4 cassettes / 4 hours
Read by Judy Kaye
"There are few writers able to sustain the solid mixture of detection, narrative energy and cultural observations that one finds in Grafton." -- Washington Post Book World
"M" is for money. Lots of it. "M" is for Malek Construction, the $40 million company that grew out of modest soil to become one of the big three in California construction, one of the few still in family hands.
"M" is for the Malek family: four sons now nearing middle age who stand to inherit a fortune - four men with very different outlooks, temperaments, and needs, linked only by blood and money. Eighteen years ago, one of them - angry, troubled, and in trouble - went missing.
"M" is for Millhone, hired to trace that missing black sheep brother.
"M" is for memories, none of them happy. The bitter memoirs of an embattled family. This prodigal son will find no welcome at his family's table. "M" is for malice.
And in brutal consequence, "M" is for murder, the all-too-common outcome of familiar hatreds.
"M" is for malice . . . and malice kills.
"Every investigation has a nature of its own, but there are certain shared characteristics," explains private eye Kinsey Millhone in her 13th alphabetic outing. "Here's what you hope for: a chance remark from the former neighbor on a skip-trace, a penciled notation on the corner of a document, an ex-spouse with a grudge, the number on an account, an item overlooked at the scene of a crime. Here's what you expect: the dead ends, bureaucratic bullheadedness, the cul-de-sacs, trails that go nowhere or simply fade into thin air, denials, prevarications, the blank-eyed stares from all the hostile witnesses. Here's what you know: that you've done it before and you have the toughness and determination to pull it off again. Here's what you want: justice. Here's what you'll settle for: something equivalent, the quid pro quo." All of the above are on display in Grafton's latest entry in her increasingly popular series set in a thinly-disguised Santa Barbara, as the virtually ageless Kinsey finds and loses a missing heir and gets back an old lover.