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Devil in a Blue Dress: Featuring an Original Easy Rawlins Short Story "Crimson Stain" Paperback – Sep 17 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (Sept. 17 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743451791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743451796
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 23 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Hugh Murray on Aug. 28 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't like this book, mainly because their was too much explicit sex in it. A little bit is okay, but when every page is filled with it, I don't enjoy the book. Take that out, and the plot was okay.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book for a book club discussion and it introduced me to the work of Walter Mosley.

A fine noir look at LA in the 1940s which doesn't pull any punches. Racism, brutal cops, the seedy underbelly of L.A. My only problem with the book was understanding some of the street dialogue. That improved with a second reading.

Mosley has a finely plotted novel here with great characters, realistic dialogue and a twist ending that catches you by surprise. A good start to a series of Easy Rawlins books. Easy is a likeable, decent chap caught up in circumstances beyond his control.

Highly recommended.
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By A Customer on April 2 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is truly a masterpiece. The characters are amazing and the story is great. This is the kind of book that you can visualize in your head, you can see every scene occuring. I read this book in one sitting, I couldn't put it down. From the begining to the end--perfection!
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Format: Hardcover
"Devil in a Blue Dress" takes the reader to post-War Los Angeles, a city burgeoning with new industry and opportunity in 1948. The hero is Ezekiel "Easy" Rollins, a war veteran who came to L.A. for sunshine and good jobs, but now finds himself laid off and in danger of losing his home. A friend introduces him to a sleazy character named DeWitt Albright, who offers Easy the opportunity to make some money fast. Albright is looking for a woman named Daphne Monet. In a city that is largely socially segregated, Miss Monet, who is white, frequents black night clubs and has black friends -some of the same clubs and friends as Easy. Whether in desperation or out of pride, Easy accepts the job and sets out to find her. His search takes him on a tour of the city's shadows: underground jazz clubs, bootleggers and blackmailers, political corruption, and finally to the irresistible and mysterious Daphne Monet.
"Devil in a Blue Dress" is a pleasant, brisk read. Walter Mosley paints a colorful and intriguing picture of post-War Los Angeles. And his prose effectively expresses the fear and temptation that constantly compete for Easy Rollins' psyche. Easy Rollins is a working class detective who is lent a certain romanticism and distinction by the time and place in which the novel is set. This combination of qualities make Easy an ideal detective novel protagonist who will appeal to a wide array of readers. The character of Daphne Monet is less than believable, I'm afraid. But it is more essential that she be sexy and mysterious than that she be believed, so it is not a serious flaw. "Devil in a Blue Dress" has a little of everything -a likable hero, period ambiance, hard-boiled dialogue, sex, violence, mystery- without losing its focus. It won't appeal to fans of "cozies ", but most mystery buffs will find something enjoyable in it.
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By P. A Lewis on July 30 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this particular novel in about a week and at first it seemed slow, but towards the middle part of the book my interest started to peak. The protagonist Easy Rawlins a fired aircraft worker and WWII veteran gets pulled into a world of deceit by a person he perceives to be a good friend. Easy is hired to look for a woman by the name of Daphne Monet, but everyone he comes in contact with that could possible help him is murdered. Finally Easy starts putting the pieces of the puzzle together with his long time friend Mouse and in the end everything makes sense. The books tangles a serious web of deception which is rather interesting. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
While most of the preceding critics of Mosley's mystery rave about this and that, my opinion on the literary merit rates about average. While it is an entertaining mystery to most, the underlying themes and syntax are suitable merely for the high school freshman.
The main character, Easy Rawlins, virtuously overcomes the social injustices of racial prejudice blacks faced at the time while also noting similar bigotry against the WWII Jews. The mystery holds suspense but the plot line overall is not fully satisfying. Overall I was bored reading it, and the class discussions I participated in (I am a student at UCR) were less than lively.
The part about this book that I hated most is that it portrays the white man in disgusting fashion. All the white characters Easy Rawlins meets are somehow seriously flawed. They are either homosexual, racist gangsters, filthy-rich love-crazed maniacs, teenage bigots, liquour store black market operators, etc. There is not a decent white man among them, and Easy's attitude of self-restraint, although admirable, further paints a dirty picture of the white man. Why can't there be at least one white man that has any admirable characteristics? It makes it seem like Mosely targeted a black audience rather than trying to appeal to all demographics.
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Format: Paperback
Devil in a Blue Dress established Walter Mosely's reputation as a master of the mystery genre. The creation of Easy, the murderous Mouse, the seductive Daphne and the setting within the Black community transformed the novel from merely a whodunit into an elegant commentary on race. But if that weren't enough, read any page of this novel or any other book by Mosely (esp. Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned) and see how he controls the narrative and description. What is even more fascinating is to watch Mosely's growth in the series to where he tackles the big subjects like guilt and redemption in American life
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