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Devil in a blue dress by Walter Mosley
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Devil in a blue dress (original 1990; edition 1990)

by Walter Mosley

Series: Easy Rawlins (1)

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2,583995,671 (3.82)263
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.
Member:SudolTerri
Title:Devil in a blue dress
Authors:Walter Mosley
Info:New York Norton c1990.
Collections:Your library
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Work Information

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley (1990)

  1. 30
    If He Hollers, Let Him Go by Chester Himes (clfisha)
  2. 10
    The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett (Vulco1)
  3. 10
    The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (Vulco1)
    Vulco1: Lots of running around, betrayal and being in over thier heads.
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» See also 263 mentions

English (94)  Spanish (3)  Italian (1)  Greek (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
Devil in a Blue Dress introduced Walter Mosley's hero, Ezekiel (Easy) Rawlins to the reading public. A fast-flowing narrative with a story somewhat complex in a bare-bones kind of way, Mosley takes us into Raymond Chandler country - Los Angeles after the war. But this is a slightly different perspective because Easy happens to be a black man. He becomes a private-eye of sorts in order to locate a blonde French girl named Daphne Monet for a white man he doesn't quite trust. Daphne has a penchant for black men, and haunts the world of dusty underground bars and hole-in-the-wall jazz joints Easy knows all too well.

Finding her may not be Easy's only problem, however, as someone is out to kill him, prompting him to employ his old pal, Mouse, to watch his back while he investigates. Mouse is sharply drawn by Mosley as an amoral yet likable killer; deadly as an enemy, unequaled as a friend. Easy is portrayed by Mosley as a decent man who understands his world and his place in it, but doesn't like it one bit. Like Ross Macdonald's, Lew Archer, Easy is more comfortable being an observer of human cruelty and frailty than a participant.

Easy's attraction to the beautiful white girl, Daphne Monet, and his uneasiness about what may really be going on, underscores a complex and riveting narrative in which everyone might just have underestimated Easy. Mosley makes the larger story here not the case, but the story about a good man in a not-so-good world, trying to detach himself from it all, only to discover it is part of who he is. Mosley's "Mouse" is unforgettable, and in some respects what Hawk is to Spenser in Robert B. Parker's series.

Daphne has more to hide in this novel than just money, and its truth is the impetus for everything that happens. There is murder here, and greed, and something Easy has seen way too much of, even for a black man in post WWII Los Angeles -- sorrow. This is a fine read and a perfect introduction to Easy Rawlins. White Butterfly might be a slightly better book, in my opinion, but Devil in a Blue Dress is highly recommended to mystery fans. ( )
  Matt_Ransom | Oct 6, 2023 |
I got a feel for the Black experience in mid-century from Mosley, helping me understand what was happening in the US. ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 7, 2023 |
Not much to this. Perhaps it is historically important but I'd recommend you skip it. I recommend Harlem Shuffle by Whitehead as a much better read. ( )
  ghefferon | Jun 4, 2023 |
Classic ‘40s hard boiled noir ( )
  jimifenway | May 22, 2023 |
I was a little unsure on this book. It was written in 1990 and takes place in 1948. A lot of books wind up not being that good because in the back of my mind I always think why didn’t he/they just…and then I remember the technology didn’t exist. That didn’t happen ever with this book. A straight up who did it and why, this is an excellent story. From an obviously amazing author. ( )
  zmagic69 | Mar 31, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mosley, Walterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boatman, MichaelNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chelius, JaneEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corgatelli, RosaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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FOR JOY KELLMAN, FREDERIC TUTTEN,

AND LEROY MOSLEY
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I was surprised to see a white man walk into Joppy's bar.
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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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