Gene Lyons
May 06, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Okay, so the eleventh of Sue Grafton’s series of alphabet mysteries—”A” Is for Alibi, ”B” Is for Burglar, and so forth-has the most predictable title since Rambo III. What’s of far more interest to us here is that like its predecessors, ‘‘K” Is for Killer also has Kinsey Millhone, the spunkiest, funniest, and most engaging private investigator in Santa Teresa, Calif., not to mention the entire detective novel genre. Kinsey has a ghastly mess on her hands this time, beginning with the badly decomposed corpse of a beautiful, outwardly impoverished young woman who left behind a brokenhearted mother, two seemingly indifferent older sisters, $500,000 in gilt-edged securities, and an unreleased porno film in which the victim played a starring role. Unlike many detective series, Grafton’s only seems to get better each time out. How comforting that she’s got 15 letters left to play with. A-

You May Like