Grafton's early books were slender and to-the-point. "B Is for Burglar," for example, was about 200 paperback pages long; "V" is about 400. Kinsey's great first-person narration appears in only about two-thirds of the book. The other third was third-person, following the lives of Dante, a Mafia-type gangster, and Nora, a Beverly Hills housewife-type. I couldn't drum up the requisite sympathy for or interest in their characters, people caught in unsustainable lifestyles. Kinsey, however, is a different story. I LOVE Kinsey.
Forever and a day I will enjoy watching Kinsey push around unidentifiable glop at Rosie's restaurant and tootle around Santa Theresa, a thinly disguised Santa Barbara. I can smell landlord Henry's baking through the pages. (Although he is largely absent in "V.") Who needs a mystery?
"V" was fine. There were good people, bad people, a bad person who really got his comeuppance (yay!), and morally in-between people. But give me 200 good pages of Kinsey and we'll call it a triumph.