Ok, I tried to comment, but it didn't work. I'm going to make the SPOILERS readable. If you have not read S is for Silence by Sue Grafton, do not read the purple text below.
I finished this a couple days ago and just didn't feel satisfied with the ending. Wanted to share a few of my observations. This will contain SPOILERS. I'm going to try the trick of turning the font color the same as the background color so if you want to read this, you'll have to highlight the text after the next paragraph.
I enjoyed the style of the book. The reader gets a bit more insight than Kinsey does. It was interesting to read what happened to several of the characters then see what they told Kinsey. Which led me to feel the end was rushed and that as a reader I was denied some critical information. So, writing this, I've gone back and double checked dates and things. I think I have a few things worked out.
Wed, July 1st Violet started her affair with Chet to get the car she wants. That evening she hooks up with Jake for what sounds like the first time. Tom's at the bar thinking about a counseling session he had with his wife back in april. Violet and Tom talk about how a woman should help a husband. Tom says he's not trying to get in her pants, because she'll leave him for some one else. Earlier, it was implied that he had a relationship with her before.
Thurs, July 2nd Chet told Violet he'd help her get the car. We found out Jake had been with Violet before - and at one point says he had not seen her since Sunday, was he so drunk Wed he did not remember? He dumps Violet stating she'd been pulling away for weeks. She's pissed. Tom discovers a bank account that belongs to his wife's deceased first husband that the wife doesn't know about. He also thinks he needs an additional quick influx of cash to make a bank payment Monday.
Fri, July 3rd Foley bought the car in the AM, then Violet dumped Chet that afternoon. When Jake got to the hospital that afternoon, his father-in-law was clutching a Bible and a pink sheet of notebook paper accusing him of having an affair with Violet. (on wed we learned Chet's daughter Kathy kept pink stationary that she saved for special occasion - was it really Kathy who tattled, did Violet steal some of the stationary when she was at the dealership, or did Violet also happen to have pink stationary?).
So at the end of the book we find out Tom bought the dog for Violet, and asked the lady to call if anyone should come asking about it. When did he ask her to call? when he bought the dog? Was he really planning something that far out?
So here's what I think: I don't think Tom and Violet had been lovers. When BW said to ask Tom what happens if you drive her home, I think Tom really drove her home and either tongues started wagging or Foley believed it meant they were lovers. I think Jake was way depressed and drunk Wednesday night and didn't remember it the next day and some one saw them and ratted out. Everyone heard about Violet's money. I think Tom wanted it, but wasn't sure how to get it, but cultivated a friendship with her to get in her head and learn how to work her. He bought the dog, again as a friend. By being Violet's friend instead of trying to get in her pants she trusted in him in way she hadn't trusted anyone before. When he received news of the bank account he became liberated from his need for his wife. A quiet conversation with Violet - you take your money and I have my own now, we can take off together, we don't need our spouses anymore... I think that could have lured her out, especially since Jake dropped her - she didn't have any ties.
So, after a couple hours of re-reading and taking careful time line notes, I've been able to construct a plausible motive and means for the murder of Violet. I don't like working this hard to read a book. I think a chapter at the end from either Tom's or Violet's point of view tying up loose ends would have made this a better read.
Ok, that's the end of my babbling about this book. I shall do my best to put it out of my mind.