L is for Lawless is the 12th installment in Sue Grafton's popular series. Loyal fans know Kinsey Millhone as the quirky no-nonsense private investigator and heroine of the popular novels.
In this tale, Kinsey reluctantly does a favor for Henry, her octogenarian landlord. One of his friends passed away and the family is unable to get him a military burial. They want Kinsey to investigate the man's military history in order to find the information the government needs to grant proper burial.
It turns out the deceased took some secrets and a lot of cash to his grave. Somebody knows these facts and resorts to violence in a burglary of the dead man's home. What was supposed to be a simple military background check turns into a cross-country venture.
Kinsey catches up with the stolen money in Dallas. With the discovery of its origin, several colorful characters are introduced. Kinsey travels to Louisville with an ex-con and a certified bimbo in search of answers.
The suspense in L is for Lawless is adequate, though it doesn't reach the heights achieved early in the series. Kinsey seems tired and annoyed as she tries to wrap up this case in time to attend a Thanksgiving wedding.
The elderly characters provide the entertainment in this tale. Henry, his family and a little lady in Kentucky stand out in this story going through its motions. Fortunately, the surprise ending is memorable and pure Kinsey.
Grafton always provides background information regarding the series, so fans can read the books out of order without missing a beat. The mysteries are thrilling and fun, perfect for light reading. Even with its weary heroine, L is for Lawless is a sound addition to Sue Grafton's beloved series.