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Devil in a Blue Dress: An Easy Rawlins Mystery | [Walter Mosley]

Devil in a Blue Dress: An Easy Rawlins Mystery

Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Money, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.
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Publisher's Summary

Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Money, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.

Hear more of Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries.

©2002 Walter Mosley; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Mystery and Suspense, 2010
  • Top 100 Mysteries of All Time (Mystery Writers of America)
  • 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century (Independent Mystery Booksellers Assn.)

"Richly atmospheric....Devil in a Blue Dress honors the hard-boiled tradition of Hammett/Chandler/Cain in its story line and attitude, but Mosley takes us down some mean streets that his spiritual predecessors never could have.... A fast-moving, entertaining story written with impressive style." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

"Ezekiel 'Easy' Rawlins, a young, tough black veteran living in 1948 Los Angeles, only wants respect and enough money to pay his mortgage. When fired from his factory job, however, he undertakes some paid errands for a shady white mobster who wishes to locate a light-haired, blue-eyed beauty. As Easy plumbs his usual hangouts for clues, he relays information to the mobster, runs afoul of the police, meets the mysterious woman, discovers a murder, then investigates in self-defense. An unusually refreshing protagonist...talented prose, and evocative, realistic descriptions of speech, manners, and social life make this an exceptional and welcome addition." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (438 )
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3.9 (263 )
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4.2 (259 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 02-13-11
    Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 02-13-11 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beware of Mysterious Sexy Women with Big Suitcases"

    This is a solid, concise, well-written and well-read noir detective story set in Los Angeles shortly after World War II. The recently fired Easy Rawlins, in need of money to pay the mortgage on his modest Watts house with its avocado and fruit trees, accepts a seemingly innocuous job to look for a beautiful white woman and then becomes caught up in a tangled web of desire, greed, racism, and violence. In addition to the historical Southern Californian setting, the most interesting part of the novel involves race, most noir detective stories involving white detective heroes, but this one featuring an African American war veteran, a strong and brave and dignified man who has killed white men (German soldiers) in combat, but who nonetheless finds himself tongue-tied when questioned by haughty white American men. He has been living under the radar in a very racist society and now must find a way to deal with the ugly and violent and petty machinations of powerful white people in order to save his house and his life. Easy???s voice, both in Walter Mosley???s spicy and authentic first-person narration and in Michael Boating???s excellent reading of it, is appealing and humane. Boating effectively brings to life the different characters, from the formidable loose canon Mouse to the damaged and damaging Daphne Monet. The novel has plenty of violence and sex, but these are mostly in the service of story and character rather than being gratuitous.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    richard Chapel Hill, NC, United States 07-17-10
    richard Chapel Hill, NC, United States 07-17-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nice history lesson"

    This was an interesting listen with many twists. But I found the setting - post-WWII California - even more entertaining.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Minneapolis, MN, United States 12-29-10
    Rick Minneapolis, MN, United States 12-29-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful!"

    I thought the story, the writing and the reader were brilliant. I very much enjoyed the story.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Esther Dryden, Ontario, Canada 08-08-10
    Esther Dryden, Ontario, Canada 08-08-10 Member Since 2009
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    "A little violent for my taste"

    Although I am a real mystery fan, I found this book to be a little to graphic for my taste. The story was a good story, I have seen this made into a movie so was already familiar with the story. I don't regret listening to this, but won't likely purchase another book by this author,

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Worcester, MA, United States 04-09-14
    A Worcester, MA, United States 04-09-14 Member Since 2003

    Love to read. Mysteries, history, romance, biography, current events, science, classic fiction. No vampires. No zombies. No self-help. Find me on GoodReads and BookLikes.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    219
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    "I had to at least sample this author"

    Sometimes I'll choose a book just because I think that I should at least read something by a particular author--expand my horizons a bit, as it were. Walter Mosley is one of those authors on my list and so when Devil in a Blue Dress appeared in the sale pile, I took the chance. Glad I did. Mosley's reputation is well deserved. While I am not hooked on Easy Rawlins and racing out to gather up as many in the series as I can, I'm sure that more may make it into my library in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope Toronto, ON, Canada 04-02-14
    Calliope Toronto, ON, Canada 04-02-14 Member Since 2012
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    "narration added so much"

    I read this book many years ago, and I don't remember it being as interesting and evocative as the audiobook - the narration really added to the atmosphere of the noir story. Good characters, good story, good narration.......definitely worth listening to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonah Kfar Saba, Israel 07-23-13
    Jonah Kfar Saba, Israel 07-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "hardboiled"
    What made the experience of listening to Devil in a Blue Dress the most enjoyable?

    good narration overall although narrator isn't great at accents.


    Would you recommend Devil in a Blue Dress to your friends? Why or why not?

    A classic detective novel - so not for everyone. I loved the scene of Watts in the late 40's actually a brilliant idea to take the classic hardboiled detective story out of white LA and into the black areas.

    Overall - I enjoy the genre and this book is a classic example - in a good way


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Houston, TX, United States 03-02-13
    Robert Houston, TX, United States 03-02-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great performance of an entertaining story"

    Mosley grabs you from the opening lines painting a vivid picture of post-war LA as seen by Easy Rawlins his unwilling private investigator. It's a fun ride and Boatman's steady narration is a pleasure to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 04-03-12
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 04-03-12 Member Since 2011

    Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well Done Hardboiled"

    Easy Rawlins has just lost his factory job and needs to find a way to make money before the the mortgage payment comes due for his home within just a few days. This is the late 1940s and Ezekiel, an African American has returned from the war battle worn and with few illusions, and his house is the one stable thing in his life for which he's willing to fight in order to keep. When a suspicious white man enrols him to find a white girl called Daphne Monet, last seen in one of the illegal bars in the company of a well-known gangster, Easy knows he can't trust the man and questions his motives for wanting to find Daphne in the first place. But money is money and this job pays well... though is he prepared for the most dangerous character in the story, in the shape of a very beautiful and sexy Daphne? This first novel in the Easy Rawlins series has a lot going for it, not least of which the descriptions of a bygone nitty gritty downtown Los Angeles where walking into a bar could be more dangerous than walking the streets at night. The hardboiled atmosphere is palpable and Ezekiel is easy to like, which means I'll more than likely be revisiting this series in near future. Having read this very shortly after the first book in the Harlem Cycle by Chester Himes, I feel confident in saying that Mosley was more than likely influenced by his predecessor, and that can only be a good thing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gretta United States 06-08-11
    Gretta United States 06-08-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining crime drama"

    Good little story with a likeable main character. Plot twists. I'd read the next installment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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