From "A" through "N," Sue Grafton parcels out dribs and drabs of Kinsey Millhone's past. The aunt who raised her after her parents were killed in an auto accident, some long lost cousins, her vanished second husband --- all have entered the storyline to flesh out our heroine and draw her fans into another absorbing mystery.
About her brief, failed first marriage we've been kept in the dark, until now. In "O" IS FOR OUTLAW, Kinsey finds herself confronting her past and defending her future when a scavenger offers to sell her a box of memorabilia which includes documents in her name, retrieved from an abandoned storage locker. Her curiosity gets the better of her and she is confronted with once laid-to-rest ghosts and former colleagues as she attempts to sort out the mess her ex-cop and ex-husband Mickey McGruder has once again gotten himself into. It's not a pleasant stroll down memory lane as Kinsey becomes a major suspect in a shooting that has left Mickey in a coma with the trail of evidence leading directly to her.
We're treated to a grand new array of characters and for those who were disappointed by the absence of the ubiquitous little black dress in "N" IS FOR NOOSE, Kinsey finds several occasions to don something fancier than her favorite turtleneck and jeans as she visits old pals who have climbed the ladder of success since her days as a cop.
"O" IS FOR OUTLAW, number 15 in the alphabet series, romps along at a goodly pace as Kinsey comes to terms with some rough patches out of her past. She finds she may have misjudged her first husband on one very important count, but discovers that her instincts still were not wrong when she walked. Grafton provides several interesting twists and turns along the way, and "O" may stand out as one of the better recent books in the popular series.
Reviewed by Roz Shea on January 22, 2011