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In Grafton's 18th Kinsey Milhone mystery, the crime is not murder (although a corpse does pays a brief visit) but "love gone right, love gone wrong, and matters somewhere in between." Hired by dying millionaire Nord Lafferty to baby-sit his recently paroled daughter, Reba, Kinsey finds herself entangled in a complex money-laundering scheme when Reba decides to take revenge on the two-timing lover for whom she had gone to prison. Meanwhile, Kinsey's octogenarian landlord resigns himself to a loveless life after his interfering brothers sabotage a budding relationship with a lively widow. And the twice-divorced Kinsey has to decide whether to risk opening her heart to sexy cop Cheney Phillips. As demonstrated here, Grafton's series remains fresh and exciting, with complex plots and well-developed characters. Kudos to Grafton for maintaining her high standards. Grafton lives in California and Kentucky. [A BOMC, Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild, and Mystery Guild main selection.]-Wilda Williams, Library Journal Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-Kinsey has been hired by a wealthy father to befriend his daughter upon her release from prison after serving a sentence for embezzling funds from her boyfriend/employer. It sounds easy, but the detective learns quickly that Reba's boss is still involved in a complex money-laundering scheme and is wanted by many federal law-enforcement agencies who want Reba to help them get evidence against him. Eventually she does, but there are problems leading to the exciting climax when the sleuth herself is kidnapped. Kinsey is young enough to appeal to teens; her lighthearted personality and witty asides amuse and entertain. Fans of this series will be pleased that she has a new boyfriend, but may be frustrated because her elderly landlord's family interferes.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Bestseller Grafton offers more of the same-old same-old in her less-than-inspired 18th Kinsey Millhone novel (after 2002's P Is for Peril). In this sexy adventure, the spunky hard-boiled detective has to escort the newly paroled Reba Lafferty, privileged ne'er-do-well, to her stately home, keeping her on the straight and narrow. Reba challenges the PI with her barely concealed hankerings for the now off-limits booze, gambling and charming Alan Beckwith, married real estate developer and former employer for whom Reba took a two-year barbwire vacation courtesy of the California Institution for Women. Lust is in the air as studly, stylish cop Cheney Phillips enters in his red Mercedes, fanning the flames with Kinsey, when Beckwith's activities catch the eye of the feds. Kinsey lends a supportive ear to her beloved 87-year-old landlord, smitten by a 70-year-old neighbor. Kinsey and Reba team up to get the goods on Beckwith, but reckless Reba has vengeful ideas of her own and more than once lands their collective fat in the fire. If the chemistry between Cheney and Kinsey seems forced at times, Grafton as usual creates believable and enduring characters and a strong sense of place in her town of Santa Teresa circa 1987. And that should be more than enough for most fans. Agent, Molly Friedrich at the Aaron Priest Literary Agency. (July 13) Forecast: A decline in quality in this iconic series hardly matters. A national author tour will help fuel another bestseller. BOMC Main Selection, main selection of Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild and Mystery Guild. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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