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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This jaunty crime novel, set in L.A. in 1948, introduces Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins, a recently laid-off mechanic who is young, black and--but for the need to meet the mortgage on his new house--a most reluctant sleuth. Easy hails originally from the tough Fifth Ward in Houston; he served his country, landing on the Normandy Beach. He knows racism firsthand and seeing too many white men in one day unnerves him. But a white businessman, Dewitt Albright, engages Easy to locate a beautiful French woman named Daphne Monet who has a "predilection for the company of negroes." She also has $30,000 of someone else's money. Easy becomes entangled in a chain of events that takes him to bar after bar to meet a range of characters, most of whom are seeking their own advantages in the pursuit of Daphne. With bodies piling up, there is no turning back for Easy, as he is dogged by brutish white cops and a few "brothers" none too friendly. The language is hard-boiled ("Somewhere between the foo young and the check I decided to cut my losses") and the portrait of black city life gritty and real. But the first-person narrative, which hurtles along with improbable transitions and sketchy psychological portraits, leaves the reader winded rather than exhilarated at the book's predictable conclusion. 25,000 first printing; $25,000 ad/promo; movie rights to Reuben Cannon ; Mysterious Book Club and QPB selections.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2013 by Hugh Murray
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. Read more
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... Read morePublished on April 2 2004
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. Read morePublished on July 30 2003 by P. A Lewis
While most of the preceding critics of Mosley's mystery rave about this and that, my opinion on the literary merit rates about average. Read morePublished on May 20 2003 by Amazon Customer
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... Read morePublished on April 19 2003 by Geoffrey Philp
This is an excellent example of why Walter Mosely's books are becoming 'cult' classics. A great cast of characters, including of course the hero 'Easy', and a plot that although a... Read morePublished on Dec 24 2002
Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress (Pocket, 1990)
Walter Mosley's first novel featuring detective Easy Rawlins is a good one; the characters are well-drawn, the plot... Read more
What is the fuss all about.
I picked this up ,read two thirds of it at one sitting.
It ain't much,believe me. Chandler won't be losing any long sleep over this. Read more