In Armstrong's A Stranger in Town, Det. Casey Duncan learns that off-the-grid Rockton may be cashiered (50,000-copy first printing). Award-winning YA fiction author Cosimano's first adult novel, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, features a struggling suspense writer mistaken as a serial killer (100,000-copy first printing). In Finch's An Extravagant Death, Victorian-era sleuth Sir Charles Lennox takes his first trip to America (100,000-copy first printing). In Harper's The Survivors, Kieran Elliot returns to his coastal hometown and relives a childhood tragedy (125,000-copy first printing). Harrod-Eagles's Cruel as the Grave has Bill Slider doubting that a fitness trainer was killed by his girlfriend. Ide's Smoke marks the return of Isaiah Quintabe, the Sherlock Holmes of South Central Los Angeles. Mosley's Blood Grove puts popular protagonist Easy Rawlins front and center again (40,000-copy first printing). In Robb's Faithless in Death, Lt. Eve Dallas wonders if an angry lover really did kill sculptor Ariel Byrd (750,000-copy first printing). Todd's A Fatal Lie, Inspector Ian Rutledge seeks the identity of a stranger who tumbled from a Welsh aqueduct. Westerson's Spiteful Bones has Crispin Guest, London's famed Tracker, untangle the mystery around a bound skeleton found in a manor wall.
The uneasy passage of Easy Rawlins through late-20th-century Los Angeles continues at the hinge of the 1960s and '70s in one of the knottiest cases of the Black detective’s long and bloody career.
It’s one thing trying to solve a murder. It’s still another trying to prevent a murder. But try helping somebody determine whether he murdered someone or not—and without any evidence, like, say, blood or a corpse. That’s the dicey situation facing private eye Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins in the summer of 1969 when Vietnam War veteran Craig Kilian wanders into his office carrying a nasty bruise on his head and an especially volatile strain of post-traumatic stress syndrome. It takes an abrupt and violent mood swing before Craig manages to tell Easy about a moonlight encounter in an orange grove involving a half-naked White woman tied to a tree, screaming “Alonzo” as someone Craig describes as “a big black man with long straight hair” is standing next to her with a knife. Craig lunges at what he believes to be the woman’s attacker, and all Craig remembers before being knocked unconscious is wrestling with the other man on the ground and feeling the knife sink into the other man’s chest. When Craig comes to, there’s no one around the campsite but a small black dog. “No white girl or black man. I didn’t even see any blood on the ground,” says Craig, who wants Easy to find out where they went and whether he killed the man. Easy’s got an inventory of questions, chiefly how somebody like Craig got referred to him in the first place. Nevertheless, Easy, who served in Europe during World War II, takes the case, partly in solidarity with a fellow vet’s travails. It doesn’t take long for Easy to begin regretting this decision as he finds himself fitfully making his way through a minefield of thieves, crime bosses, prostitutes, goons, and, as always, racist White cops who even after a decade of civil rights laws, race riots, and cultural upheaval can’t bring themselves to acknowledge that a smart, self-possessed Black man like Easy Rawlins, who at this point in the series is pushing 50, deserves to drive around LA in a yellow Rolls Royce that belongs to him.
It’s hard to believe Mosley once gave serious thought to killing off his first detective hero. He’s still got plenty of game.
Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award!
“Mosley is a master of craft and narrative, and through his incredibly vibrant and diverse body of work, our literary heritage has truly been enriched...From mysteries to literary fiction to nonfiction, Mosley’s talent and memorable characters have captivated readers everywhere, and the Foundation is proud to honor such an illustrious voice whose work will be enjoyed for years to come... what sets his work apart is his examination of both complex issues and intimate realities through the lens of characters in his fiction, as well as his accomplished historical narrative works and essays.”National Book Foundation
“Lest one think Mr. Mosley’s middle-age hero—sensitive and contemplative though he may be—is not still up to whatever challenge may confront him, he warns: ‘Easy is my name, not my nature.’”Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
“The ability to simultaneously keep us readers in confusion and in thrall marks Mosley — winner of the National Book Foundation’s 2020 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters — as a mystery master….The central mystery in Blood Grove — as in all the Easy Rawlins books — is as much about the brazen contradictions of American society as it is about what happened in that orange grove one night. But that mystery turns out to be pretty gripping too.” Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post
"Rawlins is the greatest contributor to Los Angeles’ literary culture and its native son’s repute.”Paula Woods, LA Times
"Mosley’s inimitable rat-a-tat prose style is in full force here, and he keeps his passionate commitment to social issues right up front. A worthy addition to a nonpareil series."Adam Woog, Seattle Times
“In the 15th outing for his iconic private detective, Easy Rawlins, Mosley once again chronicles a part of America rendered invisible — and overpowered — by whiteness. The book is set in 1969, with Rawlins on the verge of 50, still struggling with professional and romantic and familial conflicts in a Los Angeles about to be beset by the berserk.” The New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice
"Walter Mosley’s books about Easy Rawlins are crime fiction, not history. But taken together, they’re a vivid picture of Black life in Los Angeles in the mid-20th century....Easy Rawlins takes a long strange trip in Blood Grove, and it’s a thrill to take it with him."Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
"Mosley effortlessly moves the series to 1969 in Blood Grove, showing just how far Easy has come....A solid mystery, Blood Grove will show long-time readers just how much they have missed Easy."Oline H. Cogdill, The South Florida Sun Sentinel
"If Walter Mosely’s Blood Grove is your first Easy Rawlins’ book, by the time you finish you’ll rejoice that you have 14 more to catch up on. If you’re already an aficionado, Mosley’s latest detective creation is the life diversion you know you need now.... [Easy] is smart, self-possessed and, with Mosley’s ear for dialogue, unabashedly funny. Blood Grove is ripe to be plucked as one of Mosley’s finest and most important novels.Tom Mayer, Mountain Times
"Get Blood Grove, and you might as well just put that bookmark in a drawer....For fans, Mosley goes the extra step, offering a chance to catch up with the dark characters that Rawlins has called “friends” in past novels. If you’re not a fan, grab this book and you will be quick. Just don’t grab it after dark: Blood Grove will keep your eyes open all night."Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Tennessee Tribune
"If Walter Mosely’s Blood Grove is your first Easy Rawlins’ book, by the time you finish you’ll rejoice that you have 14 more to catch up on. If you’re already an aficionado, Mosley’s latest detective creation is the life diversion you know you need now....Blood Grove is ripe to be plucked as one of Mosley’s finest and most important novels."Tom Mayer, Ashe Post & Times
“Mosley’s authorial superpower remains his razor-sharp perception…. This novel is more than a simple mystery meant for entertainment; it and its serial predecessors advocate for the Black hero in literature and in life. … a strong entry in a robust series and an even stronger entry into the genre that further solidifies Rawlins as an enduring figure, one who has survived and thrived in a world that sees him as less than the hero he is.” Aaron Coats, Chicago Review of Books
"What’s perhaps most remarkable about Blood Grove—as with all Easy Rawlins novels—is Mosley’s undiminished gift for embedding the poignant messaging of the protest novel in hard-boiled crime fiction without ever sacrificing punch or pace....Blood Grove does its many antecedents proud—not least among them, Easy Rawlins’ formidable first 14."Steve Nathans-Kelly, New York Journal of Books
"Both Chandler and Mosley amply reward readers with the beauty of their prose and with the world views of their iconic heroes, men of honor struggling to do right in an unjust world....For Easy Rawlins, it has meant trying to do the same with the added complication of being a Back man in race-torn, post-World War II Los Angeles.”Bruce DeSilva, AP News
“Mosley has his finger on the pulse of racial and cultural issues of the late ‘60s, and the book is sure to make readers ponder just how much has and hasn't changed today.”Christina Ianzito, AARP
"It is a fair bet that if Walter Mosley has a book coming out during any given month, there’s an excellent chance it will be the best mystery of that month. Case in point: his latest. Nothing is quite what it seems in this place, in this time, in this book....I read it all in one sitting, as I just could not stop turning the pages.” Bruce Tierney, BookPage
"Mosley’s latest, Blood Grove, may just be one of the best novels in an already iconic detective series....Mosley manages to unfurl a genuinely captivating plot that travels a dark odyssey through the subcultures of 1969 LA, while also adding poignant new depth to the stories of long-running characters. Blood Grove is as satisfying as noir gets."Dwyer Murphy, CrimeReads
“Mosley does a fine job highlighting a world of Black survivors who know how difficult their struggle remains, every day of every decade. This marvelous series is as relevant as ever.” Publishers Weekly
“Easy's finely calibrated understanding of and commentary on the social and racial climate around him gives the novel its defining texture and power… A new Easy Rawlins novel is always big news in crime-fiction circles, and this fifteenth entry in the series does not disappoint.” Booklist
Praise for TROUBLE IS WHAT I DO
"Gritty . . . The plot soars . . . Few mystery writers can examine issues of racehow it divides and binds peopleas clearly and unflinchingly as Walter Mosley."Oline Cogdill, Associated Press
"Great stuff . . . The vibrant characters and pulsating dialogue are primo Mosley."Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review