W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
My Rating: 3-1/2 of 5 Stars
I’m not going to claim that the “Wasted” in this title stands for my time, as a few uncharitable reviewers have said. I’ve been reading these books for years and years, and I don’t think Kinsey Milhone is ever a waste of time. However, I will say that I think this is one of the weakest books in the series. There were editing issues (which I think reflects upon the state of the traditional publishing industry in general), and the plot was slow-moving. Plus, the book left me feeling a bit depressed. Just the subject alone, the plight of the homeless, was enough to move the book from entertainment to reality, and that’s not generally why I read fiction. I get plenty of reality everywhere else.
I also felt that the 38-year-old Kinsey is beginning to realize living alone loses some of its appeal as the years go by. Perfect opportunity for a bit of a romance, but both of the men who popped into the book were big disappointments in that area. So I reckon our sleuth is still by herself. But there were enough moments of pleasure tucked in here and there to keep me reading, and even smiling now and then. I love Kinsey’s neighbor, Henry, and having him end up with a cat he never wanted was a nice touch. It even allowed Kinsey to get a bit soft-hearted now and then.
Overall, I have to ask myself if Grafton is running out of things for Kinsey to get up to, and reasons for her to stay alone as she (slowly) ages. I hope she can hang in there for X, Y, and Z. It would be a shame to end up on a bad note. As for recommending this book, it might just be for die-hard Kinsey Milhone fans. I’m not sure this one would make any new ones. But that’s just my take. Nobody made me boss, here. 🙂 And if you have been reading these books ever since A is for Alibi, you probably want to read this one, too. There is at least one bit of news that could change the direction of Kinsey’s life forever, and you might need to know about that.