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So close, and yet so far! American crime-fiction writer Sue Grafton very nearly made it. Many years ago she embarked on an ambitious project, the alphabet series, which began with ‘A is for Alibi’, then ‘B is for Burglar’, and ‘C is for Corpse’. And so she continued with ‘D is for Deadbeat’ all the way down to ‘Y is for Yesterday’. Sue had already flagged the title for the last novel in her series, ‘Z is for Zero’, but did not live to see it written. She died just after Christmas last year.

It reminded me of another series being written, which started with ‘A is for Adam’. Just what letter the author is up to I can’t quite say. But I know that he’s already written ‘C is for Cross’ and ‘G is for Gospel’. All of them crime-stories, with the twist that the Hero always suffers to pay for the crimes of others.

I have no doubt that this series will reach its conclusion. The author himself says in his notes: “Behold! I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”. My only wonder is what the title for his last book will be. I’m guessing it may be ‘Z is for amaZing’, or perhaps even ‘Z is for daZZling”. Either way, it will certainly not end with a zero.

DM 11th Sep 2018

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