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‘Food stamp president’: Gingrich’s words of hate

By Walter Mosley, Special to CNN
updated 8:26 AM EST, Thu January 26, 2012

'Food stamp president': Gingrich's words of hate
GOP candidate Newt Gingrich appears at a campaign event on January 25 in Cocoa, Florida

Editor’s note: Walter Mosley is the author of more than 34 books, including the mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins and his latest featuring Leonid McGill. He has won an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His newest book is “All I Did Was Shoot My Man” (Riverhead Books).

(CNN) — Newt Gingrich is a political opportunist. His job is to pack as much powerfully charged meaning into every sentence as he can, which makes him a working poet.  So he knows full well that calling someone a “food stamp president” brings up the working person’s fear, looming reality, and in some cases the actual experience, of unemployment — while making a shout-out to racism and affixing a stigma to poverty. All the while hiding behind the symbol of a flag.

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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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When the Thrill is Gone

When the Thrill is Gone

Leonid McGill is back, in the third-and most enthralling and ambitious-installment in Walter Mosley’s latest New York Times– bestselling series.

The economy has hit the private-investigator business hard, even for the detective designated as “a more than worthy successor to Philip Marlowe” (The Boston Globe) and “the perfect heir to Easy Rawlins” (Toronto Globe and Mail). Lately, Leonid McGill is getting job offers only from the criminals he’s worked so hard to leave behind. Meanwhile, his life grows ever more complicated: his favorite stepson, Twill, drops out of school for mysteriously lucrative pursuits; his best friend, Gordo, is diagnosed with cancer and is living on Leonid’s couch; his wife takes a new lover, infuriating the old one and endangering the McGill family; and Leonid’s girlfriend, Aura, is back but intent on some serious conversations…
So how can he say no to the beautiful young woman who walks into his office with a stack of cash? She’s an artist, she tells him, who’s escaped from poverty via marriage to a rich collector who keeps her on a stipend. But she says she fears for her life, and needs Leonid’s help. Though Leonid knows better than to believe every word, this isn’t a job he can afford to turn away, even as he senses that-if his family’s misadventures don’t kill him first-sorting out the woman’s crooked tale will bring him straight to death’s door.

Early Praise for WHEN THE THRILL IS GONE:

“Mosley fills his third thriller featuring New York City PI Leonid McGill (after Known to Evil) with insights even deeper than the mysteries McGill is trying to solve redirected here. Chrystal Tyler, a potential new client, tells McGill that she’s afraid her billionaire husband is having an affair and may kill her. While McGill realizes the woman is lying, he needs the case and agrees to see what he can do to make her husband back off. Meanwhile, McGill’s wife of 24 years, Katrina, is having an affair; his favorite son, Twill, has a new scam working; and longtime boxing mentor Gordo Tallman is living in his apartment, fighting cancer. Then Harris Vartan, a dangerous organized crime figure, asks a favor that will lead McGill on a journey of self-discovery. Readers will encounter the full panoply of complex Mosley characters, from deceitful women to ruthless killers, but it’s the often surprising bonds of love and family that lift this raw, unsentimental novel.”

– Publishers Weekly, starred review