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Q is for Quarry: 02/17/09
Quarry (noun): 1) one that is sought or pursued : prey; 2) an open excavation usually for obtaining building stone, slate, or limestone; 3) a rich source; 4) a diamond shaped pane of glass. Quarry (verb); to delve in or as if in a quarry (to query). Source: Merriam Webster online.
Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton is a bit of a departure for the Kinsey Millhone series. The book was inspired by an actual cold case, one mentioned during a dinner party. The idea, though not immediately set upon, stuck in Sue Grafton's mind and eventually led to her working with the detectives investigating the case. As she is a writer of mystery novels, she takes some artistic license with the case, simplifying some details and ultimately allowing Kinsey to help in the closing the case.
To help with the case, the book has four photographs of the forensic reconstruction of Jane Doe done in September 2001. There is also a page dedicated to the case on Sue Grafton's website.
All of the details of the real cold case contribute to making Q is for Quarry feel more like a police procedural and less like a gum shoe mystery. Kinsey for the most part (except for some derring-do near the end) is along for the ride, doing the heavy lifting for the ailing detectives who are in charge of the case. Since so much of the case has happened in the past (nearly eighteen years earlier in the book, since it's 1987 in Kinsey's world) and since so much of it is being handled by the police, there is extra time for Kinsey's personal life and the lives of her immediate friends. I've never been a fan of this aspect of the series (or for most mystery series) and I skipped most of it to stay focused on the interesting bits.
Before reading the novel, I also listened to it as an audio book. I much preferred it as an audio book. I'm not much of an audio book reader with the exception being Grafton's Alphabet series. Kinsey's chit-chatty recounting of events lends itself perfectly to the audio format.
Comment #1: Thursday, February, 19, 2009 at 09:38:45
Although I have never read Q is for Quarry, I am a big fan of Grafton's novels. I've read a few and found myself enjoying every single one of them.
Comment #2: Sunday, February 21, 2009 at 16:15:54
Then you would probably enjoy this one too. Happy reading!