Sue Grafton

Kinsey Millhone Biography

Kinsey Millhone was born May 5, 1950, in Santa Teresa, California, to Rita and Randall Millhone. Kinsey's mother was from a well-to-do family from Lompoc, but became estranged from them when she met and married Randall Millhone. Randy was a postal worker of which little more is known.

At the age of five, Kinsey was in a horrific car accident in which both of her parents were killed. Kinsey survived the accident but has never gotten over the trauma of losing her parents at such an early age.

Kinsey went to live with her Aunt Gin, her mother's sister, who was also estranged from the family and living alone in Santa Teresa. Ill-equipped to inherit a daughter, she did her best to raise Kinsey. She was a no-nonsense kind of person who instilled in Kinsey a strong sense of independence and self-sufficiency, both of which would serve Kinsey well throughout her life. Other traits received or reinforced by Aunt Gin were an aversion to cooking, a lack of interest in fashion, and an affinity for books. Aunt Gin died when Kinsey was in her early twenties.

Kinsey, being the rebellious type, didn't do particularly well in school and occasionally had disciplinary problems. In high school, she fell in with a group that smoked cigarettes and marijuana, but she gave this up prior to graduating.

Sometime after graduation, she became a police officer with the Santa Teresa Police Department. She had trouble dealing with the bureaucracy and the attitude toward women officers at the time and she quit after two years.

Kinsey had two brief marriages. Almost nothing is known about the first except that Kinsey left him. The second husband left Kinsey unexpectedly, but shows up years later in one of the novels.

In her mid twenties, Kinsey studied to become a private investigator, got her license, and landed her first job with a detective agency a couple of years later. In her late twenties, Kinsey went freelance and got office space with California Fidelity Insurance, with whom she had worked part time some years earlier.

When Kinsey was about thirty, she finally moved out of trailers and into a studio apartment. She still lives there and is very friendly with her landlord, Henry, and Rosie the tavern owner nearby.