Biographies Book

Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Series Author, Sue Grafton, Author Biographies

Sue Grafton was born on April 24, 1940, in Louisville, Kentucky, where she and her sister were also raised. Her parents were attorney CW Grafton and Vivian Harnsberger Grafton. His father also wrote in his spare time that he had published four mysteries.

After earning a BA in English Literature from the University of Louisville in 1961, Sue worked in
Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, Calif., cashier, medical secretary, and hospital admissions clerk. Although she started writing at the age of 18, she was not published until 1967. She started writing screenplays, TV movies and TV pilots.

Sue is married to Steven F. Humphries and has three children from previous marriages. She was in the midst of a divorce in the 1980s when she started writing her Kinsey Millhone books. She jokes, “Your homicidal urges can be turned into good in this world. Don’t let that ex-husband bring you down! Just start a new job.”

Sue Grafton lives in Santa Barbara where her protagonist Kinsey Millhone lives, but she renamed it Santa Theresa in the books. Many years ago, another author, Ross Madonald, also placed his protagonist, Lew Archer, in Santa Theresa.

Sue says when she first did book signings most of the people online were women, but now there are at least as many men, if not more. She is not a neutral writer.

Sue used to write a book a year but decided that was too much, so now she publishes a book about every eighteen months. She says that when she dies, she will leave all her papers at Boston University. She absolutely refuses to let Hollywood get their hands on Kinsey Millhone.

Books by Sue Grafton:
Kinsey Millhone Series:
A is for Alibi (1982)
B for Burglar (1985)
C’est pour corpse (1986)
D for Deadbeat (1987)
E for Evidence (1988)
F is for Fugitive (1989)
G is for Gumshoe (1990)
H for Homicide (1991)
I’m for Innocent (1992)
J is for Judgment (1993)
K is for Killer (1994)
L is for Lawless (1995)
M is for Mischief (1996)
N is for Noose (1998)
O is for Outlaw (1999)
P is for Peril (2000)
Q is for Career (2002)
R is for Ricochet (2004)
S for Silence (2005)
T is for Trespass (2007)
U is for Undertow (2009)

Kinsey Millhone Omnibus:
Three Complete Novels 1: A, B and C (1990)
Three Complete Novels 2: D, E and F (2001)
Three Complete Novels 3: G, H and Me (2002)
Three Complete Novels 4: J, K and L (2007)
Three Complete Novels 5: M, N and O (2008)

Stand-alone novels:
Keziah Dane (1967)
The Lolly–Madonna War (1998)

Edited anthologies:
America’s Best Mystery Stories: 1998 (1998) with Otto Penzler

Writing Mysteries: A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America (2002)

Sue Grafton is well known for the meticulous and painstaking research she does for each book. Her entire series is set in the 1980s, so she has to make sure she doesn’t get ahead of herself (hmm…no cell phones…). Of course, that means Kinsey Millhone also remains in his thirties.

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