Although it wasn’t done by design, this year’s 10 Best Crime Novels fall neatly into various subgenres. So what you’re really getting are my choices for: Best Rural Mystery Set in Mississippi, Best Mystery Featuring a Drug-Addicted Private Eye, Best Historical Mystery Set in the 14th Century and so on.
CHARCOAL JOE. By Walter Mosley. (Doubleday, $26.95.)Mosley’s mellow private eye, Easy Rawlins, is talking his way through another case in this period mystery set in 1968, when black neighborhoods are still seething with rage after the Watts riots. In this heated climate, Easy is . . . well, easy. No furies in his brain, no fires in his gut, just an unquenchable curiosity about people and their obsessions. Favorite characters like Jackson Blue and Fearless Jones provide backup for Easy, an unconventional hero who’s unafraid to lower his fists and use his brain.
(via The New York Times)