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Walter Mosley’s ‘Charcoal Joe’: Easy Rawlins is back

Charcoal Joe, by Walter Mosley (Doubleday)

By Neely Tucker
The Washington Post

Walter Mosley’s latest Easy Rawlins novel, “Charcoal Joe,” comes on the heels of the author winning the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America in April. No one familiar with the quality and quantity of Mosley’s creative output was surprised by this honor. His output encompasses more than four dozen books — including 14 Rawlins novels — science fiction, nonfiction and essays. He’s been awarded PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Still, in some ways, the full measure of his achievement can only be gauged by seeing him at the Edgars, as the Mystery Writers’ honors are known. I watched the whole thing from a table near the back. Mosley was one of fewer than two dozen African Americans in a ballroom holding hundreds. Publishing, like the film industry, was a pale field when Mosley’s first Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins novel, “Devil in a Blue Dress,” was published in 1990 and made into a Denzel Washington vehicle five years later. Two decades on, both still are. (Looking at you, #oscarssowhite.)
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Summertime, and the living is EZ

Charcoal JoeBy David Prestidge
Crime Fiction Lover

On the Radar — Ezekiel ‘Easy’ Rawlins returns this week for another neon-lit adventure among the hills and boulevards of Los Angeles. We’ve also got a new printing of Dashiell Hammett’s short stories, and a great selection of further crime novels to try.

Charcoal Joe, by Walter Mosley

PI Easy Rawlins doesn’t look for trouble but when his old friend, the lethal hitman nicknamed Mouse asks for help, he knows that trouble will soon be looking for him. Mouse isn’t a man who takes no for an answer, and soon Rawlins, trying to help the man they call Charcoal Joe, is doing his best to avoid hits from all directions on the glitzy streets of LA. In our back pages you can read our PI Case Files on Mosley’s most memorable creation. Out on 16 June.