"A" Is for Alibi

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"A" Is for Alibi_table_infobox_0

"A" Is for Alibi"A" Is for Alibi_table_caption_0
Author"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_0_0 Sue Grafton"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_0_1
Country"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_1_0 United States"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_1_1
Language"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_2_0 English"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_2_1
Series"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_3_0 Alphabet Mysteries"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_3_1
Genre"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_4_0 Mystery"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_4_1
Publisher"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_5_0 Henry Holt and Company"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_5_1
Publication date"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_6_0 April 15, 1982"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_6_1
Media type"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_7_0 Print Hardcover"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_7_1
Pages"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_8_0 274 first edition"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_8_1
ISBN"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_9_0 978-0-8050-1334-4"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_9_1
OCLC"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_10_0 "A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_10_1
Followed by"A" Is for Alibi_header_cell_0_11_0 "B" Is for Burglar"A" Is for Alibi_cell_0_11_1

"A" Is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1982, is the first mystery novel in the author's "Alphabet" series. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_0

Featuring sleuth Kinsey Millhone, it is set in the southern California city of Santa Teresa, the nom de plume for Santa Barbara. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_1

She wrote the book during a divorce and admits about her husband that she "would lie in bed at night thinking of ways to kill him". "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_2

The New York Times gave the book a lukewarm review. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_3

Plot summary "A" Is for Alibi_section_0

Kinsey Millhone, 32, private detective investigates the death of prominent divorce lawyer Laurence Fife. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_4

His murder eight years earlier was blamed on his wife, Nikki Fife. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_5

Upon being released from prison, Nikki hires Kinsey to find the real murderer. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_6

In the course of the investigation, Kinsey becomes involved with Charlie Scorsoni, the late Mr. Fife's former law partner. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_7

She discovers Fife's death has been linked to that of a woman in Los Angeles, his law firm's accountant; both died after taking poisonous oleander capsules, which had been substituted for allergy pills. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_8

Kinsey tracks down the accountant's parents and former boyfriend. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_9

She then goes to Las Vegas to interview Fife's former secretary, Sharon Napier, who is killed minutes before Kinsey arrives. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_10

Back in California, Kinsey is mystified that Nikki's son, Colin, recognizes Laurence's first wife, Gwen, in a photograph. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_11

Kinsey surmises that Gwen was having an affair with her ex-husband at the time of his death. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_12

She accuses Gwen, who confesses. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_13

Shortly afterwards, she too is dead, killed in a hit-and-run crash. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_14

Kinsey has solved the case she was hired to investigate; but in a plot twist, she discovers that her previous notions about the accountant's death were entirely wrong: in fact, it was Scorsoni who killed her when she discovered he was skimming dividend money from estate accounts under his management. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_15

Scorsoni used the same method that Gwen used to kill Fife, so it would be assumed the same person committed both murders. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_16

In a final confrontation, he chases Kinsey across the beach, armed with a knife. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_17

Kinsey hides in the shore line, and she is forced to remove her shoes and pants. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_18

Before Scorsoni can kill her, she shoots him dead. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_19

A secondary storyline involves Millhone's surveillance of Marcia Threadgill, suspected of insurance fraud in a trip-and-fall case. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_20

Although Millhone believes she has successfully documented Threadgill's deception, the insurance firm that contracted Millhone to investigate Threadgill moves to pay her claim anyway, citing potential legal costs and complications, including the risk of reprisal. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_21

Publication history "A" Is for Alibi_section_1

The first printing of "A" Is for Alibi was 7,500 copies, with initial sales of about 6,000. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_22

Critical analyis "A" Is for Alibi_section_2

Grafton openly admits that she conceived the story from her own "fantasies" of murdering her husband while going through a divorce. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_23

The novel's style typical hardboiled detective fiction, according to the authors of 'G' is for Grafton, who describe it as "laconic, breezy, wise-cracking". "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_24

Grafton frames the narrative as a report Kinsey Millhone writes during the course of her investigation, written in the First-person narrative. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_25

"A" for Alibi is dedicated to author Chip Grafton, Sue Grafton's father, "who set me on this path". "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_26

Chip Grafton was a municipal bond attorney in Kentucky who pursued a secondary career as a crime novelist, winning minor acclaim for four novels. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_27

He died on January 1, 1982 at age 72, four months before 'A' is for Alibi was published. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_28

Reviews "A" Is for Alibi_section_3

Kirkus Reviews said this was a "shakily plotted but otherwise terrific start for a new detective series", writing when the book was released. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_29

They look forward to the rest of the Alphabet Series, "fine dialogue, a great eye for people and places", if the author can tighten up her plots. "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_30

Looking back at the series soon after the author's death, Library Journal Reviews remarked on the slow build up to successful reviews, including a quote from its own review: "Critic Sarah Weinman notes that pseudonymous New York Times critic Newgate Callendar dismissed A Is for Alibi as "competent enough, but not particularly original." "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_31

Alas, LJ's reviewer was equally unenthusiastic in an April 1, 1982, review, waving the book aside as "nothing to take it out of the ordinary." "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_32

Before those less enthusiastic words, they had said, "The female detective is well drawn and the plot moves at a fast clip". "A" Is for Alibi_sentence_33


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/"A" Is for Alibi.