Hear more of Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries.
©2002 Walter Mosley; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"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)
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
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.
This was an interesting listen with many twists. But I found the setting - post-WWII California - even more entertaining.
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,
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.
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.
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.
good narration overall although narrator isn't great at accents.
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
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.
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
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.
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