Ordinarily I don't care for short stories but I've been a fan of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone since A is for Alias so there was no way I would miss this book. Then I discovered that it is so much more than a collection of stories; it includes a lot of information about Grafton's life that she never talks about and some stories about a character named Kit Blue. Blue's stories are from the decade after Grafton's mother died. They deal with the alcoholism of both of her parents in real life as well as her mother's death. It's an emotional journey of self discovery.
The Kinsey stories are short versions of her books written for various publications. There is even one written for Land's End which features one of their parkas. I got a big kick out of these little gems, some with surprising twists at the end and all excellent examples of how to write a short story. Her quick portraits of characters are spot-on and most of the tales are very funny. I just began to write about some examples but realized they were spoilers so I can't very well tell you much because I'll drift into spoiler land. Well trust me, you'll love them.
The Kit Blue stories are heart-wrenching. They showed me the depth of emotion Grafton feels but also a different side to her writing skills. I never cry when reading a book but I came pretty close in this section. Kit and her older sister became the parents because of their parents' alcoholism, and they had to learn responsibility for others and how to take care of a home and family way too early. Then when their father remarried, learning to deal with a difficult stepmother was another challenge. It told me much about Grafton and the origin of her series characters.
I had gone to the library to get another book but just had to grab this one from the display in the fiction department. So glad I did. Kinsey and Me was a fast read but one that greatly affected me.