I is for Innocent (Kinsey Millhone, Bk 9)
I is for Innocent - Kinsey Millhone, Bk 9 Author:Sue Grafton Lonnie Kingman is in a bind. He's smack in the middle of assembling a civil suit, and the private investigator who was doing his pretrial legwork has just dropped dead of a heart attack. In a matter of weeks the court's statute of limitations will put paid to his case. Five years ago David Barney walked when a jury acquitted him of the m... more »urder of his rich wife, Isabelle. Now Kingman, acting as attorney for the dead woman's ex-husband and their child (and sure that the jury made a serious mistake), is trying to divest David Barney of the profits of that murder. But time is running out, and David Barney still swears he's innocent.
Patterned along the lines of a legal case, "I" Is for Innocent is seamlessly divided into thirds: one-third of the novel is devoted to the prosecution, one-third to the defense, and a final third to cross-examination and rebuttal. The result is a trial novel without a trial and a crime novel that resists solution right to the end.
When Kinsey Millhone agrees to take over Morley Shine's investigation, she thinks it is a simple matter of tying up the loose ends. Morley might have been careless about his health, but he was an old pro at the business. So it comes as a real shock when she finds his files in disarray, his key informant less than credible, and his witnesses denying ever having spoken with him. It comes as a bigger shock when she finds that every claim David Barney has made checks out. But if Barney didn't murder his wife, who did? It would seem the list of candidates is a long one. In life, Isabelle Barney had stepped on a lot of toes.« less
One of the best of the "alphabet" private eye mysteries I've read to date. Kinsey is in a new job (replacing the aging PI who met a sudden death) and needing to make good on her first investigative case and restore her self confidence. She gets info that seems to exonerate the opposition of murder so resigns herself that finding out "the truth" is more just than winning their case just to keep her position with a law firm. As always, her neighbor (and landlord), the 80+ Henry, adds wonderful character to the story. A variety of interesting witnesses soon become possible suspects til Kinsey's investigative skills find the connection between the murder and the PI's untimely death and point the finger in the right direction.