"S" Is for Silence

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Template:Infobox book "S" Is for Silence is the 19th novel in Sue Grafton's "Alphabet" series of mystery novels[1][2] and features Kinsey Millhone, a private eye based in Santa Teresa, California.[3]

In a departure from the series format, this novel is set in alternating chapters both in the "past" of 1953 and the "present" of 1987.[4][1]

Shortly after publication, this novel topped The New York Times best-seller list for hardcover fiction.[5]

Plot summary[edit]

In 1953, Violet Sullivan vanishes after going out for a Fourth of July party in the small town of Serena Station, California. The exact reason for her disappearance is unknown, but rumors abound that she ran off with a lover or was murdered by her jealous husband. 34 years later, Kinsey Millhone is hired by her family to help seek closure and try to find some explanation for Violet's disappearance.[6]

The plot differs from other novels in the "Alphabet Mystery" series in that it switches perspective between Violet and Kinsey, and switches the period between 1953 and 1987. Grafton would again use this narrative device in the next instalment, "T" is for Trespass.Template:More plot


  • Kinsey Millhone: Private detective hired by the family of Violet Sullivan to seek closure.
  • Violet Sullivan: She disappears in 1953, leaving behind a daughter, Daisy. The story regularly switches between her and Kinsey's point of view.


In December 2005, this novel topped The New York Times best-seller list for hardcover fiction.[5] By December 2006, there were 1.2 million copies in print.[7]


The Great News episode "Carol Has A Bully" features a spoof version of this novel, renaming it S Is For Sex Murder.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Salij, Marta (December 14, 2005). "'S Is for Silence': Sue Grafton does a little time traveling for alphabet mystery No. 19". Detroit Free Press.
  2. Faller, Mary Beth (December 7, 2005). "With 'Silence' in the stores, writer faces next in series". The Arizona Republic. http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/arizonaliving/articles/1207suegrafton1207.html.
  3. Nelson, Chris (January 1, 2006). "S is for Super". Calgary Sun. http://www.calgarysun.com/cgi-bin/publish.cgi?p=117906&x=articles&s=lifestyle.[dead link]
  4. Syler, Rene (December 9, 2005). "The ABCs Of Sue Grafton". CBS News, The Early Show.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Pierleon, Allen O. (January 2, 2006). "S is for Sassy: Grafton's 'dark side' is back for more cocky crime-solving". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  6. "Books by Sue Grafton: The Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Series". http://www.suegrafton.com/book-display.php?ISBN13=9780425212691&title_key=s.
  7. "Paperback bestsellers/mass market". Publishers Weekly. December 11, 2006.
  8. "Carol Has A Bully". Great News on NBC. May 23, 2017. https://www.nbc.com/great-news/video/carol-has-a-bully/3520436.

External links[edit]

Template:Sue Grafton

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