SUE GRAFTON – W is for Wasted. G. Putnam’s Sons, hardcover, September 2013. Berkley, paperback, August 2014.

   Only three more to go, unless Sue Grafton has something else up her sleeve. X is out in hardcover, but while I’m anxious to know what comes next for Kinsey Millhone, I’ve decided to bide my time until August, when it’s scheduled to come out in paperback.

   That is to say, I think I can. The case itself is not all that interesting in Wasted — well, there are two cases at the beginning, but I doubt you’ll care if I let the cat out of the bag and tell you what you already know — it’s what happens to Kinsey along the way that’s going to have me on the fence about this.

   In Wasted, her 85-year-old neighbor and landlord Henry gets a cat, Kinsey has some encounters with some ex-boy friends, and learns a lot about her father’s side of family, and thus meets some cousins she had no idea existed, one of whom follows her home, sort of. As did the cat, in another way.

   At the beginning there are two dead bodies for Kinsey to tell us about: the first of a homeless man who has a note in his pocket with her name on it; the second that of a fellow PI with an unsavory reputation, but with a wife who loved him. Every once in a while, Kinsey’s narration of her own tale is interrupted by third person flashbacks into the life of that aforementioned down-on-his-luck PI before he died.

   I’m not sure why Grafton did this. If as a result anyone reading this book thinks there’s any mystery left after about halfway through, I think they should go back to grade school to find out what two and two add up to.

   I’m also not sure why Grafton has Kinsey relate everything she does, down to the minutest bit of minutia possible, whether it be meals, areas of town she drives through, or the GNP of the nation. Maybe I’m kidding about that. Perhaps it’s to break up the monotony of what a dogged PI has to do to solve a case. (Kinsey does not have the luxury of reading the interspersed interludes about what that deceased what up to before his death.)

   There is also one big surprise in store for Kinsey in this book, and I’ll bet you a sizable size of money that every other review of this book will tell you all about it. But I won’t.