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Walter Mosley On The Stories Of LA Told Through Easy Rawlins

In 1990, Walter Mosley first told the story of black postwar LA through Easy Rawlins, an Army vet turned private eye. It became Mosley’s best-known series. He discusses Easy’s creation and journey.
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Walter Mosley: ‘Donald Trump is a lazy, spoilt guy’

Walter Mosley

As his latest detective novel drops, the writer muses on Obama, the Clintons, and how his own father is like his celebrated protagonist, Easy Rawlins

During the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton flashed a copy of Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress and proclaimed the writer his favorite novelist, shooting Mosley to mainstream fame. Now Mosley’s legendary Los Angeles detective Ezekiel “Easy” Porterhouse Rawlins, played by Denzel Washington in a 1995 film adaptation of Devil in a Blue Dress, is celebrating his 25th anniversary in Mosley’s new novel, Charcoal Joe.

“Bill was a really smart guy. He knew my books better than I did,” Mosley says in his soothing baritone, talking to me from St Louis on Charcoal Joe’s release tour. “He read them very closely. We were sitting at dinner one day and he was talking about how the books were about migration. Clinton was talking about how these characters had moved, and in that new place had created a place of power.” Mosley says that he strongly disagrees with some of Clinton’s policies, though he remains a supporter.

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Walter Mosley Refuses to Be Boxed In

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Presents "Spotlight On Screenwriting: Boyz n the Hood 25th Anniversary Screening With John Singleton And Walter Mosley"

The prolific author of the Easy Rawlins series writes what about whatever he wants, even if he has to switch publishers to get it done.

BY: RONDA RACHA PENRICE
Posted: July 10, 2016

Walter Mosley’s website lists books he’s written. Right now there are 48: 43 fiction and five nonfiction. And later this year, he’ll add to the list—a highly intellectual book titled, Folding the Red Into the Black: Developing a Viable Untopia for Human Survival in the 21st Century, which is due out in October. “It’s a repudiation of both capitalism and socialism on another level,” he explains.

Charcoal Joe, his most recent work of fiction, which came out last month, is perhaps more familiar territory for most of us. It is Mosley’s latest from his Easy Rawlins mystery series. Back in 1995, Denzel Washington played Easy, and Don Cheadle, in a breakout role, played Mouse on the big screen in Devil in a Blue Dress. The last book in the series, Rose Gold, was published two years ago, and Rawlins is picking up from there. It’s Los Angeles in the late 1960s, where race and life intersect. Mosley has visited Rawlins’ life for 14 books now, and he hasn’t felt stuck.

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Good Day Book Club: Charcoal Joe

NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) – Author Walter Mosley has written 52 books that have been translated into 23 languages.

The prolific writer and the author behind the wildly popular mystery books, ‘Easy Rawlins,’ is out with his 14th installment of the series, ‘Charcoal Joe.’

“I like this book. I am very happy about it. This one is a good mystery. All the major characters from the Easy Rawlins sphere are in the book,” said Mosley.

Best-selling author Walter Mosley “I was not a good student”
Despite his success over the past several decades, Mosley’s rise to the top did not come in a traditional fashion.

“I’m not a big fan of research. I was not a good student and school is research, right? It turns out I am a good writer, but I did not start writing until I was 34. I got published when I was 38,” said Mosley.

The former computer programmer was sitting at work when he wrote: “on hot sticky days in southern Louisiana the fire ants swarm.”

The line was the beginning of his fiction writing career.

“I started writing. I met some people. One guy gave my book to his agent and he said let’s do it,” said Mosley.

Fans can meet the writer during the International Thriller Writers conference taking place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan through July 9. For more information, visit THRILLERFEST.COM.

(via fox5ny.com)

How Orlando media coverage helps Trump! Walter Mosley

How Orlando media coverage helps Trump! Walter Mosley

Political columnist Matt Rozsa opines on the impact of media coverage of the Orlando massacre–he says it’s helping Donald Trump. PLUS: comic Negin Farsad, with her new book How To Make White People Laugh. PLUS! Walter Mosley talks about his new Easy Rawlins mystery. With host Kris Welch.

(via kpfa.org)

5 New Books to Read this Week: June 14, 2016

Every Wednesday, we here at Criminal Element will put together a list of Staff Picks of the books that published the day before—sharing the ones that we are looking forward to reading the most!

Check back every Wednesday and see what we’re reading for the week!

Charcoal Joe, by Walter Mosley (Doubleday)

Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley’s indelible detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new detective agency and a new mystery to solve.

 Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds his life in transition. He’s ready—finally—to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he’s taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford “Whisper” Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy’s friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe’s friend’s son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man’s dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order.

Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet.

(via Criminal Element)

More ‘Easy’ detective work

Crime writer Walter Mosley to appear at Kepler’s to talk about newest mystery

by Michael Berry / Palo Alto Weekly

LWalter Mosley, Photo Credit: Marcia Wilsonife rarely goes smoothly for Ezekial “Easy” Rawlins. Chaos, racism and tragedy are part of the package of being a fictional African-American private detective in post-war Los Angeles.

Acclaimed crime novelist Walter Mosley has chronicled Easy’s ups and downs in 14 novels,
beginning in 1990 with “Devil in a Blue Dress.” The series starts in the Forties, but in the latest installment, “Charcoal Joe,” Mosley has brought his signature character up to 1968.

Mosley will appear in conversation with T. Geronimo Johnson, author of “Welcome to Braggsville,” at Kepler’s Books on June 16. The event is in partnership with 100 Black Men of the Bay Area and the NORCAL branch of Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

The author of 50 books, Mosley is a native of Los Angeles and resides in New York. In April, he was designated a Grand Master by the MWA, the first writer of color to be so recognized since the award was established in 1955.

Reached by phone in Los Angeles and asked about what accounts for Rawlins’ enduring appeal, Mosley paused before answering.

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Not So Easy Being Rawlins

Charcoal JoeVeteran storyteller Walter Mosley is back with another installment in the life and times of Easy Rawlins in Charcoal Joe. This is terrific news on several fronts: Easy is one of the finest characters in modern-day suspense fiction, complex and artfully drawn; the heroes and villains change sides with some regularity, including the main character; and the story offers more than its share of twists and turns to confound the reader. The titular Charcoal Joe is something of a legend in the circles of Los Angeles bad guys. Easy has stayed outside Joe’s sphere, but all that changes when he is tapped by his longtime frenemy Mouse to look into the murder charges against a young friend of Joe. Violence raises its ugly head, and our hero must take some serious evasive action to protect the lives of his family and loved ones. The Easy Rawlins saga has followed the landlord-turned-detective from the early post-World War II years through the Jim Crow 1950s and up to 1968 in this latest installment. The late ’60s were tumultuous times in Southern California, and Mosley deftly weaves social commentary into the narrative.

(via bookpage.com)

This week’s must-read books

This week’s must-read books

Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley
(Doubleday)

In Mosley’s latest Easy Rawlins mystery, it’s 1968 Los Angeles and Easy is working at a new detective agency. He meets Rufus Tyler, an old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe, who tells Easy about a young physicist, Dr. Seymour Braithwaite, who’s been arrested for murder — and asks Easy to clear his name. Soon, Easy’s life is falling to pieces around him, again.

(via nypost.com)

Oprah.com’s 60 Must-Read Books of the Summer: Charcoal Joe

What are you in the mood to read this summer? This year boasts an unusual volume of stories exploring the thrilling and thorny stuff that makes us human. We think of them as books that make a difference—every one of them worth the plunge!

Charcoal Joe, by Walter Mosley (Doubleday)

Charcoal Joe

By Walter Mosley
320 pages; Doubleday
Available at: Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | iBooks |IndieBound

 
It’s never easy being Easy Rawlins, especially when his main squeeze, Bonnie, cuts and runs just when he’s ready to pop the question. Next thing he knows, murder and intrigue are afoot, and we’re cruising the City of Angels in ’68, chock-full of degenerates, a few backsliding do-gooders, and everything in between. This is the 14th installment in Mosley’s celebrated mystery series. We say keep ’em coming.