Mystery Author Sue Grafton Dies at Age 77

Posted on December 29, 2017 by

Sue Grafton, the bestselling novelist of the “alphabet series” featuring her iconic sleuth Kinsey Millhone, has died at 77 after a two-year battle with cancer. The sad news of Grafton’s passing was announced on the author’s Facebook page by her daughter Jamie. In the post, Jamie says, “She was surrounded by family, including her devoted and adoring husband Steve. Although we knew this was coming, it was unexpected and fast.”

Read Jamie’s full announcement below:

Hello Dear Readers. This is Sue's daughter, Jamie. I am sorry to tell you all that Sue passed away last night after a…

Posted by Sue Grafton on Friday, December 29, 2017

Grafton’s wildly popular Kinsey Millhone launched in 1982 with A is for Alibi. The latest installment of the series, Y is for Yesterday, was published earlier this year and the publisher’s description describes it as “the darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone.”

In the 35 years between A and Y, Grafton thrilled her readers with the adventures and cases of private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional town of Santa Teresa, California.

Earlier this year, she told the New York Post that the idea for using the alphabet to title her mystery series was inspired by a cartoon book by Edward Gorey. “I wrote as many crime-related titles [alphabetically] as I could think of to see if there were enough for 26 books,” she said, pointing out that this was before she’d even finished her first Millhone mystery. “I was completely free to do anything I wanted and had nothing at stake. When that sold, I thought ‘Uh-oh. Now I’m in trouble!’ ”

On her website, Grafton had said she wasn’t sure what she would do when the “alphabet series” concluded with Z. “Many of you are asking (some quite plaintively) what I intend to do when I get to ‘the end’ of the alphabet. I’ve been consistent in my response which is ‘no clue.'” Grafton said Z is for Zero was scheduled to be released in 2019, but according to her daughter’s Facebook post, “…as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y.”


What was your favorite Sue Grafton novel? 


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