Here's the story. I'm on the email list for Keplers. So I see all of their upcoming events (and there are a bunch of them year-round). On June 16, Walter Mosley will be appearing, in conjunction with the NorCal division of the Mystery Writers of America. I didn't think much about it when I saw it. I had never read Mosley. And, of course, there are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of events each year that I don't attend. So why now? The short version is that Nicole told me that if I want to go to the event, she would send me an ARC. She recommended that I read #1 and decide if I want to go ahead with the latest edition. Bottom line is that I liked it. I didn't love it, but I did give it a 2.5/4. Good enough to see the main character's development over 26 years and 14 books.
So who is Easy Rawlins? Here's the blurb on the back cover:
Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Monet, a blond beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.
1. The book comes across a little hard-boiled, like the one Raymond Chandler book I read.
2. I didn't find out until page 175 that Easy was planning on a new profession: "It was those two days more than any other time that made me a detective."
3. Easy learned proper English but had to speak in the dialect in order to mix with both the black and white communities.
4. Mosley knows how to write:
"The dark cracks twisting through the light marble looked like a web of blood vessels in a newborn baby's head."
"...he had her in tow like a child's toy wagon."
"She sized me up, putting her nose in the air like a leery dog checking out the new mailman..."
"Mouse frowned for just a second. It was like a small cloud passing quickly on a sunny day."
I have now signed up for Mosley's June 16 appearance. And I have to say I'm looking forward to it. Will I see (any of) you there?