting this in the face of the granola eaters in California.
I may just blast through R, S, T, and U this year so I can catch up.