Y IS FOR YESTERDAY by Sue Grafton, Macmillan.
Private investigator Kinsey Millhone doesn’t have a difficult personal life or anything to prove. She’s a grounded 39 year old who loves peanut butter and pickle sandwiches and is prepared to sacrifice shoe leather to make a living taking cases. It’s 1989 so that involves plenty of public phones, library visits, and making notes on index cards. All this low-tech work is being done to hunt a blackmailer. The victim is a young man who’s just been released from prison for his part in the murder of a fellow high school student in 1979. And as she digs into the murky world of the rich kids of southern California she’s also being stalked by an old foe, a serial rapist and killer who’s desperate to get his hands on missing evidence. Kinsey is a relatable charismatic character, which only makes the very real threats she faces more shocking.