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Sue Grafton, best-selling mystery writer of alphabet novels, dead at 77

Sue Grafton, the best-selling mystery writer who penned 25 novels with alphabet-based titles, starting with “A Is for Alibi” and ending with “Y Is for Yesterday,” has died after a bout with cancer, her daughter, Jamie Clark, said Friday in a social media post.

“I am sorry to tell you all that Sue passed away last night after a two-year battle with cancer,” Clark wrote on Grafton’s official Facebook page. “She was surrounded by family, including her devoted and adoring husband Steve. Although we knew this was coming, it was unexpected and fast.”

Grafton died at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, after battling cancer of the appendix, Alexis Welby, director of publicity at her publisher, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, told CNN.

Grafton started the alphabet novels in 1982, according to the author’s webpage. All of them featured private eye Kinsey Millhone.

Sue Grafton, the best-selling mystery writer who penned 25 novels with alphabet-based titles, starting with "A Is for Alibi" and ending with "Y Is for Yesterday," has died after a bout with cancer, her daughter, Jamie Clark, said Friday in a social media post.

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Sue Grafton, the best-selling mystery writer who penned 25 novels with alphabet-based titles, starting with “A Is for Alibi” and ending with “Y Is for Yesterday,” has died after a bout with cancer, her daughter, Jamie Clark, said Friday in a social media post.

The webpage said Grafton was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and lived in Louisville and Montecito, California. She was married to Steve Humphrey for more than 35 years and had three children, four granddaughters and one great grandson, the website said.

The Facebook message said:

“She had been fine up until just a few days ago, and then things moved quickly. Sue always said that she would continue writing as long as she had the juice. Many of you also 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.

“Because of all of those things, and 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.”