Thriller: A Black Private Eye Navigates 1969 L.A.

Walter Mosley returns to noir with Blood Grove.

walter mosley

Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, the private eye who first appeared in Devil in a Blue Dress—selected by Alta Journal’s California Book Club—returns in Walter Mosley’s latest novel, Blood Grove. Set in 1969, twenty-one years after his first case, Easy’s relatively peaceful existence is disrupted when a young white Vietnam vet says that he may have stabbed and killed a Black man in a fight over a white woman. Easy reluctantly agrees to investigate—and his decision soon drags him into the dark underbelly of Los Angeles.

This article appears in the Fall 2021 issue of Alta Journal.

What do you think is the future of Black crime fiction?
Predicting the future is not really my bailiwick. I belong to a group called Crime Writers of Color, and there are now over 300 members. I think that bodes well for the future of crime writing.

What does being a California writer mean to you?
I’m not sure I use place to define writers that much. Being from California can mean so many things to so many millions of people that my identity gets lost in the wonderment.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Edna O’Brien once said to me, “Walter, write a novel.” I haven’t stopped since.•

Mulholland Books


Mulholland Books
Rasheeda Saka is a graduate student in fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
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