Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The True Voice of Kinsey Millhone

I have read most of the Kinsey Millhone series written by Sue Grafton.  Sue is such a great writer that if you don't have the chance to read the series in chronological order you are able to jump into any of the books and know exactly what is going on.  That is exactly what I had been doing over the past 5 years.  I had skipped around to whatever book I could find at the library, primarily because I am audiobook driven and it is not easy to locate all the audiobooks in one library.  At my current library I am an Overdrive user which allows me to download all the audiobooks to my smart phone but when I first began the series I lived in a tiny town that had a even tinier library that did not connect with smart phones.

So by reading the series over the course of five years I have read quite a few of Sue's books (I'm sure many of you are mentally noting that it only took you a few months but I don't usually read the same author back to back).  This month (in between me actually communicating with Sue herself!) I had realized that I had never read books A or B and decided to download both of them.  While Sue's writing is amazing as always, I find that I was utterly disappointed because my only download option via library for "A" is for Alibi and "B" is for Burglar was the narration by Mary Peiffer and not Judy Kaye.  I had no idea that there were two readers for the series and really feel that it is such a shame.  Judy Kaye represents the absolute perfect voice for Kinsey's character.  No one can quote a "QP with cheese" as well as Judy Kaye.  Judy gives Kinsey so much personality that at the end of the book when Judy introduces herself my mind gets a little warped into believing Kinsey is a real person.  

Mary Peiffer's depiction of the Kinsey Millhone series leaves the reader with a bland taste in their mouth.  To make it worse, many times in the book I was confused as to which character was speaking and could not distinguish between Kinsey and her counterpart.  Many of the characters are just all wrong when Mary reads the series.  Henry for one is in his eighties and when Mary portrays his words he sounds like a young gun living up his thirties.  I do believe that Mary is a talented reader but she does not belong on the Kinsey Millhone series.  Kinsey's true voice is Judy Kaye through and through.

If you have not yet had a chance to read the series, take advantage of listening to online samples.  The books have been narrated by both authors.  See photo examples below.  Some people really detest Judy Kaye's readings and I honestly believe that those people are not seeing or feeling Kinsey's true character.  

Angela O'

P.S.  Austin Loves Sue!

To Purchase the Judy Kaye narrated Audiobook for "A" is for Alibi click on this link:

Internet Photo of Judy Kaye narration
Internet Photo of Mary Peiffer narration

UPDATE 10/22/2015:  Wanted to share this facebook post that I ran across on Sue Grafton's page.  


  1. ah yes but that judy kaye version is abridged! which is a worse travesty in my opinion! I love judy kaye but i can't do abridged. :(

    1. Oh my gosh I never even paid attention to that. UGH why would they do that?! If I'm going to read the book, give me the whole book!!!!