The Parker Shotgun by Sue Grafton, 1986
The magic trick:
Intermingling the murder weapon and murder motive
I have to admit the Sue Grafton alphabet series is a favorite guilty pleasure of mine. Kinsey Millhone is an all-time fiction detective for me. But I’d never read any of the short stories until now. I shouldn’t have waited so long. This one is really good.
Not classic. Not amazing. Not even as good as the ABC novels. But still very enjoyable.
This one is a pretty straightforward mystery. One twist, though: the titular Parker Shotgun. Is it the murder weapon or is it the motive? Or both? And that’s quite a trick on Grafton’s part.
I pulled into the driveway behind her, glancing at the frame and stucco bungalow with its patchy grass and dilapidated fence. It looked like one of those households where there’s always something under construction, probably without permits and not up to code. In this case, a foundation had been laid for an addition to the garage, but the weeds were already growing up through the cracks in the concrete. A wooden outbuilding had been dismantled, the old lumber tossed in an unsightly pile. Closer to the house, there were stacks of cheap pecan wood paneling, sun-bleached in places and warped along one edge. It was all hapless and depressing, but she scarcely looked at it.
I followed her into the house.
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