She was a "Jane Doe," an unidentified white female whose
decomposed body was discovered near a quarry off
California's Highway 1. The case fell to the Santa Teresa
County Sheriff's Department, but the detectives had little
to go on. The woman was young, her hands were bound with a
length of wire, there were multiple stab wounds, and her
throat had been slashed. After months of investigation, the
murder remained unsolved.
That was eighteen years ago. Now the two men who found the
body, both nearing the end of long careers in law
enforcement, want one last shot at the case. Old and ill,
they need someone to help with their legwork and they turn
to Kinsey Millhone. They will, they tell her, find closure
if they can just identify the victim. Kinsey is intrigued
and agrees to the job.
But revisiting the past can be a dangerous business, and
what begins with the pursuit of Jane Doe's real identity
ends in a high-risk hunt for her killer.
Q is for Quarry is based on an unsolved homicide that
occurred in 1969, and Grafton's interest in the case has
generated renewed police efforts. During the past year, the
body was exhumed and a nationally known forensic artist did
the facial reconstruction that appears in the closing pages
of Q is for Quarry. Both Grafton and the dedicated members
of the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department are hoping the
photograph will trigger memories that may lead to a positive
On the day Jane Doe was reburied, many officers were at the
gravesite. "It's eerie," Grafton writes, "to think about the
power this woman still has. Here we are, thirty-three years
later, and she still wants to go home."