Sue Grafton, Best-Selling Mystery Writer, Dies at 77

Novelist Sue Grafton, who wrote a prolific and best-selling series of alphabetically titled mystery novels, has died in California, the writer's daughter says. She was 77.

Grafton died Thursday night in Santa Barbara, California, after a two-year battle with cancer.

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, 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 Clark, shared the news on the author's Facebook page, writing that Grafton was surrounded by family, "including her devoted and adoring husband Steve."

Clark added that Grafton's death was "unexpected and fast," writing that her health declined quickly in the days leading up to it.

"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," Clark 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 in downtown Louisville in 2016. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer remembered Grafton as a "great talent and prolific author."

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"Her legacy will live on through her words, which will entertain and thrill readers for generations to come," he tweeted Friday afternoon.

Photo credit: Facebook / Sue Grafton