“Q” is for Quarry

Grafton, Sue. “Q” is for Quarry. Read by Judy Kaye. New York: Random House Audio, 2002.

Reason read: to continue the series started in April in honor of Grafton’s birth month.

In “Q” is for Quarry Kinsey Millhone is now 37 years old. She still lives alone without plants, animals, or family to speak of. In other words, she has plenty of time to devote to her newest cold case: the 18 year old unsolved mystery of who murdered an unknown teenager in 1969. She was found dumped in a quarry, hence the ‘Q’ for quarry. But, it could also mean prey as readers will discover deeper in the mystery. In truth, it’s the case of Lieutenant Con Dolan and Detective Stacey Oliphant, the two police officers who were previously on the case. Retired and ailing both men need to see this case through before they die. Only they are too ailing to do any of the heavy lifting. Enter Kinsey Millhone. Together they make an interesting threesome.

Irking: when the police originally investigated the Jane Doe murder they had an eyewitness who remembered seeing the victim right before she was discovered murdered. The investigators never realized the eyewitness made up the sighting or that she ended up marrying a fellow police officer tied to the case. How is that possible? How come it takes Kinsey only five minutes to get the truth out of the eyewitness 18 years later?

As an aside, besides being a runner the other thing I have in common with Kinsey is that we both like peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. I don’t think I knew that before.

Author fact: Like father like daughter. Grafton’s father was also a writer.

Book trivia: Q is for Quarry is based on a real Jane Doe murder case that went cold in the late 60s. Grafton was instrumental in reviving the case and getting a composite sketch drawn up to be published in the back of her Quarry.

Audio trivia: They use really cool music in the beginning of the Random House audio version. Another piece of trivia is that Judy Kaye, at times, sounds like Ellen Degeneres…but be warned, her voices for different people is a bit strange. At times I thought men were women.

Nancy said: “Q” is for Quarry is an “equally good puzzle” (p 123).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the very long chapter called “I Love a Mystery” (p 123).


By May

I thought May was going to be a disaster. The first two and a half weeks were nothing but rain and way cooler temps. I worried about my garden. I didn’t feel like running. It felt like a downward spiral. I ended up running only 28 miles and running away to Monhegan for a week so it ended better than it began. But…it’s still raining.

“…when May is rushing over you with desire to be part of the miracles you see in every hour” ~ Natalie Merchant, These are Days.

“I wanted to be there by May, at the latest. April is over. Can you tell me how long before I can be there?” ~ Natalie Merchant, Painted Desert.

Here are the books:

Fiction:

  • H by Elizabeth Shepard (read in one day)
  • Nerve by Dick Francis (read in two days)
  • A Gay and Melancholy Sound by Merle Miller

Nonfiction:

  • Good-Bye to All That by Robert Graves
  • Age of Gold by HW Brands
  • Lusitania: an epic tragedy by Diana Preston

Series continuation:

  • “Q” is for Quarry by Sue Grafton (finished the series)
  • As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee (okay, so I didn’t know this was part of a trilogy).

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • At the Broken Places by Mary and Donald Collins

May I Read Another Book?

Confessional: I don’t have any runs planned for May. I don’t have any travel planned for May (except going home-home). All I want to do is read, plant my gardens & master the grill. While the garden and the grill ambitions cannot be quantified, here are the books!

Fiction:

  •  Nerve by Dick Francis ~ in honor of the Kentucky Derby being in May
  • A Gay and Melancholy Sound by Merle Miller ~ in honor of Miller’s birth month. BTW – This is a behemoth (nearly 600 pages) so I am not confident I’ll finish it in time.
  • H by Elizabeth Shepard ! in honor of mental health month. This is barely 160 pages & will probably finish on a lunch break or two.

Nonfiction:

  • Age of Gold by H.W. Brands ~ in honor of History month being in May (confessional – this looks boring)
  • Lusitania: an epic tragedy by Diana Preston ~ in honor of the month the Lusitania sank
  • Goodbye to all That by Robert Graves ~ in honor of Memorial Day

Series continuations:

  • “Q” is for Quarry by Sue Grafton ~ to continue, and for me, finish the series started in April in honor of Grafton’s birth month (AB). Should be able to finish this in a weekend (AB + print)
  • Henry James: the Conquest of London (1870 – 1881) by Leon Edel ~ to continue the series started in April in honor of James’s birth month.

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • At the Broken Places: —- by Mary and Donald Collins

Spring Sprung Titles

What to say about April? I ran my fastest 10k while ill (go figure). I met two new runners and may have convinced someone to at least try. I don’t know where this acceptance to run with others is coming from. To share a conversation I had with someone: I asked where she runs. She replied she doesn’t have my pace, “nowhere near it” were her exact words. I answered I don’t have that pace all the time either. Me & my pace visit from time to time but we don’t make it a thing. She laughed and I saw myself ten years ago talking to someone who face-times with friends while running. I worried about her relationship with pace. But, this blog is turning into a thing different from reading.

So, without further ado, here are the finished books:

Fiction:

  • Diplomatic Lover by Elsie Lee – read in one day
  • Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez – read in two days
  • Celibate Season by Carol Shields and Blanche Howard – read in four days (this book annoyed me and I kept having to put it down)

Nonfiction:

  • Lost Upland: stories of the Dordogne Region by W.S. Merwin – confessional: DNF (bored, bored, bored)
  • Coming into the Country by John McPhee
  • Henry James: the Untried Years by Leon Edel
  • Another Part of the Wood by Kenneth Clark – this was cheeky!

Series continuations:

  • “F” is for Fugitive by Sue Grafton (I’m calling this a continuation even though I read “A” a long time ago.)
  • Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons (AB + print so I could finish on time – today!)
  • Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves – another quick read (finished in four days)

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul

“F” is for Fugitive

Grafton, Sue. “F” is for Fugitive. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1989.

Reason read: Grafton’s birth month is in April. Read in her honor.

Seventeen years ago Bailey Fowler pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for strangling his girlfriend. Despite this confession he was able to walk away from the San Luis Obispo prison and disappear into thin air. Then, thanks to a robbery gone sideways, the cops have Fowler in their possession again. This time, private investigator Kinsey Millhone is on the case, hired by Fowler’s family because they’ve known all along he was innocent. In his father’s eyes he may have robbed a gas station at gun point; yes, he did that…but he’s not a killer!
The rush to solve this case and clear Fowler’s name is expedited by Senior Fowler’s illness. Bailey’s dad suffers from a cancer that is spreading quickly. Can Kinsey reunite father and son before it’s too late? Or did Bailey really kill his pregnant girlfriend? All the blatant clues point to his guilt.

PS ~ It is not necessary to read every book in the Alphabet series to know what’s going on. Even though I hadn’t read “E” I knew Kinsey suffered injuries after her garage apartment was bombed at Christmastime. She was still dealing with the repercussions from both in “F”.

Caution: “F” is for Fugitive is a little dated. Let’s put it this way; it’s during an era when you could still swing by the office, pick up your typewriter, and throw it into the trunk of your car.

Confessional: I connected with Kinsey the first time I met her for one reason and one reason only. Here’s what I remember from “A” is for Alibi: Kinsey keeps running gear in the trunk of her car because she never knows when she will come across a good place to get in a few miles. It was nice to know that despite her injuries she is still running in “F.” But, having said all that I didn’t really like Kinsey aside from her running. I disliked her aversion to fat people, ill people, poor people, sad people, ugly people. That went for places, too. Anyone or anywhere less than rich and beautiful was a distaste to Kinsey.

Quotes I could relate to: “I was never taught to be girlish, so here I am, at thirty-two, stuck with a face unadorned by cosmetic subterfuge” (p 12). As a runner this spoke to me: “Something in the sweat seems to bring cheer in its wake” (p 15). A good run will clear the clouds every single time.

Author fact: according the back cover of “F” is for Fugitive Grafton had a Volkswagen bug with the license plate “Kinsey M” at one time. That’s the same car Kinsey drives. Pretty cool.

Book trivia: I think it goes without saying “F” is for Fugitive is part of Grafton’s “Alphabet” series. I believe she’s up to X now. I’ve read “A” is for Alibi and after “F” I’ll read “Q” is for Quarry. Sadly, I’m not reading any other letter in the series.

Nancy said: Nancy called “F” is for Fugitive an “equally good puzzle” (p 123).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the very long yet obvious chapter called “I Love a Mystery” (p 123).


April Snow Job

As we move into April I am not confident we won’t get another 26″ snow storm. If we ever joked in the past about not being able to predict the weather, now it is impossible. It’s no laughing matter. My rose bushes, right now struggling under the weight of frozen water, could tell you that. But never mind the weather. Let’s talk about the month of April. April is another 10k for cancer. I’m hoping to break the hour time since I was five seconds away in March. April is also Easter. April is my sister’s birth month. April is also books, books and more books…of course:

Fiction:

  • ‘F’ is For Fugitive by Sue Grafton ~ in honor of Grafton’s birth month. Technically, I should have read all the “alphabet” books by Grafton one right after the other, but I didn’t have that system when I read “A” is for Alibi. I think it goes without saying I do now.
  • The Diplomatic Lover by Elsie Lee ~ in honor of Lee’s birth month. I am not looking forward to this one even though it looks like a quick read.
  • A Celibate Season by Carol Shields ~ in honor of April being Letter Writing Month. This is so short I should be able to read it in one sitting.

Nonfiction:

  • Henry James: the Untried Years (1843 – 1870) by Leon Edel ~ in honor of James’s birth month. This first volume chronicles James’s childhood and youth.
  • Coming into the Country by John McPhee ~ in honor of the Alaska trip I’m taking in August.

Series continuations:

  • The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons ~ this is to finish the series started in January, in honor of Science Fiction month. I liked Endymion the best so I have high hopes for The Rise of Endymion. I am listening to this on audio and reading the print because I know I will never finish the 575+ pages by April 30th.
  • Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves ~ this is to finish the series started in January, in honor of Shetland’s fire festival, Up Helly Aa. This is another one I should be able to finish in a day or two.

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul

Extra (for fun):

  • Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara- ~ my sister sent this in my belated birthday package. Whatever she recommends I usually end up liking whether it be music or books. For those of you who really know me – I know what you’re thinking. Yes, my birthday was in February. I got the birthday package over a month later. It’s what we do.

If there is time (since three books are really, really short):

  • Another Part of the Wood by Kenneth Clark ~ in honor of National Library Week
  • The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez ~ in honor of April’s Mathematics, Science and Technology Week
  • Lost Upland by WS Merwin ~ in honor of well, you know the song…April in Paris. Cheesy, I know.