Devil In A Blue Dress– The one that started it all. Easy Rawlins gets pulled into being a private eye, when to make ends meet he’s hired to find a missing white woman who frequents black clubs. Everything we associate with the series, the jazz poet prose style, blunt look at race relations, and one of the most vicious sidekicks to hit the page, Mouse, is here.
White Butterfly– Plot, prose, and politics blend beautifully in this third Easy novel that have the police forcing him to track down a serial killer in Watts. great suspense and action are delivered as Mosely looks at the subtleties of individual and institutionalized racism.
Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned– Mosely’s first contemporary novel and first to feature Socrates Fortlow, a homeless, ex-con struggling to get a job, protect his own, and find dignity on the South Central streets. Told as a collection of vignettes, in a tight and terse style, the heart break and hope are earned in this book.
Fearless Jones– Mosely gets a chance to show off his humorous side in this first of three novels featuring Paris, a meek used bookstore owner, and his brave-to-the-point-of-stupid buddy, Fearless Jones. Set in 1950’s Watts, these are great for readers who were disappointed that Easy Rawlins didn’t spend enough time n the post war era.
The Long Fall– The first book with Leoniod McGill, ex-boxer and private detective, trying to turn over a new leaf after years of operating on the shady side. A unique case challenges his newfound morality as he hits the streets of modern New York. Full of danger and great dialogue, this launched a great new series.
Other books could be on this list, RL’s Dream, Bad Boy Brawley Brown, Little Scarlet, and any of the Fearless Jones series. Mosely’s is an incredible body of work where the quality matches the quantity.