Reviews

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

ponythief's review against another edition

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dark mysterious medium-paced

4.5

emilystrybos's review against another edition

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dark mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

janefstevens's review against another edition

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reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

I don't get what the fuss is about this book. On the other hand. I got the next one in the series because I am interested in the main character. 

literary_uzuri's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

dubsington's review against another edition

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3.0

It’s easy to see why the character of Easy Rawlins became a hit.

Devil in a Blue Dress feels quintessential as a gumshoe, noir style book with the clear twist of being about a black man in a black community.

Easy is not long back from the war and finally has a small home, a piece of land to call his own in Los Angeles… which he’s not far from missing payments on. That’s when a white stranger calls with an offer that sounds simple. Find a white woman.

Easy is a man with a code of sorts, ghosts from the past, a healthy distrust of law enforcement and his normal hangs.

Again, quintessential.

Layered on top of this is how Easy must navigate a Los Angeles that has a very clear distinction of where he is welcome, and where he is not.

As our mystery unfolds so does a number of Easy’s relationships, some he shed to start a better life, others he probably should have and how the promise of something better can tangle you up in knots.

Arguably one of the most interesting aspects of all this is that the promise of a better life for Easy is not some huge payday or vendetta, but simply the ability to hold onto his home, a safe place to rest his head.

The mystery itself I found a little convoluted and without a key reveal to unlock. I expect that if we saw things from other characters perspectives, rather than just easy’s additional light could of been shed. But by the end things come together more or less and Easy is a slightly different man than he was at the beginning.

Which feels, for an excellent noir, quintessential.

But quintessential can also be…. Simple. Bearing so many hallmarks of the genre also means that much of the story is simple and straight forward. Which means if someone was interested in getting into noir, I’d recommend this book shortly after the works of Raymond chandler, but for seasoned noir readers, outside of the layer of a black main character and black community as its protagonist, there may not be much more here to dig into.

That said, any fan of detective stories, noir tales and especially those with a clear, distinct voice and main character, Devil in a Blue Dress is an above average read.

smdorsett's review against another edition

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3.0

Good but not the amazing noir classic it was always described as—or maybe just aged really badly. Plot was overly complicated, casual homophobia, a big plot twist that was obvious from jump and a female character who was little more than a McGuffin/sex toy.

rachelellyn's review against another edition

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It just didn't grab me.

isabellej's review against another edition

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3.0

I read this for my English class and it was a good mystery novel that explored race relations and what it meant to be a black man in Los Angeles soon after World War II.

The characters are layered from Mouse's strange morals to Daphne's chameleon like personality. The characters are very well developed with weaknesses, like Easy inability to say no to woman, fears and even imperfections. all these things being the sign of a good and thought out book.

averyavenue's review against another edition

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4.0

I still really enjoyed this book and walking through East’s first time being a detective

kyler_parr's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0