Sue Grafton Getting Close To The End of Alphabet Series With “Y” is for Yesterday

The new novel by Sue Grafton titled Y is for Yesterday, released on August 22, is the second to last in a mystery series spanning A to Z and 35 years worth of best-selling murder mysteries featuring fictional female detective Kinsey Millhone.

Of #1 New York Times-bestselling Sue Grafton, NPR’s Maureen Corrigan said, “Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters.” With only one letter left, Grafton’s many devoted readers will share that sentiment.

The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y is for Yesterday begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate—and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.

Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents—until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Sue Grafton is the daughter of novelist C. W. Grafton and Vivian Harnsberger, both of whom were the children of Presbyterian ministers. Grafton and her sister Ann were raised in Louisville. The town features in some of her novels.

She had long been fascinated by mysteries that had related titles, including those by John D. MacDonald, whose titles referenced colors, and Harry Kemelman, who used days of the week. While reading Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies, an alphabetical picture book of children who die by various means, she had the idea to write a series of novels based on the alphabet. She immediately sat down and made a list of all of the crime-related words that she knew.

Grafton’s “B” Is for Burglar and “C” Is for Corpse won the first two Anthony Awards for Best Novel (1986 & 1987), which are selected by the attendees of the annual Bouchercon Convention, ever awarded. She has won the Anthony Best Novel Award once more (1991 for “G” Is for Gumshoe) and has been the recipient of three Shamus Awards. Additionally in 1987 Grafton’s short story, “The Parker Shotgun”, won the Anthony Award for Best Short Story.

In 2014, she was a Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime. She has also been nominated for a 2014 Shamus Award in the category of Best Hardcover Novel, which she has won three times previously.