New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994. First Edition. Octavo (24 cm). 255 pp.
Pitch-black, half-cloth boards, gold-tooth lettering on spine. Black dust jacket with red band featuring a mugshot of the maneater, "Betty". (In actuality, a detail of the face of dancer and choreographer, Pearl Primus.) Clean, attractive book. A near perfect example. Boldly signed on the half-title by the author. Fine. Item #1
Mosley's muse, Private Detective Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins, is much like the streets of Los Angeles he prowls -- slick, gritty, tough and electric. It is the beginning of the 1960s and things are beginning to get "hot" but Easy tries to play it cool as he searches for...what else!...a woman. Comparisons to Raymond Chandler are obvious but Mosley's jazzy dialogue is closer to that of Chester Himes, the other great African-American writer of detective fiction. Made into a highly watchable movie with a highly watchable Denzel Washington as Easy Rawlins.
Schomberg Center Guide to Black Literature 302.
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