Study Guide

"G" Is for Gumshoe

by Sue Grafton

"G" Is for Gumshoe Analysis

“G” Is for Gumshoe (Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Kinsey Millhone thought it would be a good birthday. Admittedly she is now thirty-three, but the renovation on her garage apartment is finally finished and she can begin to reconstruct something resembling a normal life. Unfortunately, she receives a phone call informing her that a killer she once helped track down has put out a contract on her life. Still, she tells herself, such hazards come with the job. Although she resolves to be a tad more careful, she is determined not to give in to fear.

Going about her business, Kinsey heads out into the Mojave Desert to locate the eccentric mother of a new client. Before she can finish that job, she is run off the road and almost killed. Faced with a wrecked car and the realization that someone out there wants her dead, she decides to hire a bodyguard. Fortunately, Robert Dietz is not only willing to take on the job, he is willing to work for free. Dietz, however, has his work cut out for him. Kinsey is anything but a shrinking violet, and the prospect of taking orders from anyone is not something she likes. Moreover, Kinsey will not give up on her new case, and that alone places her in constant peril. Still, the pugnacious detective perseveres, and unravels one of the more intriguing assignments of her career. Not only that, Kinsey may have discovered a kindred spirit in Dietz--at least so it appears.

All of the classic ingredients of Sue Grafton’s popular series are present in this new addition to her alphabetical approach to mystery fiction. The dialogue is crisp, the commentary trenchant, the situations plausible, and the villain malignant enough to send chills down the reader’s spine. Furthermore, Millhone adds a few new bits of information regarding her past, her view of the future, and other assorted elements of her being. It is really too bad that the English alphabet only has twenty-six letters.