For millions of readers, the alphabet now ends with "y."
Perhaps that’s a fitting tribute to a woman who devoted her life to entertaining the masses with perplexing mysteries.
Sue Grafton, the author best known for the Kinsey Milhone "alphabet mysteries" has passed away at the age of 77.
She had reportedly been battling cancer.
Grafton came to readers’ attention in 1982 with the first Milhone book, A Is for Alibi.
It took her five years to write the book, and sales were sluggish at first.
Grafton didn’t publish the second book in the series until, B Is for Burglar until 1985.
Shortly after the book hit stores, a glowing review in Newsweek forever altered the course of Grafton’s life and career:
"It just undid me," the author said in an interview.
"’Gosh, someone’s paying attention.’ Then I started doing a book a year."
Yes, from 1985 on, Grafton has published a new Milhone mystery every single year.
Her latest, Y is for Yesterday was released in August of this year.
In one of her final interviews, Grafton stated that she was looking forward to completing the series:
"I think it will be interesting to have a day and a week and a month and a year that isn’t already spoken for," she said.
"The last, actually, 38 years, I’ve known exactly what I’m doing next. 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."
Sadly, readers will never find out what Grafton had in store for the series’ conclusion.
Her loved ones say the author abhorred the ideas of ghostwriters and adaptations, and they’ll honor her wishes to be the only one at the helm of the Milhone series.
News of Grafton’s passing was made public today, via a loving tribute posted on social media by her daughter Jamie:
"I am sorry to tell you all that Sue passed away last night after a two year battle with cancer. She was surrounded by family, including her devoted and adoring husband Steve," the post reads.
"Although we knew this was coming, it was unexpected and fast. 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."
Tributes from tens of thousands of readers have made Grafton one of day’s top trending topics on Twitter.