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 »