Friday, January 19, 2018

Arctic Monkeys – "D Is for Dangerous" (2007)

D is for delightful
And try and keep your trousers on

Sue Grafton, the author of the very popular series of crime novels featuring female private eye Kinsey Millhone, died from cancer on December 28.  She was 77.

Sue Grafton
Grafton’s first novel – which was published in 1982 – was titled A Is for Alibi.  She followed it up with B Is for Burglar, C Is for Corpse, and so on.

I discovered Grafton’s books in 1993.  The first one I read was F Is for Fugitive.  Ten days after I finished it, I read A Is for Alibi, and since then I’ve read her books in chronological – and alphabetical – order.

I’m currently reading Y Is for Yesterday, which was published last year and is the final Kinsey Millhone novel.  Grafton was planning to title the next – and final – book in the series Z Is for Zero, but her illness prevented her from even beginning  to write that book.

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The first dozen or so of Grafton’s “alphabet” novels were well-plotted and well-written, and they made good beach books or airport books.  But I wouldn’t have put them in the same class with books by my favorite contemporary crime authors (such as George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Ian Rankin, and Elizabeth George).

But at some point Grafton really picked up her game.  Her last several books are twice as long as her early novels were, and that additional length is indicative of the additional depth and complexity of those later books, which are really first-rate.

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It’s quite an accomplishment to write 25 novels that are worthy of being read.  

But the best thing Sue Grafton ever wrote was the dedication of her penultimate novel, X, which I happened to be reading when she died:

This book is dedicated to my children. Caring, hardworking, responsible; my pride and joy always.

I don't think I could improve on that. (Actually, I don’t think anyone can improve on that.)  

Can any of you parents out there think of three virtues that would make you prouder of your children than the three Grafton chose to mention – caring, hardworking, and responsible?

I'm pleased to say that I believe those adjectives apply to each of my four children, who are certainly my pride and joy always.  

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“D Is for Dangerous” was released in 2007 on the Arctic Monkeys’ second studio album, Favourite Worst Nightmare (which is a phrase from “D Is for Dangerous”).

The lyrics to that song include “D is for delightful,” and “D is for desperately trying to stimulate what it was that was alright three quarters of an hour ago,” but do not include the song’s title.

By the way, Grafton “D” title was “D Is for Deadbeat.”

Here’s “D Is for Dangerous”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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