Dr. Dowan Purcell had been missing for nine weeks when Kinsey got a call asking her to take on the case. A specialist in geriatric medicine, Purcell was a prominent member of the Santa Theresa medical community, and the police had done a thorough job. Purcell had no known enemies and seemed content with his life. At the time of his disappearance, he was running a nursing care facility where both the staff and the patients loved him. He adored his second wife, Crystal, and doted on their two-year-old son.
It wasn’t Crystal who called Kinsey. It was Purcell’s ex-wife, Fiona. Everything about their meeting made Kinsey uneasy. Fiona’s manner was high-handed and her expectations unrealistic. Kinsey’s instincts told her to refuse the job, yet she ended up saying, “I’ll do what I can, but I make no promises.”
It was a decision she’d live to regret.
Pursuing the mysterious disappearance of Purcell, Kinsey crashes into a wall of speculation. It seems everyone has a theory. The cops think he went on a bender and is too ashamed to come home. Fiona is sure he ran off to get away from Crystal, and Crystal is just as sure he’s dead. The staff at the nursing home is convinced he’ s been kidnapped, and one of his daughters, having consulted a psychic, is certain that he’s trapped in a dark place, though she doesn’t know where. Kinsey is awash in explanations and sorely lacking in facts. Then pure chance leads her in another direction, and she soon finds herself in a dangerous shadow land, where duplicity and double-dealing are the reality and, with the truth glinting elusively out of reach, she must stake her life on a thin thread of intuition.
P Is for Peril: Kinsey Millhone’s latest venture into the darker side of the human soul.
A contemporary American author of detective novels, Sue Taylor Grafton, was born in Louisville, Kentucky as the daughter of another detective novelist, C. W. Grafton. Even though her father had an influence, she has commented that her biggest influence came from author Ross MacDonald.
Sue received her bachelor's degree from University of Louisville in English literature, humanities, and fine art. Upon graduation, Sue worked as a hospital admissions clerk, cashier, and medical secretary. She wrote several novels that were not successful.
After moving into writing screenplays for television, Sue became interested in novels that carried a central theme through each title. She saw a book that alphabetized methods of murder, and immediately started writing what became her best-known works, "the alphabet novels". Each story is set around a fictional California town based on Santa Barbara. The novels are written from the perspective of a female investigator. After her G novel, Grafton was able to devote all of her time to writing her novels. She has given many refusals to those who wanted to buy her novels from which to make movies. She has no desire to work with Hollywood.
I have very much enjoyed the entire alphabet series of mysteries by Sue Grafton. This is the first one that has been disappointing, mostly because there are too many characters that seem to have nothing to do with the story, and the plot is plodding, without much to hold my attention. Mostly I keep losing track of the characters who they are in relation to each other, how they're involved, etc. I think this is partly because it's an audiobook and it's harder to remember who they are when you don't see the names. This visual ***ociation is lacking. I would highly recommend the earlier books in the series, but you might want to give this one a pass.
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