The Character Analysis Of Kinsey Millhone In A Is For Alibi

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The Character Analysis of Kinsey Millhone
In the novel, A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, the main character, Kinsey Millhone, is a female private investigator in Santa Teresa California. She is one of the few female private detectives in American society. In most cases, her work is her life. She lives in a one-room apartment without any plants and pets. She has a lot of friends; however, it is hard for her to deal with a relationship with one man. Therefore, she has been married twice and divorced twice. 8 years after Laurence Fife was murdered with powdered oleander, Nikki Fife, Laurence’s second wife, claims to be innocent of the crime and she hired Kinsey to investigate the real murderer of her husband. Kinsey does not consider that this …show more content…

It is unlike the protagonists of other detective novels in which they are usually working with partners, such as Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon. Kinsey is always impartial to work. She indicated in the novel, “private investigation is my whole life. It is why I get up in the morning and what puts me to bed at night. Most of the time I’m alone, but why not? I’m not unhappy and I’m not discontented” (Grafton 261). She is always alone to contact and talk with the people who are related to the case. Her work is almost her life. Usually, she does not put any emotion on her life. When Nikki Fife hired Kinsey to find out who is the true murderer of her husband, the first thing that Kinsey considered is to make a list of suspects. In the detective novel, there are four kinds of characteristics of murderers. These are “the group of blood relatives; the closely knit geographical group; the occupational group; and the group isolated by the neutral place” (Auden 2). The author covers all people who were included in these groups in Kinsey’s list, such as Laurence’s colleague, children and ex-wife. This suggests that Kinsey is professional and circumspective investigator. Moreover, she arranges to have an interview with everyone in her checking list. She makes an index card to organize each person’s information and sort every night. Furthermore, Kinsey tries to run everyday even though she is in …show more content…

Kinsey puts her personal feelings into her case, even though she is considered as an unsentimental investigator. Compared with other hard-boiled male detectives, Kinsey seems to break down the tradition of hard-boiled detective fictions. According to Cassuto, “Grafton understands that she will tie her (Kinsey) to the same expectations as a male detective, but she also tries to undermine those expectations at the same instant” (Cassuto 191). In the novel, Kinsey said: “I felt an awesome dread of what had been set in motion and a pointless, aching sense of apology to Sharon Napier for whatever part I’d played in her death” (Grafton 147). Sharon Napier was killed before Kinsey arrived her apartment. Kinsey considers that she is responsible to Sharon’s dead because someone wants to hide some evidences that Sharon known to her. Kinsey feels intense guilt to Sharon’s death. However, because of her female sensibility, she insists on finding out the second murderer who killed Libby Glass and Sharon Napier and finally she gets it done, Moreover, Kinsey develops an intimate relationship with a man, Charlie, who relates to her case. The first time Kinsey met Charlie, he was different from what Kinsey expected. Charlie is a handsome man with brawny body. She has a very good impression of Charlie. In constant contact with Charlie,

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