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Nancy's Notes - January 17, 2013

“Kinsey and Me” by Sue Grafton, “Shiver” by Karen Robards, “Collateral Damage” by Stuart Woods.

This is the thirtieth anniversary of author Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millone character. To mark this anniversary year, Sue has written, “Kinsey and Me”, short stories that reveal Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past. The book has two parts: The nine Kinsey stories (1986-93), each a story of detection; and the And Me stories, written in the decade after Grafton's mother died. Together, they show just how much of Kinsey is a product of the writer’s life.

Samantha Jones finds love in an expected place in “Shiver”, by Karen Robards. Driving a piece-of-crap tow truck through the seediest part of town with a Smith & Wesson setting beside on the bench seat is Jones' only means of putting a roof over her son’s head. Samantha Jones is determined to be the best repo woman on the books. The streetwalkers and the drug pushers haunting the streets at midnight don’t intimidate her. However the guy she finds bound and bloodied in the trunk of her latest tow job is a different breed entirely. Daniel Panterro was certain he was going to die. Instead he was beaten to within an inch of his life and left for dead. But if he’s having a bad day, Sam’s day is about to get way worse. Danny knows he hasn’t seen the last of the vicious drug runners who kidnapped him from protective custody. His only recourse is to take his saviour hostage and force her to help him.

Stone Barrington is back in Manhattan in Stuart Wood’s “Collateral Damage”. He is pleased to receive an unexpected visit from his friend and sometime lover Holly Barker, an assistant director at the CIA. Holly is happy to leave the sober, official environment of the capital for the dining and atmosphere of New York, but her trip isn’t only for pleasure. A major incident requires the investigative skills of both Barker and Stone. What appears to be a clear-cut case soon becomes increasingly dangerous. As Stone and Holly follow the trail from London’s embassy district to Manhattan’s Upper East Side, they learn just how well the most cunning plans can be disguised.

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