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Publisher's Summary

Detective Easy Rawlins returns in a mystery set in 1961 Los Angeles as Easy accepts a job searching for a beautiful woman nicknamed Black Betty who works as a housekeeper in Beverly Hills.
Hear more of Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries.
©2002 Walter Mosley (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Mosley's distinctive black investigator, Easy Rawlins, has moved from Watts to West L.A. with his two adopted children, but trouble still follows him. Hired to locate a sultry female acquaintance from his early days in Houston, Easy searches for her gambler brother and questions her Beverly Hills employer, unwittingly provoking racist police harassment. Meanwhile, friend Raymond ("Mouse") has been released from prison and vows revenge on the snitch who put him there. Mosley, as usual, describes a historically correct ethos in deft, literate prose." ( Library Journal)

Featured Article: Best Mystery Series—Listens That'll Take You Right to the Crime Scene


While a standalone mystery is great when you're in the mood for a one-and-done, sometimes you want to feed your craving with an entire mystery series—knowing there's a world and characters you can keep coming back to for the satisfaction of solving crimes. With audiobooks, you get the added bonus of sinking deeper into the setting, clues, and suspects as the story is performed for you, so you'll feel like you're alongside detectives, ready to bust a case.

What listeners say about Black Betty

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I'm already looking fwd 2 my next "Easy" adventure

Colorful characters from the inner city. Insight into life in Los Angeles inner city life from the perspective of a patriotic African American veteran of WWII who lives life in the "gray". He knows life is not clear cut "black and white" on moral issues living in a community that is still steeped in the traditions of America's previous 400 years. He has the heart of "Sir Lancelot" but he knows he does not live in "Camelot". He helps people and he hurts people as a pseudo private detective. He works with the "establishment" and he breaks the rules and would be treated an outlaw if caught breaking the rules of law when he sees a higher moral justification. I love other genre's such as counterespionage, detective, adventure and historical fiction but I find the "Easy Rawlins" series so comfortably enjoyable. It reminds me of past characters in my early life in the 50's and 60's before leaving the south side of Chicago, going off to college in small town Iowa and subsequently becoming a officer in the USMC during the final two years of the Vietnam War era. I really find this series so enjoyable and I regret the books in this series are less than 10 hours long. I wish they were 16 to 24 hours long so I could enjoy a longer story.

5 people found this helpful

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persumej1

I love Walter Mosley, and Black Betty did not let me down. It was a great Easy Rawlins contuation. great book.

2 people found this helpful

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Beyond dark with unecessary foul language

This review is written purely from my own likes and biases which may, or may not, agree with your own.

The narrator missed the mark here. I felt like he wasn't interested in the book as he was reading it. There is a difference between reading dialogue from a dark, sullen character and reading with seeming disinterest. This is a shame since the narrator is a talented actor with the ability to "act" this book better.

The book itself starts off VERY slowly. Having previous knowledge of the character Easy Rawlins may have helped. The beginning of the book seems to be dragging out a character development that could have happened faster. Easy Rawlins is not a likable character and most of his interactions are with equally distasteful characters. Easy reluctantly lumbers through life as if the very act of living is both tedious and painful. This book doesn't just teeter on the edge of despair, but gleefully wallows in the deepest depths. I am able to enjoy dark novels, but this one seems to be trying too hard to reach a new low in hopelessness.

I was disappointed by the amount of foul language in this book. It seemed to be purposely peppered within the text as if the author was trying to fill a quota. I did not read the entire book. In fact, I removed the book from my device before I reached the halfway point.

This is definitely not a book for everyone. However, if you like books filled with crushing melancholy then you should check this one out.

2 people found this helpful

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Love Easy Rawlins

Michael Boatman is a great narrator. He really brings life to Easy. The book was excellent.

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Loved it

This was a good read. I love this series,very interesting and action filled. I cant wait to read the rest of the series. Love,love love, this series.

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Black Betty

The ending of the book was sad for me, but Mosley never fails to take the reader on an exhilarating ride. Old friend are in this book; Mouse, Primo, John and O'Dell. the reader ever receives a surprise from Jesus. I enjoyed the narrator and the flow of the story.

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Excellent reading of one of my favorite stories!

the reader was very capable in his adaptation of the feelings of each of the characters.

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Black Betty one of my favorites Mosley's

this is one of my favorite Walter Mosley of course I love every book in the series definitely my favorite

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Tragedy for any era

Phenomenal, emotionally hard-hitting
About the characters and society —50’s LA as a reflection of present day—as much as it’s about a mystery plot.
Builds in intensity as we become invested in the complex, flawed, but often likeable characters, first and foremost Easy the protagonist. Mosley is our heir to the moral noir, now infused with poignant awareness of the injustices and personal pains of race, class, and gender. The successor to Chandler and MacDonald but packing a tragic punch that a mix of Modern and Postmodern sensibilities.
Excellent. Not for the faint of heart.

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accidently found this book

I am very glad I did. I would highly recommend it. Hurt for the characters and cheered for them at the same time.

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  • Mike
  • 12-23-12

Facinating

I read this because John Grisham mentioned the author in the Racketeer. I have found this and other Walter Mosley books very interesting. They have provided me with new insights.

3 people found this helpful