Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Sue Grafton
As with the last several books in the series, V Is for Vengeance was a long time in the making. I work by trial and error, keeping a running account of the process in journals that in this case totaled 967 single-spaced pages. It took me from March, 2009 until March, 2010 to settle on a storyline, and after that, it was ten months of hard labor. Women give birth to babies in less time, but surely without as much suffering. Brave soul that I am, I stuck with it, picking my way painstakingly from beginning to middle to end.
What sets the narrative in motion is Kinsey Millhone’s spotting a shoplifter in an upscale department store. She alerts a sales clerk, who in turn notifies Security, which results in the woman’s arrest. Within two days, the sticky-fingered thief has taken a dive off a four-hundred-foot-high bridge, leaving her fiancé with troubling questions. While the overall subject matter is organized retail theft, of greater concern to Ms. Millhone is the fact that at the height of the action, shortly before she’s punched in the face, she realizes it’s her thirty-eighth birthday and thus ends up celebrating the milestone with a broken nose and two black eyes.
--Sue Grafton, November, 2011