When I want a break from the standard fare of spy and detective novels, I’ll often pick up a book by either Sue Grafton or Janet Evanovich. Maybe it’s because they’re female authors, maybe it’s the female lead characters in their novels or maybe it’s a combination of both, but I welcome this periodic shift in perspective. Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series is heavy on the mystery, but it also adds a dose of humanity. The early Millhone books were a casual read, but as Grafton grows as a seasoned writer, not only do Millhone’s cases become more complex, but so too does her character. In Q is for Quarry, Millhone is not only trying to solve a murder, but one from the cold case file that’s been gathering dust for nearly 20 years. And on top of this being one of her toughest cases, she is also dealing with family issues that have been evident since the series debut, but have been building in recent novels. Kinsey’s normal support system, her 81-year-old landlord and friend, is on vacation with his even older siblings. Thus her interaction is limited to her two partners on the case, a pair of grizzled ex-cops with health issues who receive emotional support from Kinsey and each other. This odd trio travels to barren and windy California desert towns with names like Creosote seeking the identity of a Jane Doe whose body was found in a quarry. The clues mount and the typical small town atmosphere both helps and hinders the investigation at times. As the case nears its conclusion, the real solution seems to be the importance of friends and family.