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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…

The Future of Reading: There’s No Mystery About It

Walter Mosley, best-selling author of the Easy Rawlins series, has good news for those who love to read

Walter Mosley, best-selling author of the Easy Rawlins series, has good news for those who love to readReading is among the most distinctive practices in human history: the study of abstract symbols used to render beliefs, experiences, physical descriptions, theoretical explanations and ideas in books and newspapers, on billboards and even on TV screens.

Written language rigidly codified and yet continually changing affords us one of the few chances we have to exercise and challenge our intelligence and our minds, our creativity and our capacity for true empathy. Reading forces us to interpret the material world through a nonconcrete medium—the written word. These interpretations force an active, even an aggressive use of our minds. This usage increases our appreciation of knowledge and possibly our sophistication.

Where to?

This uniquely human tradition is infinitely complex, equaled only by the experience of love and learning on the job. The stories and the content gleaned from reading are different for any person picking up the same book. This is because reading has two components: the words written and the individual mind reading.

It is important to lay out this understanding of reading in order to answer the question, Where will reading be in 30 years?

In the modern world of fast-changing technology and technique (a world where knowledge might double twice in a year’s time) change has become the norm. We’re used to having our devices, methods of war and even the organization of society change every six or seven years. Our communication is dominated by electronic networks, our cancers treated by new and strange poisonous brews.

In the modern world, a world where our scientists can read and alter DNA molecules, what is to become of Winnie the Pooh? How can books compete with predator drones and 10,000 channels of mainly sports and pornography?

What will happen to the poor books and newspapers, magazines and letters from home in a world where there is too much to know and no time to waste?

The answer is: Nothing will happen. Reading will still be based on the ABC’s, and readers will still marvel at the ideas and passions forming in their minds.

Read the rest of the essay on WSJ.com

Walter Mosley: ‘Write each and every day of your life’

Walter Mosley: 'Write each and every day of your life'

In 2007, Walter Mosley published his book “This Year You Write Your Novel,” which the Good Reads website praised as “an essential book of tips, practical advice, and wisdom” for aspiring authors.

Mosley knows of what he writes. Since 1990, he has produced more than four dozen books, including his well-known mystery series centering on the fictional detective Ezekiel Porterhouse “Easy” Rawlins. In 1999, the New York Times described Mosley’s prose as being “as plain and gritty as asphalt.”

Mosley, a 63-year-old New York resident, will come to Williamsburg Friday night for a presentation at the Kimball Theatre. The talk, part of the College of William and Mary’s Patrick Hayes Writers Series, will focus on the suggestions he laid out in “This Year You Write Your Novel.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Walter Mosley Selected for Liverpool’s Writing on the Wall Festival

Three Queens Liverpool 2015: Writing on the Wall 2015

Liverpool’s Writing on the Wall (WoW) has unveiled it 2015 festival programme.

American Dreams forms part of One Magnificent City, the seven-week programme of events surrounding Cunard’s 175th anniversary celebrations.

The 2015 festival features appearances from Walter Mosley, Jon Ronson, Strictly Harlem, Tracey Thorn, Owen Jones and Lemn Sissay among others. Read the rest of this entry »

Tulane to honor writer, philosopher & judge with degrees

Tulane University

NEW ORLEANS – Tulane University will award honorary degrees to best-selling mystery writer Walter Mosley, philosopher and Parliament member Onora O’Neill and renowned jurist Hein Kötz at its spring commencement, the university announced Tuesday.

Commencement ceremonies will be May 16 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The ceremonies will also include keynote speaker Maya Rudolph and performances by Topsy Chapman and Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band, along with confetti cannons and a second-line procession.

Mosley is an author of more than 40 critically acclaimed books. Two of Mosley’s works, which include literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs and a young adult novel, have been made into movies: Devil in A Blue Dress and Always Outnumbered.

Read the rest of the article…

Interview with Killing Johnny Fry Narrator, Percy O’Hara

Killing Johnny Fry, which isn’t a new novel but is a new audiobook, is an interesting “Sexistential” novel surrounding Cordell and his midlife crisis and redemption. Percy has this great, sometimes dry voice that captures Cordell’s inner demons. The book itself is not in my usual vein of reading, and I enjoyed the break from the norm. There’s a lot of violence, D/s and a reinventing of Cordell that kept me fascinated throughout the story. While this is Percy’s first narration, hopefully it won’t be his last. I liked how he brought the characters to life and kept me on the edge of my seat. For a trip into an intense world, I would pick this up. It’s dark, odd and powerful.

What was your favorite scene in Killing Johnny Fry?

Percy: There’s a point when the protagonist, Cordell Carmel, unwittingly finds himself in a fistfight-cum-boxing match. It was one of my favorite moments because it’s a fight for self-realization as he steps into his own power, and I found myself rooting for him like never before.

What was your favorite character to narrate?

Percy: There’s a character that, later in the book, emerges as a revered figure in the underworld niche she’s carved out for herself. She was my favorite because of how unapologetically honest she is with herself and how skillfully she brings others around to investigating their true nature — Cordell included.

Any fun or interesting things happen while narrating Killing Johnny Fry?

Percy: Ha! The book is really the only thing happening for me during the two or three days it takes to record. I tend to spend at least eight hours a day in the studio and then at night I usually review the material I’ll be recording the following day, so it’s a pretty immersive experience. Often I’ll even eat the same series of meals just because it’s less for me to think about. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but it’s honestly tough to remember anything of those few days other than the details of the book.

What are you currently working on?

Percy: Reconnecting with Mosley has resurrected my interest in mysteries and crime fiction, and I’m excited to be prepping a book in that vein for my next project.

(via USAToday.com)

The Post-Apocalyptic Humble Bundle

Read Walter Mosley’s Futureland and also support a good cause! Get on over to the new Humble Bundle: post-apocalyptic science fiction ebooks