Sue Grafton, the New York Times very popular author behind the Alphabet Series, passed away Thursday night after a two-year fight with cancer. She was 77.
Grafton’s child, Jamie, revealed the news on the author’s main Facebook page.
“She was surrounded by family, including her devoted and adoring husband Steve,” Jamie composed in a message resolved to Grafton’s readers. “Although we knew this was coming, it was unexpected and fast. She had been fine up until just a few days ago, and then things moved quickly. Sue always said that she would continue writing as long as she had the juice.”
The Alphabet Series, about private detective Kinsey Millhone in the imaginary town of Santa Teresa, California, began in 1982 with A is for Alibi
“I was reading an Edward Gorey cartoon book, and it went ‘A is for Amy, who fell down the stairs, B is for Basil, assaulted by bears, C is for Clara’ … and I thought, God bless America, what a great way to link titles!” Grafton informed The New York Post “So I wrote as many crime-related titles [alphabetically] as I could think of to see if there were enough for 26 books. Again, not having finished the first. I was completely free to do anything I wanted and had nothing at stake. When that sold, I thought, ‘Uh-oh. Now I’m in trouble!’”
Set in the 1980 s, the series consisted of subsequent titles like B is for Burglar, H is for Homicide, M is for Malice, and T is for Trespass Natalie Hevener Kaufman and Carol McGinnis Kay likewise penned a buddy book called G Is for Grafton: The World of Kinsey Millhone
Grafton’s last entry, Y is for Yesterday, was launched this year with Z is for Zero indicated as the last installation for release in 2019.
“Many of you are asking (some quite plaintively) what I intend to do when I get to ‘the end’ of the alphabet,” Grafton composed in a letter released on her site. “I’ve been consistent in my response which is ‘no clue.’ I want to see what kind of shape I’m in mentally and physically. I don’t want to keep on writing if the juice is gone. These novels about Ms. Millhone take incredible focus, ingenuity, energy, and imagination. If I have the wherewithal, I may write a Kinsey Millhone standalone or two. If I feel I’ve lost my touch, I’ll retire with grace.”
As far as Grafton’s household is worried, “the alphabet now ends at Y.”
“Many of you also know that she was adamant that her books would never be turned into movies or TV shows, and in that same vein, she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name,” Jamie composed. “Because of all of those things, and out of the deep abiding love and respect for our dear sweet Sue, as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y.”Related youtube video: (not from post)