48 pages 1 hour read

Sue Grafton

A Is For Alibi

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1982

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Chapters 1-6Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

Content Warning: This section of the guide includes discussions of suicide and violence present in the source text.

Kinsey Millhone, 32, is a private investigator in Santa Teresa, California, investigating the murder of Laurence Fife, a prominent divorce attorney who was poisoned eight years prior. His widow, Nikki Fife, was convicted for the murder and has just been released from prison. Nikki approaches Millhone to reopen the case and find out who really killed her husband, as she maintains her innocence.

Millhone is intrigued by Nikki’s apparent change during her years in prison. She’s forthright, calmer, and seems genuinely interested in clearing her name for the sake of her children. While the police consider the case solved, Nikki offers alternative possibilities and suspects that had not been adequately explored, like Laurence’s law partners and former clients with grudges.

Chapter 2 Summary

Millhone’s first stop in her investigation is the homicide department, where she meets with Lieutenant Con Dolan, a seasoned cop who initially worked on Fife’s case. Despite his reluctance, Dolan allows Millhone to review the case files. As Millhone sifts through the files, she uncovers information related to a second homicide, that of Libby Glass, an accountant associated with Laurence Fife’s law firm.