Monday, August 10, 2009

Grafton, Sue (T is for Trespass)

Grafton is pulling out all the stops for her final handful of titles in the Alphabet Mystery Series. The middle section of the alphabet was truly the pits-- all of her stories seemed used, with no fresh perspectives. Even though none of her stories make significant commentary on culture or social conventions, other than to point out yet another in a long line of nasty ways that people can dupe you, everything after "C is for Corpse" and before "R is for Ricochet" has even less redeeming value.

Although I'm not quite old enough to be in fear of the situation she sets up in this current novel, even thinking that something like this could happen to me in my dotage makes my skin crawl. As with any mystery, there are occasions while reading that stop you in your tracks, along the line of "oh, c'mon, that was a bit too facile, wasn't it?" But this is precisely where Grafton is getting better-- while she's always been a master of description, she has not been a master of moving the plot along smoothly. I think that's a difficult balance to achieve as a writer. Too much description and things dull. Too little description and you haven't the faintest what the writer is talking about.

I particularly like her last line, and it's only 4 words long. (Have I made it sound enticing enough?)

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