John Schlarbaum

John Schlarbaum - Official Site of Scanner Publishing - Since 2005

“RIP Is For Rest In Peace”

Yesterday mystery novelist Sue Grafton passed away, ending her long career as the writer of the alphabet series starring P.I. Kinsey Millhone. Sadly, the final book “Z Is For Zero” wasn’t started and her family says it never will.

Over the years I believe I’ve listened to every audiobook, starting with “A Is For Alibi” – each one read by actress Judy Kaye who completely embodied the main character’s personality and traits. In the late 1990’s I had already written the first Jennifer Malone novel, “A Memorable Murder” and was thinking of doing a sequel. However, I decided to try my hand at writing for a new male character, P.I. Steve Cassidy, in a first person narrative – like Sue Grafton’s novels. After so many years of listening to and absorbing the way Kinsey Millhone worked her files, as I started my novel, “Barry Jones’ Cold Dinner” after each line I’d imagine how Judy Kaye would sound narrating it. This odd method helped me out immensely, and when the book was published in 2008 I sent a copy to Sue Grafton with a note thanking her for the inspiration.

It’s sad, yet almost fitting, the final book in the series won’t be published, but we’re left with a treasure trove of entertaining novels to enjoy for years to come.