Free Textbooks Devil in a Blue Dress – Albawater.co

In Los Angeles of the late s, Easy Rawlins, a black war veteran, has just been 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 blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs


10 thoughts on “Devil in a Blue Dress

  1. Dan Schwent Dan Schwent says:

    When a jobless World War II vet named Easy Rawlins is hired to find a woman, he finds himself ensnared in a web of lies and murder Can Easy find Daphne Monet without becoming another victim And what secrets is Daphne Monet carrying Devil in a Blue Dress is a throwback to the pioneers of noir like Hammett, Chandler, and Cain Only this PI is black and his case takes place in the black Los Angeles of 1948 Mosley s black LA is just as vivid as Chandler s seedy Hollywood underbelly.Easy s support When a jobless World War II vet named Easy Rawlins is hired to find a woman, he finds himself ensnared in a web of lies and murder Can Easy find Daphne Monet without becoming another victim And what secrets is Daphne Monet carrying Devil in a Blue Dress is a throwback to the pioneers of noir like Hammett, Chandler, and Cain Only this PI is black and his case takes place in the black Los Angeles of 1948 Mosley s black LA is just as vivid as Chandler s seedy Hollywood underbelly.Easy s supporting cast is as colorful as anything Hammett or Chandler ever crafted Frank Green, Joppy, Junior, Dupree, and the rest DeWitt Albright is a sociopathic villain, the most frightening kind, and Easy s pal Mouse isn t much higher on the food chain.Easy is a conflicted character, not wanting to get too deep into the web of murder surrounding Daphne Monet but unable to stop himself Mouse provides a nice contrast to Easy in that he s not conflicted in the least As far as Bad Ass Friends go, Mouse is really high on my list He s unhinged but likes Easy enough to follow him anywhere as long as Easy doesn t get in his way.Owing to its early noir roots, the case is suitably serpentine Once I assumed everyone except Easy was a liar, it was one hell of a ride to the finish.The prose was good I d say it owedto Hammett than Chandler I ll be interested to see where the series goes from here considering how many of the players were dead by the end.Four out of five stars I think I ve found the series that will eat up a portion of my 2014 crime reading


  2. Brown Girl Reading Brown Girl Reading says:

    This was a great start for me I can t wait to get to the second Easy Rawlins The best thing about this novel was the ambiance and the character of Easy Rawlins So well done I want to watch the movie to compare I recommend Devil in the Blue Dress to anybody looking for a detective novel with a little something else This detective novel takes place in 1940s California with all the fear a black man living in that time period might have to go through Having lost his mortgage, Rawlins accepts This was a great start for me I can t wait to get to the second Easy Rawlins The best thing about this novel was the ambiance and the character of Easy Rawlins So well done I want to watch the movie to compare I recommend Devil in the Blue Dress to anybody looking for a detective novel with a little something else This detective novel takes place in 1940s California with all the fear a black man living in that time period might have to go through Having lost his mortgage, Rawlins accepts a job to look for a white woman who hangs in black bars Rawlins feeling pressured to take the job does and the mystery kicks off.


  3. Joe Valdez Joe Valdez says:

    My case study of 20th century detective fiction continues with Devil in a Blue Dress, the debut of Ezekiel Easy Rawlins, World War II veteran and homeowner in South Central Los Angeles who often getstrouble than he bargained for taking jobs to help bad people recover coveted items Walter Mosley has published sixteen Easy Rawlins mysteries to date and in some ways, L.A no longer seems like the pressure cooker it was when this novel arrived in 1990 In other ways, the city remains the sa My case study of 20th century detective fiction continues with Devil in a Blue Dress, the debut of Ezekiel Easy Rawlins, World War II veteran and homeowner in South Central Los Angeles who often getstrouble than he bargained for taking jobs to help bad people recover coveted items Walter Mosley has published sixteen Easy Rawlins mysteries to date and in some ways, L.A no longer seems like the pressure cooker it was when this novel arrived in 1990 In other ways, the city remains the same Easy s voice and the world building here arethan enough for me to recommend it, but I came away unsatisfied with the story and how passively it developed.Set in June 1948, the novel opens with Easy wetting his whistle at Joppy s bar in Watts, having been laid off from his job as an aircraft assemblyman A native of Fifth Ward in Houston, Easy chose to prove his manhood in the army, fighting in North Africa, Italy, and finally, the Battle of the Bulge under General Patton Like a lot of black folk after the war, Easy migrated to L.A for jobs in the aircraft industry and made enough to buy his first home, which is he home proud of A white man walks into the bar and Joppy, a former heavyweight boxer who is both familiar and nervous around the man, calls Easy over to introduce them.DeWitt Albright reveals that he used to be a lawyer in Georgia and now specializes in favors for friends, or friends of friends Joppy later reassures Easy that while Mr Albright is a tough man who runs in rough company, he s no gangster, just a man looking for a girl Driving downtown that evening to Albright s office, Easy is given a photograph of a pretty young white woman Albright tells him is named Daphne Monet She frequents hangouts in Watts and Albright needs a man who might seem to belong in those hangouts to get a line on where she is He says Daphne was last seen at an illegal club Easy knows offers him a hundred dollars in advance Easy goes to work John s place was a speakeasy before they repealed Prohibition But by 1948 we had legitimate bars all over L.A John liked the speakeasy business though, and he had been in so much trouble with the law that City Hall wouldn t have given him a license to drive, much less to sell liquor So John kept paying off the police and running an illegal nightclub through the back door of a little market at the corner of Central Avenue and Eighty ninth Place You could walk into that store any evening up until three in the morning to find Hattie Parsons sitting behind the candy counter They didn t have many groceries, and no fresh produce or dairy goods, but she d sell you what was there and if you knew the right words, or were a regular, then she d let you in the club through the back door But if you thought that you should be able to get in on account of your name, or your clothes or maybe your bankbook, well, Hattie kept a straight razor in her apron pocket and her nephew, Junior Fornay, sat right behind the door.Easy asks Junior if he s seen a white girl named Delia or Dahlia He gets the sense that Junior is lying to him, but working the room, can t get anyone to say they ve seen the white woman he s looking for He has drinks with a co worker named Dupree and his girl friend, a skinny but charisma pulsing dame named Coretta Helping her drag Dupree home, Easy gets familiar with Coretta in the living room, where she reveals she knows who Daphne s boyfriend is, a liquor truck hijacker named Frank Green Easy returns home and finds a letter transcribed by his childhood friend from Fifth Ward, Raymond Mouse Alexander Easy finds himself drawn to his closet, either to pack or to hide I ran away from Mouse and Texas to go to the army and then later to L.A I hated myself I signed up to fight in the way to prove to myself that I was a man Before we launched the attack on D Day I was frightened but I fought I fought despite the fear The first time I fought a German hand t0 hand I screamed for help the whole time I was killing him His dead eyes stared at me a full five minutes before I let go of his throat.The only time in my life I had ever been completely free from fear was when I ran with Mouse He was so confident that there was no room for fear Mouse was barely five foot six but he d go up against a man Dupree s size and you know I d bet on the Mouse to walk away from it He could put a knife in a man s stomach and ten minutes later sit down to a plate of spaghetti.I didn t want to write Mouse and I didn t want to let it lie In my mind he had such power that I felt I had to do whatever he wanted But I had dreams that didn t have me running in the streets any I was a man of property and I wanted to leave my wild days behind.Who Daphne Monet is, how Easy finds her and the whats it that warrants the obsession of so many men starting with Mr Albright largely becomes second, third and fourth fiddle to what really makes Devil In a Blue Dress jam and that s Walter Mosley taking us through the streets of South Central in 1948 While Easy is arrested and interrogated by police, discovers a corpse, gets shot at by gangsters and is summoned before the city s powerful, Mosley s detective story tells it all from the point of view of a black man Details and texture that a Raymond Chandler or a Dashiell Hammett never had access to jumps off the page Characters are well drawn Prose is often magnificent Talking with Mr Todd Carter was a strange experience I mean, there I was, a Negro in a rich white man s office, talking to him like we were best friends even closer I could tell that he didn t have the fear or contempt that most white people showed when they dealt with me.It was a strange experience but I had seen it before Mr Todd Carter was so rich that he didn t even consider me in human terms He could tell me anything I could have been a prized dog that he knelt to and hugged when he felt low.It was the worst kind of racism The fact that he didn t even recognize our difference showed that he didn t care one damn about me But I didn t have the time to worry about it I just watched him move his lips about lost love until, finally, I began to see him as some strange being Like a baby who grows to man size and terrorizes his poor parents with his strength and stupidity.The Easy Rawlins mysteries have one of the best, or worst, examples of deus ex machina that I ve ever come across Mouse shows up in the nick of time to bail Easy out of trouble Mosley s private detective gets hurt, but we sense that no injury will come to him as long as his gangster friend is close by Things just seem to happen to Easy, most without him even present, so corpses and money and the why of it all don t seem to matter much The world visualized here is so well described I could taste it, but the lack of a compelling narrative doomed a high quality 1995 film starring Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle as Mouse, in his breakout role and Jennifer Beals Word count 85,820 words


  4. Bobby Underwood Bobby Underwood says:

    Devil in a Blue Dress introduced Walter Mosley s hero, Ezekiel Easy Rawlins to the reading public A fast flowing narrative with a story somewhat complex in a bare bones kind of way, Mosley takes us into Raymond Chandler country Los Angeles after the war But this is a slightly different perspective because Easy happens to be a black man He becomes a private eye of sorts in order to locate a blonde French girl named Daphne Monet for a white man he doesn t quite trust Daphne has a penchant Devil in a Blue Dress introduced Walter Mosley s hero, Ezekiel Easy Rawlins to the reading public A fast flowing narrative with a story somewhat complex in a bare bones kind of way, Mosley takes us into Raymond Chandler country Los Angeles after the war But this is a slightly different perspective because Easy happens to be a black man He becomes a private eye of sorts in order to locate a blonde French girl named Daphne Monet for a white man he doesn t quite trust Daphne has a penchant for black men, and haunts the world of dusty underground bars and hole in the wall jazz joints Easy knows all too well.Finding her may not be Easy s only problem, however, as someone is out to kill him, prompting him to employ his old pal, Mouse, to watch his back while he investigates Mouse is sharply drawn by Mosley as an amoral yet likable killer deadly as an enemy, unequaled as a friend Easy is portrayed by Mosley as a decent man who understands his world and his place in it, but doesn t like it one bit Like Ross Macdonald s, Lew Archer, Easy iscomfortable being an observer of human cruelty and frailty than a participant.Easy s attraction to the beautiful white girl, Daphne Monet, and his uneasiness about what may really be going on, underscores a complex and riveting narrative in which everyone might just have underestimated Easy Mosley makes the larger story here not the case, but the story about a good man in a not so good world, trying to detach himself from it all, only to discover it is part of who he is Mosley s Mouse is unforgettable, and in some respects what Hawk is to Spenser in Robert B Parker s series.Daphne hasto hide in this novel than just money, and its truth is the impetus for everything that happens There is murder here, and greed, and something Easy has seen way too much of, even for a black man in post WWII Los Angeles sorrow This is a fine read and a perfect introduction to Easy Rawlins White Butterfly might be a slightly better book, in my opinion, but Devil in a Blue Dress is highly recommended to mystery fans


  5. carol. carol. says:

    If you don t immediately start humming the song when you see this title, play it while you read It is a classic Rawlins is just trying to get by Laid off from his job building jets, he needs to make payment on his mortgage or face the loss of his house Drowning his woes at a tiny bar above a meatpacking warehouse, his friend and bar owner Joppy hooks him up with DeWitt Albright Easy can t help but notice that Joppy, an ex heavyweight fighter, is nervous, a su If you don t immediately start humming the song when you see this title, play it while you read It is a classic Rawlins is just trying to get by Laid off from his job building jets, he needs to make payment on his mortgage or face the loss of his house Drowning his woes at a tiny bar above a meatpacking warehouse, his friend and bar owner Joppy hooks him up with DeWitt Albright Easy can t help but notice that Joppy, an ex heavyweight fighter, is nervous, a sure tip off there s something wrong But Dewitt s a businessman with a simple job for Easy he offers him a hundred dollars to find a white girl known to hang out in the African American community In 1948, that sthan a couple mortgage payments to tide Easy over while he looks for his next job And just exactly what kind of business is it he does I mean, is he a shirt salesman or what They gotta sayin for his line a work, Ease What s that Whatever the market can bear He smiled, looking like a hungry bear himself Whatever the market can bear Dewitt shows Easy a picture of the missing girl Originally black and white, it s been touched up in color After staring at her a full minute I decided that she d be worth looking for if you could get her to smile at you that way Everybody s seen her but no one wants to say where she is unless they get a piece of the action Unfortunately, the devil has a blue dress, no doubt, and she seeds a trail of destruction in her wake Part of the reason she breathes scandal is that her relationships transcend race, taboo at the time Part of the reason is that the crowd she runs with includes pimps and underworld businessmen.Soon the bodies start piling up, and the cops haul Easy in But Easy fought in World War II, and if there is one thing he can t tolerate, it is disrespect He decides to take control of the situation instead of letting himself be played Somewhere along the way I had developed the feeling that I wasn t going to outlive the adventure I was having There was no way out but to run, and I couldn t run, so I decided to milk all those white people for all the money they d let go of His detective work takes him around various hangouts in L.A, including Ricardo s, a rough bar that you don t go into without an inside man Joppy had taken me to Ricardo s a few times after we locked up his bar It was a serious kind of place peopled with jaundice eyed bad men who smoked and drank heavily while they waited for a crime they could commit Unsuccessful, he heads for a cut at the local barbershop, sure source of news and a neutral zone in the black community Devil in a Blue Dress won Moseley the Shamus award for first PI mystery, and it is easy ha ha to see why Succinct but encompassing descriptions that create a feel for L.A., the mood of post WWII America, and an even better sense of what it felt like to be poor and black with the deck stacked against you The experience of race weaves in and out of the storyline without being dominating or self pitying, and has all theimpact for being so dispassionate It affects Easy s life in so very many ways that it is an indirect commentary on race relations in the late 40s The dialect has the flavor of Easy s southern heritage, contrasting with thecrisp language in his head It makes for a nice reading balance, as it can be a reading challenge when dialect used for an entire book This was an enjoyable, fast moving story that put Mosley on my authors to watch list Four easy stars.And, of course, there s the movie Cross posted at


  6. Kemper Kemper says:

    Ezekiel Easy Rawlins fought his way across Europe as a decorated soldier during World War II, but in post war Los Angeles, he s a second class citizen because he s black When Easy is fired from a good job due to racism from his boss, he finds himself on the verge of losing the small house he loves A friend of Easy s hooks him up with a white man named Albright who has an opportunity to make some quick cash.Albright is looking for a white girl named Daphne Monet who is known to hang out in bl Ezekiel Easy Rawlins fought his way across Europe as a decorated soldier during World War II, but in post war Los Angeles, he s a second class citizen because he s black When Easy is fired from a good job due to racism from his boss, he finds himself on the verge of losing the small house he loves A friend of Easy s hooks him up with a white man named Albright who has an opportunity to make some quick cash.Albright is looking for a white girl named Daphne Monet who is known to hang out in black clubs Since Albright won t get any answers if he goes looking for her in those places, he wants Easy to find her and is offering 100 for a week s work That s enough to pay his bills, and even though Albright makes Easy extremely nervous, he doesn t see another way to keep his house.Easy begins looking for Daphne, but he quickly finds himself the target of cops, rich white men and a dangerous hijacker Fortunately for Easy, he has one of the staples of crime fiction in his corner a Bad Ass Criminal Friend Raymond Mouse Alexander is a cheerful little psychopath who has a quick trigger finger and a nose for money, and he s evendangerous than the people Easy is already up against.Mosley created a great character with Easy In some ways, he s an average everyman, just looking to get by during a time when his race makes him a frequent target so he doesn t see the percentage in looking for extra trouble, but Easy also frequently gets fed up with the attitudes of the time and will demand respect when he feels he s being slighted He can also be extremely dangerous when pushed Since he isn t a trained detective, Easy finds out what he needs by tapping the many relationships he has within the black community You won t find Easy dusting for fingerprints, but you may see him gossiping at the barber shop Mosley did a superior job of recreating the world of Watts in 1948 and it s a lot of fun to read about Easy moving through this environment.Mouse is also a great twist on the classic Bad Ass Criminal Friend concept you see in most detective books Usually, the BACFs are loyal to theirlaw abiding friends and follow their lead when their services are called for In this case, Easy is actually terrified of Mouse and with good reason They may be old friends, but if Mouse sees an angle to make money, then he d kill Easy or anyone else that stood in his way without a second thought Dealing with Mouse is like handling nitroglycerin it can be useful but if you re not careful you ll end up splattered all over the walls.This was a great start to a good series The movie version with Denzel Washington is also pretty good with a terrific performance by Don Cheadle as Mouse


  7. Richard Richard says:

    This book is one of my favorite detective novels Ezekiel Easy Rawlins is a young black WWII veteran who has lost his job and is eager to jump at an opportunity when a shady businessman hires him to locate a pretty white woman named Daphne Monet, who is known for gettin her party on at black nightclubs.This is not only one of the best debut detective novels, but also features what I think is one of the best literary characters, especially in the detective genre I think that Easy is a wonderf This book is one of my favorite detective novels Ezekiel Easy Rawlins is a young black WWII veteran who has lost his job and is eager to jump at an opportunity when a shady businessman hires him to locate a pretty white woman named Daphne Monet, who is known for gettin her party on at black nightclubs.This is not only one of the best debut detective novels, but also features what I think is one of the best literary characters, especially in the detective genre I think that Easy is a wonderful character and dissimilar to other noir detectives in a number of ways He is a totally reluctant investigator He doesn t have an office or a secretary, and proves to be great at the job because of his wits, his relationships, his awareness of race and being in touch with his community And you can actually believe why women are attracted to him It s great witnessing the change in him as he uncovers secrets that he is unprepared for I love how evocative the book is of 1940 s inner city Los Angeles and it s variety of characters, especially in the South Central area It has a complicated, intriguing plot, and because of Walter Mosley s soulful and effortless prose, this mystery never got boring.An awesome running start to a solid series that evolves in great ways The series should definitely be read in order so you can enjoy Easy s personal and growth as he acquires new friends and family, but other standout novels in the series include A Little Yellow Dog, as well as the later novels like Little Scarlet, Cinnamon Kiss, and Blonde Faith


  8. Bonnie Shores Bonnie Shores says:

    Ezekiel Easy Rawlins is a proud and unapologetic black man in 1940s Los Angeles He has just been laid off from his factory job because he let his independence show too openly toward his white supervisor While hanging out at a local bar, a menacing, heavy set white man dressed all in white approaches him with a job Because the bartender vouches for him, Easy takes the job After all, he has a mortgage to pay What is this job Find some 22 year old blond knockout, Daphne Monet, who frequen Ezekiel Easy Rawlins is a proud and unapologetic black man in 1940s Los Angeles He has just been laid off from his factory job because he let his independence show too openly toward his white supervisor While hanging out at a local bar, a menacing, heavy set white man dressed all in white approaches him with a job Because the bartender vouches for him, Easy takes the job After all, he has a mortgage to pay What is this job Find some 22 year old blond knockout, Daphne Monet, who frequents jazz clubs and has been seen in the company of blacks, for an unnamed client Seems simple enough But as Easy starts investigating and events unfold, we see the world through his eyes, where rich and powerful white men are dangerous and mysterious.Easy is not one drawn to violence He ll use it if he has to, but he doesn t lead with his fists Not so his childhood friend, Mouse Easy isn t happy that his old friend showed up uninvited, but it turns out to be a good thing that he did Despite his tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, Mouse is a likable character who can almost make you laugh while he s beating someone half to death And with Mouse around, Easy doesn t have to get his hands dirty.Easy Rawlins is a character we can root for He s well rounded, but flawed He has doubts, insecurities, and even falls victim to his own heart from time to time He didn t choose to be a private investigator the looming threat of poverty is what keeps him going But he s good at it The plot moves along pretty quickly with all the tried and true red herrings, misdirections, dead ends, and desperate moments of classic mystery fiction


  9. Duane Duane says:

    Having read Raymond Chandler s The Big Sleep earlier this year, it s easy to make the comparison to this novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley After all, they re both hard boiled crime novels, both set in Los Angeles in the 1st half of the 20th century, and both debut their famous private eye protagonists, Philip Marlowe and Easy Rawlins, who would appear in multiple novels, and even on the big screen But that s pretty much where the similarities end Easy Rawlins pwas an African Amer Having read Raymond Chandler s The Big Sleep earlier this year, it s easy to make the comparison to this novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley After all, they re both hard boiled crime novels, both set in Los Angeles in the 1st half of the 20th century, and both debut their famous private eye protagonists, Philip Marlowe and Easy Rawlins, who would appear in multiple novels, and even on the big screen But that s pretty much where the similarities end Easy Rawlins pwas an African American living in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles in the late 1940s Unlike Marlowe, he had no training as a private eye, no background at all Out of work, he takes the job of finding someone, the beautiful woman in the blue dress, and his life is started on a new path This novel was written in the 1990s which surprised me Mosley does a good job of capturing the feel of life in 1940s Watts, the prejudice of white vs black, police vs black, the struggle, not to get ahead, just to get by The story, the mystery, was riveting but easy to follow Easy Rawlins was a very likeable and believable character


  10. Thomas Thomas says:

    4.5 starsThis is the first book in the Easy Rawlins series I had to get it on interlibrary loan I have been reading rave reviews of Mosley s Easy Rawlins series for years This one won the Shamus award for best first PI novel Easy is a black war veteran in 1948 Los Angeles He just lost his job and he needs money to pay his next mortgage payment Then a job offer comes his way He is offered 100 to find a white woman who likes to frequent black bars and listen to jazz Dewitt Albright explai 4.5 starsThis is the first book in the Easy Rawlins series I had to get it on interlibrary loan I have been reading rave reviews of Mosley s Easy Rawlins series for years This one won the Shamus award for best first PI novel Easy is a black war veteran in 1948 Los Angeles He just lost his job and he needs money to pay his next mortgage payment Then a job offer comes his way He is offered 100 to find a white woman who likes to frequent black bars and listen to jazz Dewitt Albright explains that he can t go in to these bars and ask questions, because he is a white man Easy realizes that Albright is a dangerous man, but he needs the money and takes the job.Easy does find her, but several people die and he is a suspect in the murders Think of a tough PI like Phillip Marlowe and mix in a racist police department for a great read I finished it in 2 days.There is an interview with Mosley on CSPAN, a US cable channel You can watch it on their websitebooktv.org