Alphabet Sue (Grafton) at Left Coast Crime

When my mother was 87 years old, she discovered mystery writer Sue Grafton, starting with “Q is for Quarry.” Since Grafton published biannually, my mother backtracked through the alphabet to catch up in the interim years, but made it to “U is for Undertow” before she died. My mother would have enjoyed meeting the feisty creator of detective Kinsey Millhone.

As the key attraction for the Left Coast Crime conference in Monterey this year, Grafton recounted her career as a screenwriter and her divorce from her first husband – both motivating her to write murder mysteries – much safer to kill off an old boss or husband in a book. Grafton was funny, likeable, and clearly a “crazy hot” 74 year old writer – the title bestowed on her from characters in the TV series “The Office.”

Grafton’s next letter is X, and she says she’s stuck. If she can’t write a murder about a xylophone, readers may never see the end of the alphabet. She claims that her best work comes when her “shadow side”writes the book: “Shadow comes from someplace much more primitive…”

I have her newest – “W” on my library list, but I haven’t read any of her others. Have you read any of Sue Grafton’s popular books?