N is for Noose

N is for Noose

Kinsey Millhone should have done something else–she should have turned the car in the direction of home. Instead, she was about to put herself in the gravest jeopardy of her career.

Tom Newquist had been a detective in the Nota Lake sheriff’s office–a tough, honest cop respected by everyone. When he died suddenly, the townsfolk were saddened but not surprised: Just shy of sixty-five, Newquist worked too hard, smoked too much, and exercised too little. That plus an appetite for junk food made him a poster boy for an American Heart Association campaign. Newquist’s widow didn’t doubt the coroner’s report. But what Selma couldn’t accept was not knowing what had so bothered Tom in the last six weeks of his life. What was it that had made him prowl restlessly at night, that had him brooding constantly? Selma Newquist wanted closure, and the only way she’d get it was if she found out what it was that had so bedeviled her husband. Kinsey should have dumped the case. It was vague and hopeless, like looking for a needle in a haystack. Instead, she set up shop in Nota Lake, where she found that looking for a needle in a haystack can draw blood. Very likely, her own.”N” Is for Noose: a novel in which Kinsey Millhone becomes the target and an entire town seems in for the kill.

Details

  • Hardcover: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt; 1st edition (May 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805036504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805036503
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (368 customer reviews)
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4 comments

  1. One of my favorite detective story lines is the one where the whole community turns against the protagonist. Despite this, the detective solves the crime. N Is for Noose follows that plot, and is well done. In fact, the book borders on the genre of the Western in many ways. Read it that way, and you’ll like it better.
    The book has one uncharacteristic quality for this series, Kinsey is quite slow to solve the mystery. I found that intriguing. Most problem-solving is slow and ineffective. To me, it made the story more realistic and interesting to follow. Others will call it slow plot development.
    The resolution in the end is extremely unusual. It combines elements that are found in many other stories, but never in combination. It literally took my breath away. I could not read it fast enough, even though it is over quickly. Such a powerful coda after so many lento sections is an astonishing surprise, and one that worked well for me.
    Although this is certainly not the best book in the series, it is a very fine one. I urge you to read it, and appreciate its strengths.

  2. N is for Noose by Sue Grafton Henry Holt and Company 1998
    I have read nearly all Sue Grafton’s books in this series and find that this is a little slower than the others and not nearly as exciting. The widow of a small town policeman asks Kinsey Millhone to find the reason for her husbands fretfulness and ill-ease just before he dies of a heart attack. While this appears at first to be a fruitless exercise, Kinsey obviously disturbs someone during her rooting around into his life and begins to wonder who is upset enough to harm her. Two related murders separated by 5 years throw suspicion on the staff of the local police department and others in the small town in the Sierra mountains. Kinsey’s search puts her in harms way and only through skilful questioning and deduction does she arrive at the answers she seeks and escapes a final deadly encounter with the guilty party.
    The story moves fairly quickly but there is a lack of tension and excitement until the final chapter where Kinsey once again survives to rule the day.
    On the whole this book is not up to the standards I have come to expect from Sue Grafton but I still look forward to her next mystery “O is for Outlaw”.

  3. If you are like me, you will see N Is for Noose as the ultimate development of the theme, “I am woman . . . hear me roar.”
    One of my favorite detective story lines is the one where the whole community turns against the protagonist. Despite this, the detective solves the crime. N Is for Noose follows that plot, and is well done. In fact, the book borders on the genre of the Western in many ways. Read it that way, and you’ll like it better.
    The book has one uncharacteristic quality for this series, Kinsey is quite slow to solve the mystery. I found that intriguing. Most problem-solving in reality is slow and ineffective. To me, it made the story more realistic and interesting to follow. Others will call it slow plot development.
    The resolution in the final 40 pages or so is extremely unusual. It combines elements that are found in many other stories, but never in combination. It literally took my breath away. I could not read it fast enough, even though it is over quickly. Such a powerful coda after so many lento sections is an astonishing surprise, and one that worked well for me. Think of this book as having three long, slow movements followed by one allegro one done fortissimo!
    Although this is certainly not the best book in the series, it is a very fine one. I urge you to read it, and appreciate its strengths.
    Also, think about whether you really want your novels (and especially mysteries) to be too predictable. What kind of unpredictability is good? What kind isn’t?
    Stand up for what you believe in, too!

  4. I have read many of the reviews of Sue Grafton’s books that you people have put here. I know many of you share a hate-like relationship of her books, but whoever reviews Patricia Cornwell better bear in mind that in my opinion Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky beat her out any day. The main plot of “N” is For Noose centers in Nota Lake, Kinsey has been hired by Selma Newquist to find out how her husband Tom Newquist died. Sue Grafton always writes her novels with lots of description and I mean lots, hilarious dialogue, action, and smart-mouthed Kinsey Millhone who keeps getting better by the book, In Stephen King’s On Writing he says that Grafton, although she writes real fast, seems to produce great books, He’s right. Her best novel is probably O is for Outlaw, Her weakest would be L is for Lawless, since there wasn’t a real mystery in this. If you are a fan of Grafton (Like I Am) I suggest you get this one, if you have read all of Grafton’s books and need something to read that’s like her style I recommend Sara Paretsky, Janet Evanovich and Marcia Muller. If you want Alternatives to other mystery writers, read Kathy Reichs, she’s like Patricia Cornwell except much, much better. If you like British Mystery like P.D. James read Elizabeth George. As for N is for Noose it is excellent, exciting and fun. Grade: A-

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