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Y is for Yesterday
Cover of Y is for Yesterday
Y is for Yesterday
THE FINAL INSTALLMENT IN SUE GRAFTON'S ALPHABET SERIES
WINNER OF THE ANTHONY/BILL CRIDER AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL IN A SERIES
Private investigator Kinsey Millhone confronts her darkest and most disturbing case in this #1 New York Times bestseller from Sue Grafton.
In 1979, 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...
THE FINAL INSTALLMENT IN SUE GRAFTON'S ALPHABET SERIES
WINNER OF THE ANTHONY/BILL CRIDER AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL IN A SERIES
Private investigator Kinsey Millhone confronts her darkest and most disturbing case in this #1 New York Times bestseller from Sue Grafton.
In 1979, 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...
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  • From the cover 1

    The Theft

    January 1979

    Iris stood at the counter in the school office, detention slip in hand, anticipating a hand-smack from Mr. Lucas, the vice principal. She'd already seen him twice since her enrollment at Climping Academy the previous fall. The first time, she'd been turned in for cutting PE. The second time, she'd been reported for smoking outside study hall. She'd been advised there was a smoking area set aside specifically for students, which she argued was on the far side of campus and impossible to get to between classes. That fell on deaf ears. This was now early January and she'd been reported for violating the school's dress code.

    She was willing to admit that detention slips were a poor means of establishing her place in a new school. The younger students wore uniforms, but in the upper grades, clothing was at the discretion of the individual student as long as the overall look was considered within bounds. The way Iris read it—no skirts or dresses with hemlines above the knee, no tank tops, no shorts, no T-shirts with slogans, no underwear showing, and no flip-flops or Doc Martens. As far as she was concerned, she was playing by the rules. She'd assumed she could wear anything she pleased, within reason, of course. Climp had a different point of view. In the minds of the school administrators, clothing was meant to show modesty, respect, conservatism, and seriousness of purpose.

    Her choice that morning had been an ankle-length claret-colored velvet dress with a ruffled collar, long sleeves, black tights, and high-top red tennis shoes. Her hair was long and thick, a color that fell somewhere between auburn and flame red thanks to a mixture of boxed dyes. Two big silver barrettes held the mass away from her face. On each wrist she wore a wide leather cuff, studded with brass and silver nail heads. As it turned out, all of this was a great big no-no. Well, shit.

    The school secretary, Mrs. Malcolm, acknowledged Iris's presence with a nod, but clearly the woman didn't intend to interrupt her work over the antics of a problematic ninth grader. She was busy distributing mail to various teachers' cubbyholes. A student volunteer, Poppy, was stapling together packets of some sort. Iris was a freshman at Climping Academy, the Santa Teresa private school located in Horton Ravine, which was so la-di-da, it totally freaked her out. She was only at Climp because her father had been hired to teach advanced placement math and to coach field hockey. The tuition was twenty thousand dollars a year, which her parents could never have afforded if not for her father's job, which allowed Climp to waive the cost of enrollment.

    The last high school she'd attended was in a "mixed" neighborhood in Detroit, which was to say, drugs, thugs, and vandalism, some of which Iris had generated herself when the mood struck her. She'd been uprooted from Michigan and plunked down on the West Coast despite her protests. California was a bust. She expected surfers, dopers, and free spirits, but it was all the same old shit as far as she could tell. Climping Academy was beyond belief. Enrollment from kindergarten to twelfth grade was three hundred students total, with a pupil-to-teacher ratio of nine to one. Expectations were high and most of the students rose to the occasion. And why would they not? These were all rich kids, whose mommies and daddies gave them the best of everything: trips abroad, unlimited clothing budgets, private tennis and fencing lessons, and weekly visits with a shrink—the latter just in case some boob was gifted with a brand-new VW instead of the BMW he had his heart set on. Big boo-fucking-hoo. Her parents...

About the Author-
  • #1 New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton first introduced Kinsey Millhone in the Alphabet Series in 1982. Soon after, both writer and heroine became icons and international bestsellers. Ms. Grafton was a writer who consistently broke the bonds of genre while never writing the same book twice. Named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, her awards and honors included the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, the Ross Macdonald Literary Award, the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award from Britain's Crime Writers' Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Malice Domestic, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Bouchercon, three Shamus Awards, and three Anthony Awards—including the first two ever awarded. She passed away in December 2017.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 10, 2017
    Bestseller Grafton’s gripping 25th novel featuring Santa Teresa, Calif., PI Kinsey Millhone (after 2015’s X) opens with a theft. In January 1979, misfit Iris Lehmann steals a test to help her best friend, Poppy Earl, a fellow student at an elite private high school in Santa Teresa. Iris’s impulsive act sets off a cheating scandal focused on Poppy and her boyfriend, Troy Rademaker. This leads to 15-year-old Fritz McCabe fatally shooting Sloan Stevens, who supposedly ratted on the two cheaters. In 1989, as required by law, the California Youth Authority releases Fritz, who’s free to carry on with his life—but now someone is demanding $25,000 from his parents to suppress a videotape showing Fritz and Troy sexually abusing a drunken Iris back in 1979. Fritz’s mother hires Kinsey to investigate the amateurish blackmail scheme, which puts her on the trail of a host of suspects and secrets in Santa Teresa’s wealthiest enclaves. Meanwhile, Kinsey’s nemesis from the previous book, mass murderer Ned Lowe, is still on the loose and has a score to settle with her. Grafton once again proves herself a superb storyteller. Author tour. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Literary.

  • AudioFile Magazine Despite approaching the end of the alphabet, Sue Grafton's novels continue to entertain. Ably narrated by Judy Kaye, this intricate story features P.I. Kinsey Millhone's efforts to uncover the person who saved a tape of a brutal sexual assault at an elite private school and waited a decade until one of the perpetrators was released from prison to demand a ransom from his parents. As Millhone tries to determine who has the tape, she finds herself the target of the scheming former students as well as a psychopath with a murderous grudge against her. Kaye's steady, measured performance and her depiction of Millhone are particularly effective. The audiobook lapses into moments of tedium, however, when Grafton and Kaye seem distracted. But Kaye especially shines when she shares the satisfying conclusion to the investigation. D.J.S. � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 2, 2017
    In Grafton’s penultimate Kinsey Millhone alphabet mystery, actor Kaye provides the perfect tough but feminine, self-effacing voice for the series’ protagonist. 1989 is drawing to a close when Kinsey, working as a private eye, agrees to help her new clients, Lauren and Hollis McCabe deal with an extortionist. Their son, Fritz, has just completed a 10-year stint in a county youth prison for murdering a female classmate. The extortionist is demanding $25,000 to keep an old sex video, starring Fritz and an underage girl, from sending him back behind bars. The novel alternates between 1979, when Fritz and his despicable, entitled private school friends drift from a cheating scandal to the brutal killing, and Kinsey’s search for the extortionist among Fritz’s former peers, whom age has not improved. Kaye effortlessly takes listeners through Kinsey’s sleuthing, repeating her voices for regulars, like octogenarian landlord Henry Pitts and the crazed Ned Lowe, and smoothly creating vocal characterizations for newcomers. Self-absorption is the key to her interpretations of the awful class of 1979. The well-born boys sound properly loutish, the overprivileged girls, emotional and surly. Only a skillful actress could make them sound so unappealingly entitled. A Putnam/Wood hardcover.

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