This series started when I was nine. The newer books should be available in libraries and bookstores everywhere. Some of the older ones you might have to scour a used bookstore or find online.
When Alvin Limardo walks into P.I. Kinsey Millhone's office, she smells bad news. He wants Kinsey to deliver $25,000. The recipient: A fifteen-year-old boy. It's a simple matter. So simple that Kinsey wonders why he doesn't deliver the money himself. She's almost certain something is off. But with rent due, Kinsey accepts Limardo's retainer against her better judgment…
When Limardo's check bounces, Kinsey discovers she's been had big time. Alvin Limardo is really John Daggett--an ex-con with a drinking problem, two wives to boot, and a slew of people who would like to see him dead. Now Kinsey is out four hundred dollars and in hot pursuit of Daggett.
When Daggett's corpse shows up floating in the Santa Teresa surf, the cops rule the death an accident. Kinsey thinks it's murder. But seeking justice for a man who everyone seemed to despise is going to be a lot tougher than she bargained for--and what awaits her at the end of the road is much more disturbing than she could've ever imagined…
I accidentally stumbled across R is for Ricochet several years ago while perusing the local library. Little did I know that that one book would open up a world of mystery for me. I have since gone back to the beginning and started the series in the order it was meant to be read. However, if you’re impatient, so far as I can tell, you can read them as stand-alones with only minor references to previous books.
Each novel in the Kinsey Millhone series gets better as we go along. The mysteries become more tangled and the characters more devious and varied. One of the biggest draws to this series for me is is the setting. Having grown up and become a real person in the eighties, I find it fun to watch her walk around town, call everyone and even use the library resources to get the information she needs. Makes you look at today’s private investigators and think, “Man, they’ve got it easy – they’ve got the Internet!”
While I had some idea of who the killer was starting about halfway through, I was still shocked at the outcome of Kinsey’s investigations. I never dreamed it would end the way it did, although in retrospect, it doesn’t surprise me much (now). Kinsey’s leaps of intuition and her cleverness, however, keep you guessing. I enjoy that seed of doubt the author is constantly planting in your mind. You’re reading along and screaming silently, “The butler did it! I know he did!” and then you turn the page and think, “Wait, maybe the maid did it…” That’s a great mystery writer for you. And who knows, maybe the butler did do it.
I highly recommend this series to anyone and everyone.