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Blood Grove – Available: February 2, 2021

Blood Grove: An Easy Rawlins Mystery

Walter Mosley’s infamous detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new mystery to solve on the sun-soaked streets of Southern California.

Ezekiel “Easy” Porterhouse Rawlins is an unlicensed private investigator turned hard-boiled detective always willing to do what it takes to get things done in the racially charged, dark underbelly of Los Angeles.

But when Easy is approached by a shell-shocked Vietnam War veteran—a young white man who claims to have gotten into a fight protecting a white woman from a black man—he knows he shouldn’t take the case.

Though he sees nothing but trouble in the brooding ex-soldier’s eyes, Easy, a vet himself, feels a kinship form between them. Easy embarks on an investigation that takes him from mountaintops to the desert, through South Central and into sex clubs and the homes of the fabulously wealthy, facing hippies, the mob, and old friends perhaps more dangerous than anyone else.

Set against the social and political upheaval of the late 1960s, Blood Grove is ultimately a story about survival, not only of the body but also the soul.

Widely hailed as “incomparable” (Chicago Tribune) and “dazzling” (Tampa Bay Times), Walter Mosley proves that he’s at the top of his game in this bold return to the endlessly entertaining series that has kept fans on their toes for years.

National Book Foundation to present Lifetime Achievement Award to Walter Mosley

For Distinguished Contribution to American LettersThe National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, announced that it will award Walter Mosley with the 2020 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (DCAL). Mosley has written more than sixty critically acclaimed books across subject, genre, and category. Walter Mosley’s 1990 debut novel Devil in a Blue Dress was the first in the bestselling mystery series featuring detective Easy Rawlins, and launched Mosley into literary prominence. Mosley’s books have been translated into twenty-five languages, and he has won numerous awards, including, but not limited to, an Edgar Award for Down the River Unto the Sea, an O. Henry Award, The Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award, a Grammy®, several NAACP Image awards, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2020, he was named the recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement from the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The DCAL will be presented to Mosley by two-time National Book Award Finalist Edwidge Danticat. Read the rest of this entry »

Trouble is What I Do

Trouble is What I Do

AmazonB&NYour local bookstore Available: Feb 25, 2020

Morally ambiguous P.I. Leonid McGill is back — and investigating crimes against society’s most downtrodden — in this installment of the beloved detective series from an Edgar Award-winning and bestselling crime novelist.

Leonid McGill’s spent a lifetime building up his reputation in the New York investigative scene. His seemingly infallible instinct and inside knowledge of the crime world make him the ideal man to help when Phillip Worry comes knocking.

Phillip “Catfish” Worry is a 92-year-old Mississippi bluesman who needs Leonid’s help with a simple task: deliver a letter revealing the black lineage of a wealthy heiress and her corrupt father. Unsurprisingly, the opportunity to do a simple favor while shocking the prevailing elite is too much for Leonid to resist.

But when a famed and feared assassin puts a hit on Catfish, Leonid has no choice but to confront the ghost of his own felonious past. Working to protect his client and his own family, Leonid must reach the heiress on the eve of her wedding before her powerful father kills those who hold their family’s secret.

Joined by a team of young and tough aspiring investigators, Leonid must gain the trust of wary socialites, outsmart vengeful thugs, and, above all, serve the truth — no matter the cost.

Publishers Weekly Review: Elements of Fiction

Elements of Fiction

Walter Mosley. Grove, $23 (128p) ISBN 978-0-8021-4763-9

Drawing on a prolific and successful crime fiction career, Mosley (John Woman) returns to elucidating the author’s craft, after 2007’s This Year You Write Your Novel, in this compact but insight-rich monograph. He addresses plot structure, character development, authorial voice, and the journey from a blank page, the would-be writer’s “first impediment and biggest obstacle,” to the final stage of “putting it all together.” Along the way, Mosley addresses other issues, such as the writer’s sensation of a “loss of control in the face of his or her own story,” and deciding whether or not to enter writing workshops; he warns that “what people, institutions, and economic systems expect should not define you.” Mosley’s fundamental offering, supplemented with some tricks of the trade, is a message of encouragement, as when he addresses the virtue of improvising (“The novel flourishes when its author begins to take risks”) or the value of rewriting (“the beauty of writing that you can go back and make changes that will be everything you meant to say and not one word you didn’t”). Mosley has skillfully packed a large canvas into a small frame, which should equally please readers who enjoy seeing a writer at work and writers in need of assistance. (Sept.)

(via Publishers Weekly)

American Presidents Can’t Stop Reading Thrillers, Just Like Us

A Century of Crime Fiction Readers in the White House

February 18, 2019, Camille LeBlanc, CrimeReads.com

Bill Clinton

Our mystery-writer-President! And while not all attempts pan out, Clinton is a bibliophile through and through; as one of our best-read presidents, he’s a true fan of crime fiction, a patron of DC’s now defunct MysteryBooks, and a major supporter of his favorite writers: Dennis Lehane, Walter Mosley, Sara Paretsky, and more. At the start of his presidency, he said he read two literary or nonfiction books for each mystery, a ratio that inevitably slid to one-for-one. He also reportedly screened High Noon 17 times at the White House.

(via crimereads.com)

It’s Up to Us: A Roundtable Discussion

Gone Fishin' By Kellye Garrett
November 26, 2018
www.lareviewofbooks.org

THIS PAST SUMMER, Walter Mosley, Agatha Award–winning writer Gigi Pandian, and I started a group for crime writers of color. Within two months, the group went from the three of us to having over 80 writers — all in various stages of our careers. We cheer the ups, commiserate with the downs, and brainstorm ways to ensure the appallingly low number of mysteries published by writers of color continues to grow.

It was during one of those brainstorming discussions that the idea for this roundtable took shape. The group was discussing how best to diversify conference panels. I mentioned how I’d love to see a panel featuring black mystery writers who first published in different decades to see what had gotten easier, what had gotten harder, and what had stayed the same.

Steph Cha messaged me suggesting that it might work as a roundtable discussion. I knew exactly who I wanted to invite — and was thrilled when they all immediately said yes. The resulting conversation is enlightening and a great inside look at what it’s like to be a black mystery writer.

Read the rest of the discussion

Past Tense: California: State of Change

Photos by Bob Martin for The New York Times

As Seen by The New York Times
November 10, 2018

In California, there were deserts and mountains, vast farmlands and a thousand miles of publicly owned beach. There were people from everywhere and opportunity that only a country like America could offer the working man or woman, and their children, too. From San Francisco to San Diego, from Hollywood to the world, California offered succor, health and, oddly, anonymity. If you didn’t like the view, you moved. If the boss gave you grief, you dropped him.

The sun shone mercilessly, but no one asked for mercy.

Everybody was rich because anything was possible.

Read the entire essay on Past Tense

18 Brilliant Books for Fall: John Woman

John WomanJohn Woman
By Walter Mosley
320 pages; Atlantic Monthly Press
Available at:

Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | IndieBound
After murdering a man, 17-year-old Cornelius flees New York, adopts a new name, and gains fame for the provocative ideas he’s borrowed from his dead father. An intellectual romp by the renowned mystery writer.
— Hamilton Cain

(via oprah.com)

John Woman

John Woman

AmazonB&NYour local bookstore Available: Sept 4, 2018

A convention-defying novel by bestselling writer Walter Mosley, John Woman recounts the transformation of an unassuming boy named Cornelius Jones into John Woman, an unconventional history professor―while the legacy of a hideous crime lurks in the shadows.

At twelve years old, Cornelius, the son of an Italian-American woman and an older black man from Mississippi named Herman, secretly takes over his father’s job at a silent film theater in New York’s East Village. Five years later, as Herman lives out his last days, he shares his wisdom with his son, explaining that the person who controls the narrative of history controls their own fate. After his father dies and his mother disappears, Cornelius sets about reinventing himself―as Professor John Woman, a man who will spread Herman’s teachings into the classrooms of his unorthodox southwestern university and beyond. But there are other individuals who are attempting to influence the narrative of John Woman, and who might know something about the facts of his hidden past.

Engaging with some of the most provocative ideas of recent intellectual history, John Woman is a compulsively readable, deliciously unexpected novel about the way we tell stories, and whether the stories we tell have the power to change the world.

Get2Know: Walter Mosley (The Tea)

Walter Mosley talks about Down the River Unto the Sea with The Tea.

(via Youtube)