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P Is For Peril (2002)

P is for Peril (2002)

Book Info

3.83 of 5 Votes: 5
Your rating
0449003795 (ISBN13: 9780449003794)
ballantine books

About book P Is For Peril (2002)

Pros: Grafton's descriptions are beautifully written and immerse the reader in the story. Plot has lots of twists and turns and the style is immensely readable. Grafton has the gift of being able to entertain without sacrificing depth or stylistic sophistication. Characters are varied and interesting. (I was not offended by the "foul language" of any of the characters as some other reviewers have been; if anything, some of the characters could have sworn a little more in the interest of realism. The book is, after all, intended for adult readers and is meant to depict everyday society, not a cloistered one.)The secondary plot with the Hevener brothers is fun, spicy and engrossing. Cons: Despite their elegance, the descriptive passages are too frequent and sometimes extraneous, particularly extensive descriptions of characters' fashion and design choices (Kinsey claims not to be very in tune with such matters before commenting on them with a degree of detail that contradicts her.)The subplot becomes disappointingly melodramatic and a little too dark later on - it does contain an intriguing twist involving a certain woman, but even this could have led to several lighter and more satisfying conclusions. Kinsey herself, while generally sympathetic and fun, seems at times to have too much bad luck for one person. She can be a little too judgmental of others, particularly for someone whose reading of people is shown to be way off on several occasions. She also behaves in a baffling manner at times: her sudden days off for cleaning, vegging, and dealing with "other cases" just when two story lines are heating up may make the reader feel more involved in the story than the detective is. In fact, to go by this novel, you might not hire Kinsey yourself; the reader is very likely to figure out key facts long before the detective does, and Kinsey almost seems to solve the mystery by accident, in rather abrupt fashion, with little by way of denouement or exposition. The revelation of the killer is also a disappointment - not the most interesting of choices given the suspects available; as some reviewers have noted, the ending felt rushed.Overall, though, Grafton is such a talented writer and the story is so engrossing that I would definitely recommend this book and will continue reading the series - perhaps starting from the beginning just to be on the safe side, as there were a few loose ends in this story that I would look forward to seeing resolved, as they may well be in future additions.

I’ve enjoyed all of the Kinsey Millhone novels so far but this one was a bit of a letdown. I did some quick research after I finished it and “P” is almost always ranked near or at the bottom of all of the books in the series.Unfortunately it is easy to see why. There are two mystery plots at work in this novel. The main one concerns a missing nursing home administrator. Kinsey is hired by his ex-wife and she proceeds to do her research from every angle imaginable. I always enjoy her methodical approach and this was no exception. But it grew frustrating for both Kinsey and me as she encountered one dead end after another. Meanwhile, the other subplot involves Kinsey trying to rent new office space and getting stuck in a dangerous situation with her future landlords. This part is more thriller than mystery and is what spawns the “Peril” part of the title.Most of the novel was just fine, even if frustrating. I was confident that Kinsey would get to the end like she always does. But I thought the thriller plot just wasn’t realistic, especially at the end when Kinsey was in the most peril and the murderer just walked away instead of dealing with the loose end that Kinsey had become. Just not the way it would happen. In addition, Kinsey finds out she had been duped the entire time and that criminal gets away scot free. I had hopes that the follow-on novel, “Q is for Quarry” might be about the search for that criminal but alas, it doesn’t appear to be the case. The mystery part of the plot suffered from too many characters and dead ends as well as several mistakes by Kinsey. She remarks on that herself, kicking herself for her poor performance on this case. The ending was rushed. Kinsey has a eureka moment and solves the mystery in about two sentences. The bigger problem is she doesn’t share the result with us. She implies the solution but we are left guessing at the end. None of the other books in the series has been like this and I wonder if the author was trying to “keep things fresh” and not succumb to formula. Whatever…it didn’t work well.Having said all that, I generally enjoy reading about Kinsey’s day-to-day activities and I did this time as well. I like the simplicity of her life and the author’s easy flowing descriptions. Most readers think this one was an anomaly of the series and I am happy to keep on trucking with it.

Do You like book P Is For Peril (2002)?

P is for puzzled, as I think most fans will be when they reach the end of this book. I have read and enjoyed all the alphabet books, and have really enjoyed Kinsey and her eccentric band of friends and relations. But there was far too little of that in this mystery. The story of the missing physician Dow Purcell was fairly uninvolving. The people in his life were people you cared little about, and the solution, or lack of one, at the conclusion of the book is very puzzling. Although I think I understood what Kinsey "was looking at all along", it surely could have had a much clearer ending. The secondary story line involving the Hevener brothers was far more interesting, and also left quite a few ends dangling. I expect Mariah Talbot to turn up in Q is for Quarry. Lets hope it's a better addition to the series than this. The book would normally rate 2 stars, one star is awarded because I still like Kinsey.

I'm really liking this new format. I think Grafton is doing a great job of really bringing the storyline out.In this novel, Kinsey is hired by an ex-wife, to locate her currently missing ex-husband. One evening, he walks out of the nursing home he manages and just disappears. It's been a couple weeks and Kinsey's not certain she'll be able to do more good than the police have, but decides to take the case. The twists and turns this novel goes through are a lot of fun to follow. Honestly? This is one of the first times that I really had no idea what Kinsey would fine. Granted, I did figure out one thing sooner than she did - WAY sooner than she did, but that didn't take away from the book in any way. This book is full of shady dealings, mysterious friends and lovers, and delinquent youth. I felt that Grafton did an excellent job of weaving everything together, still keeping the story going. We were also treated to a side thriller within the main storyline, which set Kinsey on edge and had me there with her. Overall, this read closer to a TV detective show than a lot of the others did. The previous books were more light-hearted than this one. That may not be the right word for it, but there was a deeper darkness to this.I think the fact I read this in about 3 days gives testament to how good this was. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next.

Kinsey is once again on a missing persons case. A well-respected doctor is missing and his ex-wife wants him found. Odd that it's his ex-wife and not his current wife but of course, that is just the beginning of the oddities in the case. As Kinsey begins to pursue the case, she learns that the doctor is being investigated for Medicare fraud at the nursing home he was running. She also learns that his current wife has a daughter from a previous relationship who devotes her time to finding ways to run away. The mystery takes twists and turns involving ownership of the nursing home and the current wife's ex-husband. The answer to the mystery was surprising and I like that.The part of the story that was much more interesting to me, though, was Kinsey's own personal problem that develops over the course of the book. In pursuit of new office space, she meets two brothers who own what seems to be the perfect space for her. She is immediately attracted to one of the brothers and he reciprocates. She soon finds out that this relationship will be far more complicated than she could have imagined. This entry into the series is satisfying and entertaining, one of my favorites.
—Randee Baty

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