New Book – D is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton


Publishing year: 1987

This is the fourth instalment in the Kinsey Milhone’s series.

This new mystery starts when a man calling himself Alvin Limardo calls on Kinsey. He wants her to find somebody called Tony Gahan and giving him a cheque for $25,000 as Tony had done something good for him before he went to jail. In the end, he tells Kinsey that Tony is fifteen.

Then Kinsey tries to cash the cheque Limardo has given her for her fees, but it bounces. When she tries to find out about Limardon’s whereabouts, she learns that his real name is John Dagget, has a twenty-something wife he beats when he’s drunk. Kinsy also learns there is a second Mrs Dagget and a thirty-something daughter. The crime he was locked for was vehicular manslaughter; he wears driving under the influence of alcohol and had an accidents, killing five people, three of whom were children. One of the children was Tony Gahan’s sister and his parents also died in the accident.

Shortly afterwards, Kinsey learns that John Dagget has been found dead. Apparently, he was dead drunk and after nicking a boat, he went overboard and drowned. The police rules it was an accidental death, but Kinsey isn’t sure about this. Barbara, John’s daughter, hires her to investigate her father’s death. So far Kinsey has spoken to several people, among whom there’s Billy Polo, a guy who he met in prison and is friends with, and the victims of the accident. We also learn that Dagget wasn’t alone the night he died; a waitress saw him with a twenty-something woman. I wonder if the woman is Lovella, the battered wife. I have no idea who might have killed Dagget. There are many people who wished him dead. It could have been his brother-in-law, who clearly didn’t have a good opinion of the man his sister married, or maybe one of the victims.

Jonah Robb is also in the book. I like the sexual tension between him and Kinsey. Jonah is still struggling with his marriage, and now things are getting worse as his wife seems to want an open marriage. What kind of marriage is that? Kinsey gives him some direct criticism about him suffering in a marriage of his own volition. I guess that sooner or later Jonah and Kinsey will hook up. I like him even though the way he copes with his personal business shows him in a poor light.

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