–Post by Molly
Walter Mosley is one of the most prolific and talented writers today in any genre, and he writes in enough different genres to make that a proven fact. His two mystery series are some of the most outstanding long-running series around. One stars Easy Rawlins: stand-up citizen, unlicensed private detective, and informal liaison between his diverse Los Angeles community and LA’s virulently racist police and politicians of the mid-20th century. The other features Fearless Jones, a hero for the pulps, and is also set mid-century. For the fan of Walter Mosley, here are a few recommendations….
1. Cotton Comes to Harlem by Chester Himes
This classic addition to Himes’ hard-boiled Harlem Detectives series has NYPD detectives “Coffin Ed” Johnson and “Grave Digger” Jones on the case for some funds stolen from a charlatan pretending to raise money for the Back-to-Africa movement. This was one of the books that Denzel Washington read to help prepare for his role in Devil in a Blue Dress.
2. The Underbelly by Gary Phillips
Gary Phillips worked as a community activist for many years before going on to write mysteries, and The Underbelly draws deeply on Phillips’ connection to community and radicalism. In this short and immensely satisfying novel put out by PM Press, a homeless Vietnam vet goes searching for a friend and finds far more than he bargained for.
3. Onion Street by Reed Farrel Coleman
One of Coleman’s more introspective installments to his Moe Prager series, Onion Street has the New York PI looking into the relationship between a camp survivor, an OD’ed junkie, an underground radical group, and his own Jewish identity in a complex and thrilling mystery.
You can find copies of the books listed above via bookpeople.com.