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Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Kinsey Moves Settings to Slightly Average Results

N Is For Noose (Kinsey Millhone Mystery) - Sue Grafton

Not a bad look at Kinsey, just not that interesting I have to say. When Kinsey tends to leave Santa Teresa the story-line often suffers. This one just fell flat to me. I think that is because it's a lot of Kinsey not putting a lot of stuff together and the ending leaving things up in the air about what happens to someone. I don't like unresolved story-lines, and this one wasn't resolved to me.

"N is for Noose" has Kinsey agreeing to go and work for a client that is referred to her by Dietz. Kinsey drives to Carson City to take care of Dietz after he has surgery and quickly realizes she's aching for some alone time. When Dietz tells her about a case she can quickly look into she decides to take it. Kinsey arrives in the town of Nota Lake to meet with the widow of the former sheriff, Tom Newquist. Tom was found in his patrol car dead after suffering a heart attack. It does not appear to be foul play, but Tom's widow, Selma believes that something was weighing on his mind and wants to know if that could have caused him stress and could have led to his heart attack. Kinsey thinks the whole thing is just Selma throwing away good money, but she quickly starts to figure out that something is not quite right in Nota Lake, and that maybe someone out there knows what was causing Tom stress.

So Kinsey was just alright in this one. She keeps doing dumb things after dumb things which makes you wonder how she even survived as long as she has as an investigator. I think at one point when I read this for the first time through years ago, wondered if Grafton was setting up Kinsey to be murdered. Kinsey gets attacked in this one and wonders why someone is out there trying to hurt her since she can't figure out what if anything Tom's job had to do with what was troubling him. 

The characters we meet in this one don't really matter cause they are never referred to again in other books. One of the reasons why I loathe when Kinsey leaves Santa Teresa, we don't get a look at the usual suspects. I didn't care for Selma (the widow) at all and thought her son (Brant) was a jerk. The townspeople and people he worked with were secretive and definitely seemed hostile towards Selma and her attempts to figure out what was troubling her husband before his death. 

The writing was not really working for me much in this one. Still pretty solid, but I think the whole plot-line about what was troubling Tom was weak as hell. When we get the reveal my whole head hurt and honestly just decided to go with it. The flow was pretty good throughout, but after a while though it felt like Grafton was throwing stuff out there to keep the story going as long as she did.

The setting of Nota Lake reads like a town about to die out. The people there all seemed so off-putting and hostile I got why Kinsey didn't care for it either. After Kinsey is beaten, she returns to Santa Teresa and would not have blamed her for not returning. 

The ending as I said leaves things hanging about the culprit who tried to killed Kinsey.