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A Review of Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley never disappoints especially when it comes to writing about one of my favorite detectives…Ezekiel “Easy” Porterhouse Rawlins. Mosley has a way of taking readers along for some very dangerous rides with Easy Rawlins as he navigates the streets in the Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles.

In this novel (14th in the Easy Rawlins series), Easy and two of other detectives – Saul Lynx and Tinsford “Whisper” Natly are partners in a private detective agency named WRENS-L. Together they can solve any case, find anyone anywhere with brute force or with a few smooth words.
And when Easy is approached by his longtime friend Raymond “Mouse” Alexander to do Charcoal Joe a favor (get Seymour Brathwaite off a murder rap), all hell breaks loose.


Although this story was peppered with a lot of characters, Mosley did an excellent job of weaving in great descriptions and dialogue that placed the reader in the heart of the investigation. Each character brought a different element and added flavor to the story and if you are an avid fan of the Easy series it was great to see some of them. One of my favorites being Mama Joe and her potions like the tea she gave Easy to achieve a certain level of clarity after having his heart broken by Bonnie Shay.

I also enjoyed watching Easy charm and outsmart some of his captors as well as working alongside his partners to solve the case. The twists and turns were great from start to finish.
Great read! Two thumbs up!

 Some of my favorite lines:

            I didn’t need to ask why Mouse hadn’t come to me with this information. For him killing was simply a tool of the trade, hardly worth discussing. And we were friends. Where we came from this was the kind of thing that one friend did for the other.
            “And what can I do for Mr. Joe?” I asked
            “Last night a white man named Peter Boughman and some other guy named Ducky were shot dead in a house down on the beach in Malibu. Ducky was killed outright and Boughman was tortured before they shot him in the eye and the heart.”
            “And Joe is involved?”
            “Not directly. But he has a friend who has a son who went to that house, by accident, and fount the body. His bad luck was that somebody heard the shot and called the police, who got there before Seymour, Joe’s friend’s son, could call them himself.”
            “Seymour what?”
            “Brathwaite.  Dr. Seymour Brathwaite.”
            “I thought you said he was a kid.”
            “Twenty-two-year-old doctor of physics. Doin’ what they call postgraduate work at UCLA.”
            “White guy?”
            “Not unless Sidney Poitier’s a white guy.”

Rating: 5 stars



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