Kinsey Millhone, private investigator, is following up an insurance claim, and at the same time her grumpy, elderly neighbor has a nasty fall and ends up in the hospital. When he is discharged, he needs some nursing help at home, and his one remaining relative, who lives far away, asks Kinsey to vet the woman who has applied for the job. Everything looks good.
The point of view switches between Kinsey and the prospective nurse, who is a thoroughly unpleasant sociopath of a woman. She is taking on someone else's identity (hence the lack of red flags on Kinsey's initial background check), and she is out to take her poor old charge for every cent she can.
I am not a big fan of open mysteries, and I found this one to be unappealing. There wasn't much of a mystery at all, more of a slow setting up for the plot to defraud the old man, with Kinsey always one step behind until the very end. There were too many disturbing details about the woman's abusive treatment of her patient for my liking - pretty awful stuff. Meanwhile, not much is happening with Kinsey's personal life - she has no romantic attachments, no new ambitions, and her recently discovered relatives from previous books are nowhere in sight. She seems to be stagnating, which didn't make for very compelling reading. There were also lots of extraneous details that had nothing to do with either of the plot lines, so that much of the beginning of the novel read like notes from Kinsey's day planner. I kept wondering what the point was.
All in all, I have to say this one was a disappointment. I have been with this series since the letter A (I think only four or five had been published when I first started reading it), and I've been reading the books ever since. At this point, though, I think I've had enough. It's a bit sad, but there are so many wonderful books out there; I think I'm going to give the rest of this series a miss.
T is for Trespass (#20 in the Kinsey Millhone mystery series) by Sue Grafton (Putnam, 2007)
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