48 pages 1 hour read

Sue Grafton

A Is For Alibi

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1982

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Important Quotes

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“My name is Kinsey Millhone. I’m a private investigator, licensed by the state of California. I’m thirty-two years old, twice divorced, no kids. The day before yesterday I killed someone and the fact weighs heavily on my mind.”

(Chapter 1, Page 1)

The first lines of the novel introduce Kinsey Millhone, and her depiction departs from societal norms for women at the time, indicating the author’s choice to portray a nontraditional female lead. Additionally, by bringing up a serious moral and legal quandary, Millhone introduces the theme of justice on a personal level. It sets a high-stakes tone for the narrative while establishing Millhone as a fiercely independent character navigating a world fraught with danger.

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“You kill people you hate or you kill in rage or you kill to get even, but you don’t kill someone you’re indifferent to.”

(Chapter 1, Pages 4-5)

In this dialogue between Millhone and Nikki, Nikki disputes the rationale behind her conviction, showcasing a deep understanding of the human psyche and the motives behind violent acts. She emphasizes that violent actions, particularly murder, stem from intense emotions rather than indifference, challenging the prosecution’s theory that she killed her cheating husband out of a desire for revenge. Through Nikki’s perspective, the narrative refuses a simplistic approach to categorizing the motives behind crimes, setting the groundwork for a story rich in complex human psychology.