Books

I IS FOR INNOCENT by Sue Grafton, narrated by Mary Peiffer

Is David Barney innocent?

Six years ago a jury absolved him of the murder of his wife Isabelle, letting him saunter off into the sunset and avail himself of  Isabelle’s millions.

But first husband, Kenneth Voight, convinced that Barney is responsible, has recently launched a civil suit.

The stakes are high, not only because of the moola, but because the statute of limitations runs out in a few weeks. Prosecuting attorney Lonnie Kingman finds himself wrong-footed by the sudden death of his PI, Morley Shine, who was amassing evidence against Barney.

Enter Kinsey Milhone, who believes that a little light dusting will get the case ready for Kingman, only to find that Shine’s files are in disarray or missing, and that Barney’s alibi checks out.

Part of the pleasure in reading one of Sue Grafton’s alphabet novels is in watching Kinsey’s clever mind tick along. Here she is, wading into a mess of a case, believing at first that Morley Shine was derelict in his duties. Only gradually does she realize he was getting too close to the truth.

If David Barney didn’t murder Isabelle, then who did? And did Morley Shine really drop dead of a heart attack?? Five stars.