On a dark, bitterly cold evening in November 1992 I was both ‘killing time’ and keeping warm in W H Smith waiting with increasing impatience for my delayed home-bound train to make its appearance at platform 7.
I glanced at the shelves of books and found myself drawn to the large A embellishing a book cover – a cover that looked as menacing and moody as I felt! Turning to the back cover I decided that I liked the sound of Kinsey Millhone – primarily because she was my age and sounded feisty (an attribute that still eludes me).
She’s 32 years old. Twice divorced, no kids. Sometimes the independence suits her better than it should. Meet Kinsey Millhone, private investigator…
I purchased the book and ran (a practice I haven’t attempted for several years now) the length of platform 7 where I was guaranteed, if not a seat, then at least ‘a lean against’ the side of a seat in the middle of the carriage. This running remained limited to catching public transport for several years, UNLIKE Kinsey who chose to don training shoes every morning and go jogging. I resonated on every level with her except that one!!
She cut her own hair with nail scissors (brave but foolhardy) and owned the one black dress which she grudgingly climbed into when her investigations necessitated fitting in somewhere more exotic than her office or apartment. Kinsey had life pared down to essentials and I admired that.
By the time I had been introduced to Sue Grafton’s character, she had already had G is for Gumshoe published so I had some catching up to do. Now W is for Wasted is in the libraries and I am eagerly awaiting news of the ‘X’ title and then only two more to go.
What motivation and stamina Sue Grafton possesses – to continue with a PI who, even now, has only reached the late 1980s with regard to her case-load (and has only aged a few years – unlike her reader!).
The research that must be done to achieve the successful completion of complex storylines; the well-drawn characters that have featured alongside Kinsey is an amazing feat of dexterity. I have a mental image of notepads galore scribbled with names of past characters and brief histories of each which would have to be feverishly consulted to ensure names, plots, historical time frames don’t go awry.
Female PIs abound on the shelves of the libraries. Do you have any personal favourites and if so, what appeals to you about them? I’m going to be in need of an older but still feisty character to relate to shortly.
The first thing that popped into my head when I played with this electronic resource is a song by the Clash – I fought the law and the law won… Having had a good play with LexisNexis – New Zealand Law I can understand why. The law is very serious and complicated and despite being in English seems to meander off into strange verbal territory. Like all good public libraries we provide the tools to help everyone to participate in our hallowed democracy.
With LexisNexis – New Zealand Law you can search the below resources:
- Becroft and Hall’s Transport Law: are U turns ever a good idea?;
- Laws of New Zealand: what you can and can’t get away with;
- New Zealand Forms and Precedents: designed to provide a justification for every silly thing you have every done;
- New Zealand Law Journal: lawyers talk;
- Personal Grievances: a practical guide for employees and employers having a barney;
- Privacy Law and Practice: why you don’t take naughty pictures of yourself;
- New Zealand Resource Management Appeals: find out why a bloody big Bunnings is now blocking your driveway;
- Wills and Succession: how to exclude your godawful children and give all your worldly goods to your dog .
This electronic resource can only be accessed in libraries due to licence restrictions. Have a look today so you know what to do if they come for you.
Please note: Material contained in this law resource much like information in our health resources – it is intended for informational purposes only and not to replace professional advice.