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Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
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Devil in a Blue Dress (1990)

by Walter Mosley

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Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins has been laid off from his job at an aircraft factory in Los Angeles. His friend Joppy, who owns the bar that he frequents, hooks him up with a sort of PI job: a white man is looking for a girl named Daphne Monet, and this man needs Easy to check the black nightclubs and bars in LA to see if she’s there. Because Easy needs the money, he takes the job, but not without misgivings. This is LA hardboiled detective fiction that will appeal to fans of Raymond Chandler; it’s not difficult to imagine Rawlins and Marlowe walking the same streets or having a crossover episode. I’m not sure that I was able to guess how the mystery was to be solved, but the book rocketed along nicely and really brought postwar LA to life. I’d probably pick up more books in the series if they were on the shelf. ( )
  rabbitprincess | May 8, 2018 |
3.5 stars. LOVED the reader what a voice! ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
The author does a good job of depicting 1940s’ America from a black male perspective.

Despite the strong plot and quality characterisation, this type of story isn’t really to my tastes. Certain scenes, however, are appealing, and I think Mouse is a great character. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Mar 22, 2018 |
A mystery/noir classic. Easy Rawlins is an instantly unforgettable American character. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Excellent descriptions and fast-paced narrative. Easy is a likable character with moral fortitude. ( )
  PatsyMurray | Sep 19, 2017 |
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FOR JOY KELLMAN, FREDERIC TUTTEN,

AND LEROY MOSLEY
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CRIMSON STAIN: "Etheline," she said, repeating the name I'd asked for.

DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS: I was surprised to see a white man walk into Joppy's bar.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743451791, Paperback)

Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins has few illusions about the world--at least not about the world of a young black veteran in the late 1940s in Southern California. His stint in the Army didn't do anything to dissuade him from his belief that justice doesn't come cheap, especially for men like him. "I thought there might be some justice for a black man if he had money to grease it," Easy says. Fired from his job on the line at an aircraft plant, he's in danger of losing his home, symbol of his tenuous hold on middle class status. That's a good enough reason to accept a white man's offer to pay him for finding a beautiful, mysterious Frenchwoman named Daphne Monet, last seen in the company of a well-known gangster. Easy's search takes the reader to an L.A. few writers have shown us before--the mean streets of South Central, the after-hours joints in dirty basement clubs, the cheap hotels and furnished rooms, the places people go when they don't want to be found. Evocative of a past time, and told in a style that's reminiscent of Hammet and Chandler, yet uniquely his own, Mosley's depiction of an inherently decent man in a violent world of intrigue and corruption rang up big sales when it was published in 1990 (although the movie version, with Denzel Washington as Easy, never found the audience it deserved). The minor characters are deftly and brilliantly developed, especially Mouse, who saves Easy's life even as he draws him deeper into the mystery of Daphne Monet. Like many of Mosley's characters, Mouse makes a return appearance in the succeeding Easy Rawlins mysteries, such as A Red Death, Black Betty, and White Butterfly, every one of which is as good as Devil in a Blue Dress, his first. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:35 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In a Los Angeles bar, "Easy" Rawlins, a black war veteran just fired from his job, wonders how he'll pay his mortgage. DeWitt Albright, a quietly vicious white man, walks in and offers Easy good money if he'll find Daphne Monet.

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