Book Review: ‘Devil in a Blue Dress’ by Walter Mosley ( Noir Thriller/Mystery) 5 WOW stars #100BooksChallenge

Book #3 of my #100BooksChallenge to read for 2021. After reading this author’s work for the first time, I am gutted that I never dived in earlier! I’ve heard of him, and know how popular his work is, but it wasn’t until a YouTube clip of him popped up as a suggestion that I dived in. I was overwhelmed with choice over where to start with his books, a blog post recommended starting with his ‘Easy Rawlins’ detective series so I did. Being a massive fan of the era this novel is set in, I fell in love hard! Book one has turned me into a fan! I bought the next book. This was a wonderful experience to read, not just a great book.

About The Book:

The first novel by “master of mystery” (The New York Times) Walter Mosley, featuring Easy Rawlins, the most iconic African American detective in all of fiction. Named one of the “best 100 mystery novels of all time” by the Mystery Writers of America, this special thirtieth anniversary edition features an all new introduction from the author.

The year is 1948, the town is Los Angeles.

Easy Rawlins, a black war veteran, has just been fired from his job at a defense factory plant. Drinking in his friend’s bar, he’s wondering how he’ll manage to make ends meet, when a white man in a linen suit approaches him and offers him good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Money, a missing blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.

Easy has no idea that by taking this job, his life is about to change forever.

“More than simply a detective novel…[Mosley is] a talented author with something vital to say about the distance between the black and white worlds, and with a dramatic way to say it” (The New York Times).

5 wow stars!

The author’s writing style is so slick it’s unreal, Easy Rawlins is a great character to follow and so authentic too. I had no trouble believing him, or being drawn into his story, as he got himself unexpectedly ‘caught up’ in all the madness over this ‘Devil in a Blue Dress.’ I loved the fact that the author writes his character with ebonic style language ( where relevant), to keep them very real too. I found that the story moved quickly, and there was a lot of mystery over who done what, when, and why. This really kept me interested and I read it quickly. The characters for me were all really engaging, like-able, even if some of them are ‘bad guys.’ I appreciated that this author touches on many of the hardships and reality for black and brown people , and the relationships and POV’s of both black and white people during this era. It added to the richness of the story. Not in a sense that it’s sad, it just made it (for me personally) very raw, realistic, and engaging writing.

Overall, I found this novel to be well written, fun, fast moving, with a great character line up and plot. Just from reading this one book, it’s made me want to read the rest in the series, and other work by the author. I recommend this book to anyone who likes hard-boiled, private investigator genre books. However, has an appreciation for the setting, era, and rawness of Easy Rawlings and his friends. 5 wow stars I really loved it.

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