Devil In A Blue Dress

Mosley, Walter

Published by Norton, 1990
ISBN 10: 0393028542 / ISBN 13: 9780393028546
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New York. 1990. Norton. 1st Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 54. 219 pages. July 1990. hardcover. Jacket design by Hugh O'Neill. Jacket illustration by John Jinks. 0393028542. keywords: January 12. inventory # 17110. FROM THE PUBLISHER - The time is 1948; the town is Los Angeles; the hero is Easy Rawlins, a tough black war veteran just out of a job at a defense plant. The mortgage paymentís coming due, so Easy takes on some detective work from a silkily menacing white gangster, Dewitt Albright. The assignment: find the whereabouts of blonde femme fatale Daphne Monet, a singer known to frequent black jazz joints not usually hospitable to white patrons. Easyís quest for the bewitching Daphne takes him (and the reader) on a vivid tour of forties L.A., from the barber shops and raucous clubs of Watts, to the elegant boardrooms and residences of a white political establishment with a great deal to hide. Once found, Daphne Monet proves an easier woman to locate than to fathom. She incarnates the promise of love and the threat of violent death. With his sardonic, gleefully murderous sidekick Mouse to guide him, Easy enters the dangerously complex moral territory of race relations and necessary violence, where questions of right and wrong depend for their answers on just whose side the law is on. DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS mixes the hard-boiled poetry of Raymond Chandler with the social realism of Richard Wright. Its narrative swings with the complex rhythms of modern urban life. Itís a smashing entertainment - and more. Ď DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS is a dark, delicious tale of post-World War Two L.A., city of sadness and disillusion. Walter Mosley weaves his own kind of magic: heís the chanter of our mean modern times.í - Jerome Charyn. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis:

It's 1948, and Easy Rawlins is on the trail of a missing woman in South Central L.A.

Devil in a Blue Dress honors the tradition of the classic American detective novel by bestowing on it a vivid social canvas and the freshest new voice in crime writing in years, mixing the hard-boiled poetry of Raymond Chandler with the racial realism of Richard Wright to explosive effect.

Review: 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

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Devil In A Blue Dress
Publisher: Norton
Publication Date: 1990
Binding: hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.

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