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Local Author Sue Grafton Dies at Age 77


Grafton belonged to a cluster of female authors who viewed the private detective subgenre, previously dominated by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Grafton's own hero Ross Macdonald, in desperate need of subverting. She was 77 years of age.

Clark's note said that "out of the deep abiding love and respect for our dear sweet Sue, as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y".

World-renowned author and local resident, Sue Grafton, passed away at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Thursday after a two-year battle with cancer. Her most recent book in the series, "Y is for Yesterday", was published earlier in 2017. "And this is a little moment of freedom - if I can come up with a storyline for Z is for Zero, which remains to be seen".

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The books, published in dozens of languages, earned Grafton a large and devoted readership, particularly among women. Her publishing advances were in the millions, and each new novel had a hardcover print run of 500,000 copies. "Many of you ... know that she was adamant that her books would never be turned into movies or TV shows, and in that same vein, she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name".

"Although we knew this was coming, it was unexpected and fast", Clark wrote.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Grafton stayed tied to her roots, dividing her time between a home there and in California.

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"I read newspapers, textbooks on crime. I want to be the king".

"I'm an introvert, so doing half of what Kinsey is beyond my poor capabilities", Grafton said.

Grafton's second marriage ended in protracted divorce and custody proceedings that, she later said, helped her devise methods of murder for her novels. She spent 16 years as a Hollywood screenwriter, the latter part with Steven Humphrey, her third and surviving husband.

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