By Walter Mosley, Special to CNN
updated 8:26 AM EST, Thu January 26, 2012
GOP candidate Newt Gingrich appears at a campaign event on January 25 in Cocoa, Florida
Editor’s note: Walter Mosley is the author of more than 34 books, including the mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins and his latest featuring Leonid McGill. He has won an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His newest book is “All I Did Was Shoot My Man” (Riverhead Books).
(CNN) — Newt Gingrich is a political opportunist. His job is to pack as much powerfully charged meaning into every sentence as he can, which makes him a working poet. So he knows full well that calling someone a “food stamp president” brings up the working person’s fear, looming reality, and in some cases the actual experience, of unemployment — while making a shout-out to racism and affixing a stigma to poverty. All the while hiding behind the symbol of a flag.
By James H. Burnett III | JANUARY 25, 2012
Given his potent combination of wildly colorful yet believable characters, it’s understandable that some fans of novelist Walter Mosley have yet to forgive him for apparently killing off Easy Rawlins, his most popular character, in the 2007 bestseller “Blonde Faith.’’
Rawlins was, fans argued, not just a character they could envision through Mosley’s words, but also a character they could relate to, one they wish they could have known.
Illustration by Christoph Niemann
By Marilyn Stasio, Published: January 20, 2012
A big city never looks the same once you’ve walked its streets with a hard-boiled private eye. Preferably someone as perceptive and thoughtful as Leonid McGill, the shady but honorable bruiser-for-hire in an addictive series of New York crime novels by Walter Mosley. A former mob fixer who has gone straight, McGill doesn’t so much walk the city as case it for danger. Keeping pace with him is as much an education as an adventure.
Mosley comes from the Raymond Chandler pick-up-sticks school of plot construction, so like the three previous books in this series, ALL I DID WAS SHOOT MY MAN (Riverhead, $26.95) is quirky by design. The inspired title comes from the mouth of Zella Grisham, who shot her boyfriend when she caught him in her bed — “under the quilt that my Aunt Edna made for me” — with her best friend. Although the no-good cheater survived, Zella did eight years hard time on evidence planted by McGill that falsely implicated her in the $58 million robbery of a Wall Street firm. Having engineered her early release, he thinks he has atoned for one more of the past crimes that still haunt him — until hit men start coming after Zella, looking for the heist money she supposedly squirreled away.
Astrid Stawiarz/GETTY IMAGES – Novelist Walter Mosley attends the 25th annual Brooklyn tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House.
By Kevin Nance, Published: January 20
As Bill Clinton pointed out just before being elected president in 1992, the crime novels of Walter Mosley are first and foremost crackling good stories, full of mystery, suspense and prose like good soul food: hearty, stick-to-your-ribs sentences with a spicy aftertaste. Their nutrient value is fortified — particularly in the case of the books featuring the African American sleuths Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins and Fearless Jones, both set in Los Angeles in the 1950s — by layers of insight into race relations in a time when a black detective’s life was never in so much danger as when he stepped into a bar full of white people.
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