Devil in a Blue Dress

Mosley, Walter. Devil in a Blue Dress. New York: Pocket Books, 1990.

I have to admit I picked this book up by accident. I was vacationing and needed a quick book. Something to pick up while I waited for the pasta water came to a boil, or while the boys were still sleeping. I remembered this being part of the Challenge and decided to see if I could read it in less than 36 hours.

Devil in a Blue Dress is Walter Mosley’s first book and kicks off the Easy Rawlins series. Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins is a black war WWII vet prone to violent flashbacks. In the beginning Devil in a Blue Dress he is fired from his defense plant job and doesn’t know how he’s going to pay the mortgage next month. By the second chapter Easy has been hired to locate a missing girlfriend, a devil in a blue dress, as they say. Throughout the next 200 pages Easy faces his share of violence, sex, racism and mystery but in the end, discovers a new found career – private investigations.

My favorite line: “He put up his hand as if he wanted me to bend down so he could whisper something but I didn’t think that anything he had to offer could improve my life” (p25). It’s that kind of sense of humor and sarcasm that carries Devil in a Blue Dress. You don’t realize that Mosley is telling you more than a story. He’s giving you a social commentary on what it meant to be a black man, riding the line of poverty in the 1940’s.

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter “Walter Mosley: Too Good To Miss” (p 169).

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