In 2007’s Blonde Faith, set in 1967, Easy Rawlins drove drunkenly off a cliff in what his creator indicated was likely his last appearance. Now, after two months of sliding in and out of consciousness, Easy begins the long journey back to the living, in Mosley’s superb 12th mystery featuring his iconic sleuth. Saved by Ray “Mouse” Alexander and the ministrations of Mama Jo, Easy is asked by Mouse to find Evander “Little Green” Noon, who went clubbing on the Sunset Strip and disappeared. Weakened but determined to keep moving, Easy is buoyed by Mama Jo’s potent brew she calls “Gator’s Blood” and the support of numerous friends, including Martin Martins and Jackson Blue. Things are changing in L.A., and Easy finds hope in the hippie culture. In the course of his search for Little Green, Easy earns an astonished accolade from Blue, who says he never thought he’d see the day “when Raymond Alexander had to tell Easy Rawlins to hold back.” If there were an Edgar for best comeback player, Easy Rawlins would be a shoo-in. 8-city author tour. Agent: Gloria Loomis, Watkins Loomis Agency. (May)
“Mosley writes like a slumming angel, and his evocation of mid-century L.A. is worth savoring.” —The Detroit News
“Faster, smarter and more gutsy than any of its predecessors. . . . Mosley writes mysteries, but they’re also literary jewels and priceless social history.”
—The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Mosley is never better than when he’s got a juicy cut of history to chew on, and the hippie counterculture of the late ’60s perfectly feeds his style.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Mosley’s project, like James Ellroy’s, like Chester Himes’s, has always been to use the genre to explore history and racial politics. He’s a thinker and a polemicist and not just a mystery guy.” —Los Angeles Times
“Rawlins himself is at the heart of the series’ appeal: a well-read auto-didact and man of action, father of found children and spouse to no one who sometimes sees his double life, divided between the land of law and the underworld.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“The Easy Rawlins novels. . . . have never been mere whodunits. Taken together, they are nothing less than a history of race relations in post-World War II Los Angeles. Little Green more than lives up to the high standard the author has set.”
“The mix of hardboiled detective narrative and social philosophizing on African American life . . . [is what] makes Easy such an enduring figure and his comeback so welcome.” —The Houston Chronicle
“[A] major event for crime-fiction fans. . . . Mosley returns here to doing what he does best: setting the pain and pleasure of individual lives, lived mostly in L.A.’s black community, within an instantly recognizable historical moment and allowing the two to feed off one another.” —Booklist
“Superb. . . . If there were an Edgar for best comeback player, Easy Rawlins would be a shoo-in.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Rawlins, Mouse, and the world they live in have as many sharp, hard surfaces as ground obsidian. But Mosley gives them an additional facet. Whereas the traditional hard-boiled detective is a lonely, solitary figure, Rawlins is surrounded by a family of his own making, an adopted, makeshift, multi-ethnic family that reflects and prefigures the realities of modern America.” —Tulsa World
“Mosley is a master of historical setting and atmosphere, and he does a dazzling job of capturing the 1960s vibe of the Strip, from the free-spirited innocence of the flower children to the sinister glint of those who prey upon them.” —Tampa Bay Times
“[In Easy,] Mosley has created a flesh-and-blood man who transcends the page and walks forever in our imaginations.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“A powerful writer, with such well-honed prose and so strong a sense of place that his books are always entertaining.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Unraveling the puzzles . . . is almost as enjoyable as marveling at the author’s nimble mind, and discovering, yet again, that the prolific Mosley has many more tales to tell.”
—The Boston Globe
Evander “Little Green” Noon has gone missing, and Easy Rawlins is pulled into the mystery by sidekick Raymond “Mouse” Alexander. The African American PI, who knows the Los Angeles streets, is the go-to guy to find Evander, but a violent car accident leaves him incapacitated. Local shaman Mama Jo hands Easy a weird concoction called Gator’s Blood that provides miraculous strength. Easy then calls on his acute street smarts and embarks on his mission to find Evander. Following the 1967 Watts riots, the City of Angels is flush with hippies and racial tension, making it a challenge for Easy to get straight answers. He learns that finding a lost person is just the beginning of a complicated puzzle that will challenge his deep sense of loyalty.
Verdict Mosley’s latest addition to this series (after Blonde Faith) is a must-have for hard-boiled mystery fans as Easy and Mouse give the late Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Hawk a run for their money. Street lit staples of betrayal, drug use, and abusive cops are part of this taut tale that rises above other mysteries through its strong African American protagonist. I want Easy Rawlins watching my back. [An eight-city tour.]Rollie Welch, Cleveland P.L.
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The 1967 Watts riots seem to have slowed down time for Easy Rawlins, who returns only a few weeks after his apparent death at the end of Blonde Faith (2007). That climactic car crash didn't kill Easy, but it left him weak as a kitten and prone to disturbing dreams of past and future. Only repeated drafts of Gator's Blood, the home brew cooked up by healer Mama Jo, allow Easy to escape the ministrations of martinet nurse Antigone Fowler and take to the streets again. As usual, his mission is straightforward--to find Evander Noon, whose mother, Timbale, is a friend of Easy's dangerous best bud Mouse Alexander--but his path is winding. His information takes him to Lula Success' brothel, where Evander dallied before leaving in the company of Maurice Potter. Coco, a prostitute born Helen Ray, leads Easy to Evander, who's been kidnapped by three gangsters and tied to a tree, and the pair, acting swiftly, free Evander and bring him home to his mother. But the conflicts that made those thugs snatch Evander obviously haven't been resolved by his rescue. In order to protect the wayward young man, Easy will have to find the links between insurance giant Proxy Nine, oil company TexOk, and the likes of sneak thief Charles Rumor and all-around nasty operator Haman Rose. Mosley is much more interested in bringing these characters and the social forces they represent to life than in connecting the dots. The result works better as anthropology than mystery, with barely a teaspoon of plot to a monstrous deal of aphorism Whether it's the lingering effects of his near-fatal accident or the infusions of Gator's Blood, Easy sounds less like Watts' signature private eye than one of the visionaries from Mosley's Crosstown to Oblivion novellas (Stepping Stone/The Love Machine, 2013, etc.).