This date in history: Sue Grafton

On this date, in 1982. Henry Holt published Sue Grafton’s A IS FOR AILBI, the first novel to feature P.I. Kinsey Milhone. Sue, along with Marcia Muller and Sara Paretsky, would change the crime fiction world  by introducing women to the P.I. genre.

Laurence Fife was a slick divorce lawyer and slippery ladies’ man. Until someone killed him. The jury believed that it was his pretty young wife Nikki, so they sent her to prison for eight years. Now, Nikki’s out on parole and Kinsey Miihone’s in for trouble. Nikki hires Kinsey to discover who really killed her husband. But the trail is eight years cold, and at the end is a chilling twist even Kinsey doesn’t suspect — a second eight-year-old murder and a brand new corpse.

Since then, Sue has plowed through the alphabet and recently published W IS FOR WASTED. She has also collected numerous awards, including multiple Anthony and Shamus awards, as well as being named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and being awarded Lifetime Achievement awards by the CWA and the World Mystery Convention. The idea of naming the books after the alphabet was inspired by Edward Gorey’s GASHLYCRUMB TINIES.

Can any of you imagine a mystery world without Kinsey Milhone?