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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.

Cheaters Never Win

Illustration by Christoph NiemannIllustration 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.

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All I Did Was Shoot My Man


Available January 24, 2012

In the latest and most surprising novel in the bestselling Leonid McGill series, Leonid finds himself caught between his sins of the past and an all-too-vivid present.

Seven years ago, Zella Grisham came home to find her man, Harry Tangelo, in bed with her friend. The weekend before, $6.8 million had been stolen from Rutgers Assurance Corp., whose offices are across the street from where Zella worked. Zella didn’t remember shooting Harry, but she didn’t deny it either. The district attorney was inclined to call it temporary insanity-until the police found $80,000 from the Rutgers heist hidden in her storage space.

For reasons of his own, Leonid McGill is convinced of Zella’s innocence. But as he begins his investigation, his life begins to unravel. His wife is drinking more than she should. His oldest son has dropped out of college and moved in with an exprostitute. His youngest son is working for him and trying to stay within the law. And his father, whom he thought was long dead, has turned up under an alias.

A gripping story of murder, greed, and retribution, All I Did Was Shoot My Man is also the poignant tale of one man’s attempt to stay connected to his family.