In her 17th case, Kinsey Millhone is as quirky and quick-witted as ever—this series grows ever more intriguing. Kinsey's quarry this time out is a "Jane Doe," an unidentified female who was found murdered in 1969. Kinsey's old pal Lt. Con Dolan, now on medical leave after a heart attack, is one of the officers who originally found the body. His former partner, Stacey Oliphant, is now retired and seriously ill; both men tell Kinsey that identifying this victim will bring them a sense of closure.

As Kinsey and the two men dig into the case, however, it seems that old secrets and lies are closer to the surface than they appear—and Jane Doe's killer will take murderous steps to make sure this particular piece of the past never gets rewritten.

Kinsey's painstaking detective work—as well as the way she helps two veteran cops rediscover their zest for life—makes this a very satisfying read. "Q" IS FOR QUARRY is based on an actual unsolved case. The real "Jane Doe" has never been identified, but using modern forensic techniques, the Santa Barbara Police Dept. has reconstructed her face, and these pictures are reproduced on the last page of the novel, in the hope that someone will identify her at last. (Oct., 400 pp., $26.95)

Reviewed by: 
Laurie Davie