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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Six Easy Pieces by Walter Mosley

I didn't read the description carefully and assumed this was another Easy Rawlins novel. It is actually a collection of Easy Rawlins short stories, as the title hints.

The year is 1964 and Easy is in his '40s now, with a full-time job as custodian at a public school. He is drawn back into the business of trading favors and unofficial detective work and once he starts, he can't stop during the course of these adventures. The stories are loosely connected, mostly by two themes: 1. Guilt over the death of his crazy friend Mouse, and the incredible rumor that he might still be alive. 2. Suspicion of infidelity by Easy's Stewardess girlfriend Bonnie.

I like Mosley's novel-length stories better, but these did improve as they progressed. And Rawlins meets and reacquaints with some fascinating (or sometimes grotesque) characters along the way, just like the old days. I also liked the Easy Rawlins character better before he became so respectable with the full-time job, adopted kids (Jesus and Feather) and white picket fences. But he's still likable and has the same moral strength that always legitimized his extra-legal endeavors. This reminds me a lot of an anthology of Dashielle Hammett shorts I once read. About the same entertainment value.

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