The latest installment in Sue Grafton''s Kinsey Millhone / alphabet series is a bit lighter than recent outings. Contracted to escort a wealthy young woman home when she is released from prison, Kinsey ends up embroiled in a double-crossing money laundering scheme. Kinsey shows uncharacteristic affinity for Reba, who''s done two years of a four-year embezzlement sentence, striking up a friendship with the ex-con. But, unbelievably, she allows Reba along on her clandestine investigations and displays an unaccustomed wariness when stretching the law to find clues. Kinsey herself becomes involved with a dishy investigator, and tries to mediate between her landlord and his brother in their competition for the same woman. Kinsey is a likeable investigator with attitude, and is very appealing in her warts and all characterization. What DOESN''T ring true about this book is Kinsey''s trip to the local mall with Reba, in which she purchases clothes -- including a skirt! -- and the subsequent date on which she actually wears the skirt of her own accord... A solid series entry, with plenty of plot turns and interesting character developments. I''d venture the opinion that Kinsey has changed more, personally, in this one book than she has across most of the series.
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