Walter Mosley’s indelible detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new detective agency and a new mystery to solve.
Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds his life in transition. He’s ready—finally—to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he’s taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford “Whisper” Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy’s friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe’s friend’s son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man’s dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order. Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet.
About the Author
Walter Mosley is the author of fifty books, most notably fourteen Easy Rawlins mysteries, the first of which, Devil in a Blue Dress, was made into an acclaimed film starring Denzel Washington. Always Outnumbered, adapted from his first Socrates Fortlow novel, was an HBO film starring Laurence Fishburne. Mosley is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy Award, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He has just been named the 2016 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. A Los Angeles native and a graduate of Goddard College, he holds an MFA from the City College of New York and now lives in Brooklyn.
"Though the year is flower-powered 1968, or 20 years removed from the life-threatening scuffles of Devil in a Blue Dress, life is no less easy for a black man in L.A. to 'pass from white dreams into black and brown realities'...As ever, Easy finds a way to rise above such circumstances — and the heartbreak of losing Bonnie to a marked-for-death African royal who needs her more than he does — and cling to his sense of decency." — Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Tribune
"I'd know that voice anywhere. It's the seductive drawl and lowdown dirty laugh of Walter Mosley's mellow private eye, Easy Rawlins. And he's talking his way through another case in Charcoal Joe...because he isn't ashamed to declare himself 'a man of strategy'— a man unfraid to lower his fists and use his brain." —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds his life in transition...Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet." —Criminalelement.com
"In the course of the Rawlins novels, Mosley has explored the evolution of Los Angeles over several decades, from the post-war period to the political and social changes that occurred in the 1960s...Mosley’s most recent novel with Rawlins at its center is set in the late 1960s. Rawlins has set up a small office with two fellow gumshoes, and he quickly becomes immersed in an intricate case involving an ambiguous underworld fixture, an ambitious young scientist, a book written in a mysterious language, and a pile of missing money. Fearless Jones also puts in an appearance, and Mosley adds a few literary nods, including a Franz Kafka homage and an ongoing discussion of William Styron’s then-contemporary novel TheConfessionsofNatTurner." —Tobias Carroll, Signature
"Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds his life in transition...Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet." —Readincolour.com
"In his 14th Easy Rawlins mystery (after Rose Gold), Mosley returns to L.A. in the late 1960s, with its racial unrest and discrimination...The story continues with more deception, murders, and violence. Like peeling an onion, Easy uncovers the truth one layer at a time...Mosley's exciting and profound mysteries with their poetic prose and historical clarity fascinate readers because Easy moves so smoothly among different worlds. His latest will please his many fans." — Jerry P. Miller, Library Journal
"In Charcoal Joe, this series’ army of followers will happily recognize the case as the mere backdrop for Easy’s emotionally charged story, insightful lens into L.A.’s 1960s streets, and always-impressive mental acrobatics." —Booklist
"[Charcoal Joe] is a must for Easy Rawlins fans and anyone who appreciates fresh, powerful prose. —Publishers Weekly [Starred]
“Fasten your seat belts. It's time for another simmering tour of Los Angeles, this time in 1968, with Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins serving once more as the unwilling guide. Read Mosley…for his matchless ability to present mosaic worlds in which even the most minor characters arrive burning with their own unquenchable stories.” —Kirkus Reviews