Louisville mystery writer Sue Grafton dies of cancer at age 77

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville native Sue Grafton, who wrote a prolific and best-selling series of alphabetically titled mystery novels, has died in California, according to Steve Bass, a family friend. She was 77.

Bass, who also led last year's effort to honor Grafton with a downtown Louisville banner, said Grafton died Thursday night in Santa Barbara, Calif.

A graduate of Atherton High School and the University of Louisville, Grafton worked as a screenwriter before writing the first of her popular Kinsey Millhone novels, “A is for Alibi,” in 1982. She published her most recent book in the series, “Y is for Yesterday,” earlier this year.

Grafton's daughter Jamie posted on Facebook on Friday that her mother died Thursday surrounded by family after a two-year battle with cancer. And she indicated that there won't be a final title in the Millhone series starting with "Z."

"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," Grafton's daughter wrote. "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."

Grafton was honored with a “Sue’s Louisville” banner on East Jefferson Street in 2016.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer remembered Grafton as a "great talent and prolific author." "Her legacy will live on through her words, which will entertain and thrill readers for generations to come," he tweeted Friday afternoon.

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