469pp (first edition)
4 September 2013
"V" Is for Vengeance
United States of America
Works by Sue Grafton, Alphabet murder mystery books, Mystery books
"W" Is for Wasted is the twenty-third novel in Sue Grafton's "Alphabet" series of mystery novels and features Kinsey Millhone, a private eye based in Santa Teresa, California, a fictional version of Santa Barbara, California. The novel finds Kinsey investigating the deaths of a local private investigator and an unidentified homeless man. The novel was published in September 2013 by G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Explanation of the novel's title
Beginning with "A" Is for Alibi in 1982 and continuing with "B" Is for Burglar in 1985 through "U" Is for Undertow in 2009, Grafton's "Alphabet" series of mystery novels has been published in alphabetical order with a new book coming out every 12 to 24 months. The name of each upcoming book has been an ongoing source of speculation among fans and in the press. In May 2009, Grafton told Media Bistro that she is "just trying to figure out how to get from "U" Is for Undertow to "Z" Is for Zero" and that "just because she knows the endgame title for Z [...] doesn't mean she knows what V, W, X, and Y will be".
Of the 5,700 fans who participated in a "guess the title" contest on Grafton's website, fewer than 50 guessed that "W" stood for "Wasted" for the 23rd installment in the "Alphabet" series. The title was revealed on May 1, 2013, in an interview with USA Today. Grafton explained that several meanings of "Wasted" apply to the novel, including "out of it on drugs" and "the notion of all the waste in crime".