Ailing, elderly and wealthy Nord Lafferty asks Kinsey Millhone to meet his daughter, Reba, upon her release from prison and bring her back home.

Kinsey isn't used to babysitting jobs, but the money is good so she accepts. Reba surprises her. Clever and articulate, she was imprisoned for embezzlement and soon draws Kinsey into her orbit, asking to take her on errands. Reba even manipulates Kinsey into going out to dinner as an excuse to meet with her former boss, Alan Beckwith—whom Reba served two years for ripping off and whom she was involved with.

Beck was laundering money for a Colombian drug dealer, and Reba took the fall for him. Soon Kinsey's cop friend Cheney Phillips and the FBI approach Kinsey to assist them in getting enough evidence to charge Beck. They want Kinsey to turn Reba into an informant.

Grafton has done her usual superlative job with one of mystery fans' favorite females. This books is a bit of a departure on many levels. It's a detective story but also a story of love and friendship. Welcome back, Kinsey! (Jul., 400 pp., $26.95)
Reviewed by: 
Lorraine Gelly