One of the most celebrated crime fiction authors in modern-day, Walter Mosley is known for his gritty and realistic fiction that spans from mystery suspense to police procedurals and hardboiled crime. Known for his stealthy protagonists and nail-biting plotlines, Mosley is a must-read for lovers of the crime fiction genre. We recommend starting with his most popular series that follows detective Easy Rawlins in a dusky California backdrop with criminals of all kinds and stakes that get higher by the book. We’ve created a list of Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series in order for you to get started. Let the adventure begin.
Blood Grove is a crackling, moody, and thrilling race through a California of hippies and tycoons, radicals and sociopaths, cops and grifters, both men and women. Easy will need the help of his friends—from the genius Jackson Blue to the dangerous Mouse Alexander, Fearless Jones, and Christmas Black—to make sense of a case that reveals the darkest impulses humans harbor.
Easy Rawlins has started a new detective agency with two trusted partners and has a diamond ring in his pocket for his longtime girlfriend Bonnie Shay. Finally, Easy's life seems to be heading towards something that looks like normalcy, but, inevitably, a case gets in the way. Easy's friend Mouse calls in a favor—he wants Easy to meet with Rufus Tyler, an aging convict whom everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe's friend's son, Seymour, has been charged with the murder of two white men. Joe is convinced the young man is innocent and wants Easy to prove it no matter what the cost. But seeing as how Seymour was found standing over the dead bodies, and considering the racially charged nature of the crime, that will surely prove to be a tall order.
Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a weapons manufacturer, has been kidnapped by a black revolutionary cell called Scorched Earth. Their leader, Uhuru Nolicé, is holding her for ransom and if he doesn’t receive the money, weapons, and apology he demands, “Rose Gold” will die—horribly and publicly. So the authorities turn to Easy Rawlins, the one man who can cross the necessary lines to resolve this dangerous standoff and find Rose Gold before it’s too late.
In Little Green, Walter Mosley’s acclaimed detective Easy Rawlins returns from the brink of death to investigate the dark side of that haven for Los Angeles hippies, the Sunset Strip. He’s soon back in top form, cruising the gloriously psychedelic mean streets of L.A. with his murderous sidekick, Mouse. They’ve been hired to look for a young black man, Evander “Little Green” Noon, who disappeared during an acid trip.
Fueled by an elixir called Gator’s Blood, Easy experiences a physical, spiritual, and emotional resurrection, but peace and love soon give way to murder and mayhem.
Easy Rawlins, L.A.'s most reluctant detective, comes home one day to find Easter, the daughter of his friend Chrismas Black, left on his doorstep. Easy knows that this could only mean that the ex-marine Black is probably dead, or will be soon. Easter's appearance is only the beginning, as Easy is immersed in a sea of problems. The love of his life is marrying another man and his friend Mouse is wanted for the murder of a father of twelve. As he's searching for a clue to Christmas Black's whereabouts, two suspicious MPs hire him to find his friend Black on behalf of the U.S. Army.
Easy's investigation brings him to Faith Laneer, a blonde woman with a dark past. As Easy begins to put the pieces together, he realizes that Black's disappearance has its roots in Vietnam, and that Faith might be in a world of danger.
It is the Summer of Love and Easy Rawlins is contemplating robbing an armored car. It's farther outside the law than Easy has ever traveled, but his daughter, Feather, needs a medical treatment that costs far more than Easy can earn or borrow in time. And his friend Mouse tells him it's a cinch.
Then another friend, Saul Lynx, offers a job that might solve Easy's problem without jail time. He has to track the disappearance of an eccentric, prominent attorney. His assistant of sorts, the beautiful "Cinnamon" Cargill, is gone as well. Easy can tell there is much more than he is being told: Robert Lee, his new employer, is as suspect as the man who disappeared. But his need overcomes all concerns, and he plunges into unfamiliar territory, from the newfound hippie enclaves to a vicious plot that stretches back to the battlefields of Europe.
An irresistible story of love and death, this Easy Rawlins mystery takes place during the devastating 1965 Watts riots. Easy's hunt for a killer reveals a new city emerging from the ashes—and a new life for Easy and his friends.
The beloved Ezekiel Rawlins now has a steady job as senior head custodian of Sojourner Truth High School, a nice house with a garden, a loving woman, and children. He counts the blessings of leading a law-abiding life, but is "nowhere near happy." Easy mourns the loss of his best friend, Mouse. Though Easy tries to leave the street life behind, he still finds himself trading favors and investigating cases of arson, murder, and missing people. People who can't depend on the law to solve their problems seek out Easy.
A bomb is set in the high school where Easy works. A man's daughter runs off with his employee. A beautiful woman turns up dead and the man who loved her is wrongly accused. Easy is the man people turn to in search of justice and retribution. He even becomes party to a killing that the police might call murder.
Young Brawly Brown has traded in his family for The Clan of the First Men, a group rejecting white leadership and laws. Brown's mom asks Easy to make sure her baby's okay, and Easy promises to find him. His first day on the case, Easy comes face-to-face with a corpse, and before he knows it he is a murder suspect and in the middle of a police raid. Brawly Brown is clearly the kind of trouble most folks try to avoid. It takes everything Easy has just to stay alive as he explores a world filled with betrayals and predators like he never imagined.
In the beginning...there was Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins and Raymond "Mouse" Alexander—two young men setting out in life, hitting the road in a "borrowed" '36 Ford headed for Pariah, Texas. The volatile Mouse wants to retrieve money from his stepfather so he can marry his EttaMae. But on their steamy bayou excursion, Mouse will choose murder as a way out, while Easy's past liaison with EttaMae floats precariously in his memory. Easy and Mouse are coming of age—and everything they ever knew about friendship and about themselves is coming apart at the seams....
November 1963: Easy's settled into a steady gig as a school custodian. It's a quiet, simple existence—but a few moments of ecstasy with a sexy teacher will change all that. When the lady vanishes, Easy's stuck with a couple of corpses, the cops on his back, and a little yellow dog who's nobody's best friend. With his not-so-simple past snapping at his heels, and with enemies old and new looking to get even, Easy must kiss his careful little life good-bye—and step closer to the edge...
1961: For most black Americans, these were times of hope. For former P.I. Easy Rawlins, Los Angeles's mean streets were never meaner...or more deadly. Ordinarily, Easy would have thrown the two bills in the sleazy shamus' face—the white man who wanted him to find the notorious Black Betty, an ebony siren whose talent for all things rich and male took her from Houston's Fifth Ward to Beverly Hills. There was too much Easy wasn't being told, but he couldn't resist the prospect of seeing Betty again, even if it killed him...
The police don't show up on Easy Rawlins's doorstep until the third girl dies. It's Los Angeles, 1956, and it takes more than one murdered black girl before the cops get interested. Now they need Easy. As he says: "I was worth a precinct full of detectives when the cops needed the word in the ghetto." But Easy turns them down. He's married now, a father—and his detective days are over. Then a white college coed dies the same brutal death, and the cops put the heat on Easy: If he doesn't help, his best friend is headed for jail. So Easy's back, walking the midnight streets of Watts and the darker, twisted avenues of a cunning killer's mind....
It’s 1953 in Red-baiting, blacklisting Los Angeles—a moral tar pit ready to swallow Easy Rawlins. Easy is out of the hurting business and into the housing (and favor) business when a racist IRS agent nails him for tax evasion. Special Agent Darryl T. Craxton, FBI, offers to bail him out if he agrees to infiltrate the First American Baptist Church and spy on alleged communist organizer Chaim Wenzler. That’s when the murders begin....
The year is 1948, the town is Los Angeles.
Easy Rawlins, a black war veteran, has just been fired from his job at a defense factory plant. Drinking in his friend’s bar, he’s wondering how he’ll manage to make ends meet, when a white man in a linen suit approaches him and offers him good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Money, a missing blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.
Easy has no idea that by taking this job, his life is about to change forever.