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Shelf Awareness for Readers “And Sometimes I Wonder About You” Review

In 2009, when Walter Mosley launched his Leonid McGill detective series, there was some question as to how well the historical ambience of his Los Angeles and the in-your-face investigative style of his Easy Rawlins would travel to a new protagonist in contemporary New York City. With And Sometimes I Wonder About You (his fifth McGill novel, after All I Did Was Shoot My Man), Mosley proves that his talent and feel for the city streets–their violence, outsiders, racism, sex and chicanery–travel just fine. McGill is a short, mid-50s PI with a checkered criminal past, a pugilist’s big hands, friends in high and low places, and a tendency to find trouble when a pretty woman catches his attention.

In this book, his wife, Katrina, has been institutionalized after a suicide attempt; his long-time girlfriend, Aura, has told him to stay away out of respect for Katrina’s struggles; and a ravenous new young client, Marella, gives him all the bedroom action he can handle. Since running off with her big-bling engagement ring, Marella is hiding from her former fiancé’s hired thugs who have been threatening her life to get it back. Meanwhile, McGill’s adopted son, Twill, is in danger from a subterranean juvenile crime ring, led by a ruthless gangster, Pied Piper. And a laid-off accountant needs protection from Boston assassins because of the seedy dirt he accidentally uncovered about their wealthy boss’s son. McGill sums up his predicament: “There were three groups of killers after me or mine and three women I had feelings for. None of these people stayed in the right place or were likely to wait their turn.” Bodies pile up, wrongs are righted, lessons are learned. When Mosley’s good, he’s really good. And Sometimes I Wonder About You is one of his good ones.

—Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Discover: Mosley’s fifth Leonid McGill mystery features plenty of New York City crime and McGill punishment to keep readers going late into the night.

Doubleday, $26.95 hardcover, 9780385539180

(via Shelf-Awareness.com)

Book review: ‘And Sometimes I Wonder About You’

Never a dull moment with McGill

BY DREW GALLAGHER/FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR

And Sometimes I Wonder About You“And Sometimes I Wonder About You” is Walter Mosley’s 49th novel. Odds are that most readers will be only fortunate enough to read a handful of Mosley’s books, and that’s if their reading schedule allows them to ever read any at all. They should make room in that schedule. In fact, just about every time I finish a Mosley novel I think that a year spent reading only his books would be an interesting way to spend “A Year of Walter Mosley,” if you will.

But if you don’t have the time or inclination to read all 49 Mosley novels, “And Sometimes I Wonder About You” can serve as an example of what Mosley does exceptionally well—entertain the reader.

“And Sometimes . . .” is the fifth Leonid McGill mystery and finds that, although the New York City-based private investigator may be slowing down, his caseload is not. Work always seems to find McGill and with it usually comes a healthy dose of trouble and a muzzle or two placed on his temple or in his rib cage.

“I was beginning to detect a pattern in my life. This model of behavior was a hybrid of capitalist necessity and proletarian existentialist angst; or, more accurately, modern-day potentates and their anger-driven gunsels.”

Though McGill and his cases are always interesting, a lot of the fun in reading Mosley comes from his descriptions and language. For example: “. . . and a love seat made for very small lovers or maybe one fat-bottomed solipsist.” Shakespeare would have been proud of that line.

McGill always seems to be juggling three or four cases at a time, and when “And Sometimes . . . ” opens, it looks like he’s about to enter a short expanse of leisure time with nothing on his day planner—until the most beautiful woman he has ever seen takes a seat next to him on a train.

He knows she’s trouble from the moment he sets eyes on her, but McGill figures we all have to die someday, and there are much worse ways of going than in this woman’s company.

Of course the woman in the train comes with the anticipated trouble and then there’s his son, Twill, an aspiring PI like his father, who seems to have uncovered a city-wide ring of criminals more heinous and foul than any McGill has encountered previously.

The woman and the ring of criminals have more in common than one might anticipate, since they both require a lot of thinking over cognac and afford McGill very little sleep. It is, after all, a Walter Mosley novel.

Drew Gallagher is a freelance reviewer in Spotsylvania County.

(via fredricksburg.com)

NY Times Sunday Book Review: ‘And Sometimes I Wonder About You’

Walter Mosley breaks every rule in the private-detective-story stylebook in his new mystery featuring Leonid McGill, AND SOMETIMES I WONDER ABOUT YOU (Doubleday, $26.95). His New York sleuth’s disorderly domestic affairs keep threatening to overwhelm the crime elements, and a vital piece of the plot isn’t introduced until midway through the book. And when Mosley does wrap things up, he makes no effort to connect any of the multiple subplots.

So why the devotion? To begin with, McGill is one of the most humane (and likable) P.I.s in the business. He’s a short man, and every time a male character is introduced McGill automatically estimates his height. (“Just a centimeter or two north of six feet”; “Standing face to face, we were the same height”; “Medium-­sized. . . . but with bad posture.”) Although he hesitates to call himself a family man, he’s dedicated to his clinically depressed wife and the brood of grown children he considers his own. And despite being a hard man with a rough past, he does his best by his clients, even taking on the posthumous case of a despondent man he regrets turning away: “I could afford to do a good deed for some poor schlub down on his luck.” Read the rest of this entry »

Publisher’s Weekly Pick of the Week: And Sometimes I Wonder About You: A Leonid McGill Mystery

And Sometimes I Wonder About YouAnd Sometimes I Wonder About You: A Leonid McGill Mystery by Walter Mosley (Doubleday) – Leonid McGill slogs his way through a morass of personal and professional problems in Mosley’s outstanding fifth mystery featuring the New York City PI (after 2012’s All I Did Was Shoot My Man). People giving him trouble include a modern-day Fagin, who’s entangled with McGill’s son Twill in some criminal enterprises; the ex-fiancé of a woman McGill is involved with; and a client he rejected. Women have always complicated McGill’s life and continue to do so: his emotionally fragile wife, Katrina, is in a sanatorium after a failed suicide attempt; his sometime lover, Aura Ullman, is keeping her distance; and he’s attracted to the beautiful Marella Herzog, whom he meets on the train from Philadelphia to New York. McGill deals with his professional problems with a combination of brute force and wiliness, while the women in his life tie him in emotional knots. The return of his father, Tolstoy McGill, the left-wing revolutionary who abandoned his family years ago, roils McGill even more than the women.

And Sometimes I Wonder About You

And Sometimes I Wonder About You

And Sometimes I Wonder About You

A Leonid McGill Mystery

Available: May 12, 2015

About the Book: The welcome return of Leonid McGill, Walter Mosley’s NYC-based private eye, his East Coast foil to his immortal L.A.-based detective Easy Rawlins. As the Boston Globe raved, “A poignantly real character, [McGill is] not only the newest of the great fictional detectives, but also an incisive and insightful commentator on the American scene.”

In the fifth Leonid McGill novel, Leonid finds himself in an unusual pickle of trying to balance his cases with his chaotic personal life. Leonid’s father is still out there somewhere, and his wife is in an uptown sanitarium trying to recover from the deep depression that led to her attempted suicide in the previous novel. His wife’s condition has put a damper on his affair with Aura Ullman, his girlfriend. And his son, Twill, has been spending a lot of time out of the office with his own case, helping a young thief named Fortune and his girlfriend, Liza.

Meanwhile, Leonid is approached by an unemployed office manager named Hiram Stent to track down the whereabouts of his cousin, Celia, who is about to inherit millions of dollars from her father’s side of the family. Leonid declines the case, but after his office is broken into and Hiram is found dead, he gets reeled into the underbelly of Celia’s wealthy old-money family. It’s up to Leonid to save who he can and incriminate the guilty; all while helping his son finish his own investigation; locating his own father; reconciling (whatever that means) with his wife and girlfriend; and attending the wedding of Gordo, his oldest friend.

Author Mosley to present ‘contrarian’ lecture at UNLV

Mosley will visit Las Vegas May 7 to speak at a program sponsored by the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute. The program begins at 7 p.m. in the ballroom of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Student Center. Tickets are free at the door.

Learn more…