Tuesday, January 16, 2018

From A to Y, a Tribute

This is something new for me. I don't do tributes to people I don't know. Part of it is just simply because I don't know them. Famous people die all the time, many of whom through their words or their art or their politics have touched my life in a personal way. But I acknowledge that I only knew them through their public professional persona. There are those with a personal connection who are much more qualified to do them justice.

This instance is a little different. Author Sue Grafton recently died of cancer. I was saddened to hear it, not only because I have loved her books for 35 years, but because the way her daughter announced the news was so touching. 

From A to Y, a Tribute. I didn’t know Sue Grafton, but I sure will miss Kinsey Millhone | www.BakingInATornado.com | #authors #books
Sue left her family too soon. And Sue's main character and alter ego Kinsey Millhone left my reading world all too soon. From "A is for Alibi" in 1982 through "Y is for Yesterday" published just a few months ago, I've followed Kinsey's life, both personal and professional. I've waited with anticipation the release of each new book, for the chance to jump back into Kinsey's world and follow her route to solving mystery after mystery.

There are other authors I view the same way as Sue, writers whose latest books I look forward to and enjoy every bit as much. Jonathan Kellerman, Janet Evanovich, Kathy Reichs, Harlan Coben, Sandra Brown . . . and how could I not love those mysteries where the chefs or bakers solve the crime and even share recipes in the book?

There have been losses before too, Philip R. Craig, who died in 2007 wrote mysteries based on Martha's Vineyard. I was invested in those characters as well, felt sad at the loss of that series of books too.

Taco Shrimp, full of Tex-Mex flavors, shrimp is rubbed, pan sautéed and served with Pico de Gallo and avocado slices | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com |#recipe #shrimp #dinner
Taco Shrimp

Sue's daughter Jamie states that Sue "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." Although I will miss these books, this character, and though I feel that this series ends abruptly, in an unsatisfactory, unsettling way, I also see the parallel. I hear that Sue had wanted to get that "Z" book written, had even named it "Z is for Zero." But Sue's life ended suddenly. And with her goes Kinsey. that is as it should be.

In a poignant end to her announcement Jamie says "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." Me too, Jamie, me too.

I didn't know Sue of course, but I feel as though I knew Kinsey. And I will miss her. 

When it comes to authors, I think that's a pretty great tribute.

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Taco Shrimp       

Printable Recipe

3 TBSP taco seasoning
1 1/2 # large raw shrimp
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP butter
1 tsp minced garlic
4 - 6 tortillas
3 cups rice
1 lime
1 cup Pico de Gallo, my homemade recipe HERE
1 TBSP chopped cilantro
1 ripe avocado, sliced

*Peel and devein shrimp, leaving the tail on. Pat dry, place in a bowl, sprinkle with the taco seasoning and mix well so all the shrimp is coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours.
*Cook the rice.
*Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and the shrimp. Cook shrimp for about 2 minutes, turn over and cook the other side until the shrimp is fully cooked.
*Place a tortilla on each plate and divide the rice onto the center of each one. Add the shrimp, drizzle with lime juice, top with Pico de Gallo and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with the avocado slices.


  1. I've read some of those, but not all. How sad for all. Her writing was superb. I need to go back and catch up where I left off.

  2. A very nice tribute. Now I’m curious about the books.

  3. Yes it was sad. I too was a fan but I have to admit that I stopped at 'o'. I just got tired of Kinsey spending so much time waiting around for a phone call or missing a phone call when she could have entered more modern times and use a cell phone! I broke up briefly with Stephanie Plum but still am reading the latest, 24. When Robert Parker died and then someone wrote a Spencer novel, I read it and knew it was not Robert! If you are dead you just cannot put out any new books is my opinion and I am glad the Grafton family agrees. I love any shrimp recipe, just saying.

    1. I think Kinsey didn't have a cell phone because the books were supposed to take place in the 1980s. And I could never break up with Stephanie, especially now that Kinsey's gone. Completely agree with you, no one else can write a book like the original author.

  4. I am not a mystery reader but I mourned Sue Grafton's untimely death anyway. There are authors I love and if they pass on, it can be like losing a member of the family. I'm sharing this on Facebook and will be curious to see if I get any comments. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. Amazing that I can miss a fictional character, but I do.


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