As a fan (and now a writer) of murder mysteries, and as a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, you might think I've read all of Sue Grafton's books many times over. Well, it turns out I'm late to the party. If you are also late to the Sue Grafton party, stop what you're doing and go buy A Is For Alibi. It's very well written. I'm on B Is For Burglar, and I'm just as hooked with this one.
Here's a sample of a description that's just jaw-droppingly good:
"The man appeared to be in his seventies, corpulent and benign. Old age had given him back his baby fat and the same look of grave curiosity."