"M" Is for Malice

"M" Is for Malice

Book - 1996
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Kinsey Millhone investigates a particularly nasty murder. Bader Malek has died, leaving his three sons squabbling over a considerable fortune. A fourth son, Guy, was sent away in disgrace years earlier after a series of juvenile arrests for drugs, drinking, and assorted scams. Hoping Guy is dead or unfindable so they can split his share of the fortune, the three remaining Maleks figure they ought to make a good-faith effort to find him, so they hire Kinsey, who discovers Guy living a few hundred miles away, working as a church janitor. Surprisingly, he has turned over a new leaf and has become a born-again Christian. Once Kinsey finds him and breaks the news of his inheritance, he decides to return home to reconcile with his brothers. Bad idea. Two days later, Guy is found dead. Reenter Kinsey, who's developed an affection for the unassuming Guy, perhaps because his family problems remind her of her own troubled history. The cops arrest one of Guy's sibs for the murder, but Kinsey's not sure he's the killer. She figures the murder is linked to Guy's checkered past and sets out--successfully, of course--to prove her point.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, 1996
Branch Call Number: FICTION GRA
Characteristics: 1 v. (various pagings)


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Mar 08, 2019

Great novel, good characters, let-down for the ending.
Kinsey is hired by her cousin Tasha, the lawyer, to track down the long-lost fourth son of a recently deceased construction company owner so they can file the will for probate.
Kinsey does a quick short-cut on finding the missing heir, and sets in motion a series of interactions with the rest of the family that results in death. Add in an old fraud, the return of Dietz to her life, and some emerging feelings for the prodigal son, and it is a full novel.
A couple of the final pieces to the puzzle are completely hidden until the last chapter, and it's not even Kinsey who finds them. I didn't feel it was playing fair with the reader, holding back some key elements until the end that no one had a chance to see being uncovered so much as like working on a puzzle for several days only to have someone spoil the ending by just telling you the solution.
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow her on social media.

hermlou Sep 19, 2011

Kinsey is hired to find Guy Malek, missing son of a millionaire who just died, so that the estate can be divided four ways. She finds the man quickly and figures the case is finished. However, one of the brothers is killed, and the other three are prime suspects. The case is not an easy one, and each of the brothers has a good reason to get rid of the fourth. Add some family problems, some romance, and Grafton has turned out another good book.

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