R is for Ricochet introduces Kinsey Millhone to a suspiciously simple task. Elderly businessman Nord Lafferty has hired the Santa Teresa private investigator to bring home his recently paroled daughter. Reba Lafferty served time for embezzlement. All Kinsey has to do is pick up Reba from the prison gate, introduce her parole officer, then deliver her safely home to the Lafferty estate.
As with most of Kinsey’s investigative assignments, nothing is as easy as it seems. Reba reconnects with the sleazy boss who put her in prison in the first place. What starts as a simple baby-sitting job turns into something more complex in R is for Ricochet.
Sue Grafton has pushed the timeline forward five years since the series’ 1982 debut, A is for Alibi. This book is set in 1987. Kinsey is older and wiser at thirty-seven-years old.
Our heroine is also more serious in R is for Ricochet, as was the case in Q is for Quarry. Grafton includes plenty of odd, quirky moments. However, reluctant Kinsey is all business when it comes to the Lafferty assignment.
Favorite supporting cast members Henry the octogenarian landlord, Rosie the matronly forceful restaurateur and the other regulars are back, but they don’t push their on-going sub-plot forward much. Kinsey also gains a love interest, which may or may not pan out based on past history.
R is for Ricochet is more mystery and less shtick than its predecessors. Still, the story is good and fun to follow. This Grafton installment makes a worthy addition to the series and is a sentimentally bittersweet reminder that the end of the alphabet is near.