W is for Wasted is the twenty-third in the Kinsey Millhone alphabet mystery series by Sue Grafton.
Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue.
The first was a local private investigator of suspect reputation. He'd been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He'd been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with private investigator Kinsey Millhone's name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.
Two seemingly unrelated deaths, one a murder, the other apparently of natural causes.
But as Kinsey digs deeper into the mystery of the John Doe, some very strange links begin to emerge. And before long at least one aspect is solved as Kinsey finds the key to his identity . . .
In this multi-layered tale, the surfaces seem clear, but the underpinnings are full of betrayals, misunderstandings, and outright murderous fraud. And Kinsey, through no fault of her own, is thoroughly compromised . . .
Kinsey Millhone goes through a dry spell workwise in bestseller Grafton s absorbing 23rd mystery featuring the Santa Teresa, Calif., PI (after 2012 s V Is for Vengeance). The death of a homeless man, who was found with a slip of paper in his pocket with Kinsey s name on it, provides some wanted distraction. The man may be Kinsey s distant relative who, it turns out, has left her his entire life savings, putting Kinsey in the middle of a case of a more personal nature than she s used to. Along with the murder of a fellow PI, the disreputable Pete Wolinsky, Kinsey finds little time to deal with the reappearance of her onetime boyfriend, Robert Dietz. Grafton ties together these disparate threads with her usual skill. While some of Kinsey s longer asides could have benefited from trimming, fans will rejoice that her observations on such topics as her previous failed relationships and the quirks of her hometown are as incisive and witty as ever.