"C" Is for Corpse

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"C" Is for Corpse_table_infobox_0

"C" Is for Corpse"C" Is for Corpse_table_caption_0
Author"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_0_0 Sue Grafton"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_0_1
Country"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_1_0 United States"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_1_1
Language"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_2_0 English"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_2_1
Series"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_3_0 Alphabet Mysteries"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_3_1
Genre"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_4_0 Mystery fiction"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_4_1
Publisher"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_5_0 Henry Holt and Company"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_5_1
Publication date"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_6_0 1986"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_6_1
Media type"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_7_0 Print (Hardcover)"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_7_1
Pages"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_8_0 243 first edition"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_8_1
ISBN"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_9_0 978-0-03-001888-6"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_9_1
OCLC"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_10_0 "C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_10_1
Preceded by"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_11_0 "B" Is for Burglar"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_11_1
Followed by"C" Is for Corpse_header_cell_0_12_0 "D" Is for Deadbeat"C" Is for Corpse_cell_0_12_1

"C" Is for Corpse is the third novel in Sue Grafton's "Alphabet" series of mystery novels and features Kinsey Millhone, a private eye based in Santa Teresa, California. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_0

Plot summary "C" Is for Corpse_section_0

The novel begins with Kinsey at the gym, rehabilitating herself from injuries sustained at the end of B is for Burglar. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_1

While there, she meets Bobby Callahan, a twenty-three-year-old who was nearly killed when his car went off the road nine months ago. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_2

Bobby is convinced that the car crash, which killed his friend Rick, was an attempt on his life. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_3

He suspects that he may still be in danger, so he hires Kinsey to investigate. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_4

Having lost some of his memories and cognitive faculties as a result of the crash, he can only vaguely articulate why he thinks someone wants to kill him, referring to some information in a red address book that he can no longer locate. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_5

Kinsey takes the case despite little information, having taken a liking to Bobby. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_6

She meets his rich but dysfunctional family: Glen, his mother is an heiress on her third marriage to Derek Wenner, whose daughter Kitty is a 17-year-old drug user and is seriously ill with anorexia. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_7

Glen has spared no expense in seeking treatment and counseling for Bobby. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_8

He is depressed further due to Rick's death, his own injuries, and the loss of his prospects at medical school. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_9

A few days later, Bobby dies in another car crash, which is attributed to a seizure while driving. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_10

Kinsey thinks this is the delayed result of the first crash and thus a successful murder. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_11

Kinsey investigates several people: Kitty stands to inherit 2 million dollars from Bobby's will; Derek insured Bobby's life for a large sum without Glen's knowledge; and Rick's parents blame Bobby for their son's death. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_12

However, Kinsey looks elsewhere for the solution: a friend of Bobby's gives her Bobby's address book, which shows Bobby was searching for someone called Blackman. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_13

Bobby's former girlfriend thought Bobby ended their relationship because he was having an affair with someone else, and she thinks Bobby was helping a woman who was being blackmailed. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_14

Kinsey eventually finds out that the woman with whom Bobby was involved was his mother's friend, Nola Fraker. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_15

She confesses to having accidentally shot her husband, a well-known architect named Dwight Costigan, during a supposed struggle with an intruder at their home years prior. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_16

She has a blackmailer, who is in possession of the gun with Nola's fingerprints on it. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_17

Trying to investigate further, Kinsey realizes that 'Blackman' is code for an unidentified corpse in the morgue. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_18

She finds the gun concealed in the corpse. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_19

However, while she is at the hospital, she finds the recently murdered body of the morgue assistant and realizes the killer is at the hospital. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_20

It is Nola's current husband, Dr. Fraker, a pathologist from the hospital, who is also the blackmailer. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_21

Bobby found out what Fraker was up to; but Fraker rigged the first car accident before he could do anything about it, leading Bobby to eventually put Kinsey on the trail. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_22

Soon after, Fraker cut Bobby's brake lines, leading to his fatal crash, and falsified the autopsy results to point to a seizure. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_23

Fraker traps Kinsey and gives her a disabling injection, but she manages to cosh him and escapes to a phone to call the police. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_24

In the epilogue, she describes finally discharging the debt she feels she owes to Bobby and concludes with a wish that he is at peace. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_25

In a side plot, Kinsey's landlord and friend Henry begins a personal and business relationship with Lila Sams, newly arrived in Santa Teresa. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_26

Kinsey, rubbed the wrong way by Lila, discovers her to be a fraudster with multiple identities and turns her over to the police just as Lila is preparing to decamp with Henry's money. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_27

Characters "C" Is for Corpse_section_1

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  • Kinsey Millhone: Private detective hired by a man she meets in the gym."C" Is for Corpse_item_0_0

Reviews "C" Is for Corpse_section_2

Publishers Weekly reviewed the novel positively, calling it fast-paced, with quirky and believable characters, and written with a light and sure touch. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_28

Kirkus Reviews also praised the book, saying it was the best of the series so far, and that its strongest element was Kinsey Millhone. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_29

The review took note of Grafton's "warm and swift" writing style, and said that the plot was intriguing though far-fetched. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_30

Awards "C" Is for Corpse_section_3

"C" Is for Corpse was awarded the 1987 Anthony Award for Best Novel at Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. "C" Is for Corpse_sentence_31


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