Walter Mosley is one of America's most celebrated and beloved writers. A Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America, he has won numerous awards, including the Anisfield-Wolf Award, a Grammy, a PEN USA's Lifetime Achievement Award, and several NAACP Image Awards. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. His short fiction has appeared in a wide array of publications, including The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, Los Angeles Times Magazine, and Playboy, and his nonfiction has been published in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, and The Nation. He is the author of Down the River unto the Sea. He lives in New York City.
Cinnamon Kiss is Mosley's latest in his very popular Easy Rawlins detective series. It's 1966 in Los Angeles, and Easy is desperate for money to pay for the expensive treatments needed by his gravely ill daughter, Feather. Initially considering returning to a partnership with his criminal friend Mouse, Easy instead is hired to track down a missing lawyer and some mysterious legal papers-a job that takes him to San Francisco, where he experiences firsthand the burgeoning hippie culture. Happily for the listener, Michael Boatman is back to read, with nearly perfect vocal depth and breadth. Tim Cain gives voice to The Wave, a new sf novel-clearly a genre that interests Mosley if not his fans. Featuring a contemporary hero down on his luck, repeatedly disturbed by phone calls from someone claiming to be his dead father resurrected, this work flows with a hackneyed plot and shallow characters toward a rather 1950s B-movie-ish ending. Though read with some skill by Cain, it's not enough to make the experience satisfying to anyone but the most extreme of the author's fans. Cinnamon Kiss is recommended for all collections; The Wave, only where demand warrants.-Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
As shown in the superb 10th entry in Mosley's Easy Rawlins series (Devil in a Blue Dress, etc.), Easy's progress is never smooth and his achievements (responsible job, son and daughter both flowering, loving woman in his house, friends and even a grudging respect from local authorities) always fragile. Now, at the height of the Vietnam War era, it all threatens to collapse. Daughter Feather's mysterious illness is the proximate cause, and only an expensive Swiss clinic offers hope. Needing the nearly impossible sum of $35,000, Easy considers assisting his dangerous pal, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander, with a robbery. But he decides instead to try his luck on a missing persons job brokered by white friend and PI Saul Lynx. Easy leaves Los Angeles for San Francisco, where his new employer puts him on the trail of a wealthy and eccentric lawyer and the lawyer's exotic lover, a girl known as Cinnamon, who have disappeared. As ever, Mosley is able to capture the era-hippies, Watts, communes-in brief strokes that provide a brilliant background to Easy's search for solutions to both a convoluted mystery and complex personal problems. Agent, Gloria Loomis. 10-city author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.