Devil in a Blue Dress Book Summary - Devil in a Blue Dress Book explained in key points

Devil in a Blue Dress summary

Walter Mosley

Brief summary

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley is a gripping detective novel set in African-American Los Angeles during the 1940s. Protagonist Easy Rawlins gets caught up in a dangerous web of deceit and murder as he searches for a missing woman.

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    Devil in a Blue Dress
    Summary of key ideas

    Dark Searching and Discovery

    In Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, just laid-off from his job, receives a surprising proposition. A man named DeWitt Albright wants him to find a woman known as Daphne Monet, a woman who frequents African American jazz clubs. Desperate for money, Easy, an African American World War II veteran, warily accepts the job, unknowingly stepping into a complex web of political intrigue and personal secrets.

    Easy begins his search in the jazz clubs of Los Angeles, where he discovers that Daphne, a white woman with a preference for black culture, isn't merely a missing person. She holds the key to a dangerous political mystery. Pursued by relentless corrupt cops, gangsters, and politicos, Easy quickly finds himself deeply entrenched in a world darker than he could have ever imagined.

    A Walk through the Underworld

    As Easy digs deeper, he uncovers Daphne's connection to Todd Carter, a wealthy mayoral candidate, and her involvement in embezzlement activities. She has stolen a large sum of money that belongs to Carter's campaign funds and vanished into thin air. Carter and his team are eager to retrieve the money and hush up the scandal without attracting the attention of law enforcement.

    And then murders begin happening. Strangely, they are all linked to Easy who is increasingly finding it difficult to prove his innocence. As he wrestles with moral dilemmas, Easy also comes face to face with the racial inequalities prevalent in post-World War II Los Angeles, painting a vivid picture of the socio-political atmosphere of 1940s America.

    Unraveling Truths and Redemption

    The narrative takes a sharp turn when Daphne Monet is finally revealed to be Ruby Hanks, a mixed-race woman passing for white. She is also the sister of Frank Green, a dangerous man embroiled in the same murky political conspiracies as her. Cornered and determined, Easy takes matters into his own hands, intending to resolve the situation by himself.

    With a raw and keen understanding of human nature and desperate survival instincts, Easy outsmarts his predators, secures the missing money, and unearths the shocking truth about Daphne/Ruby and Frank Green. He cleverly manipulates the situation to his advantage, ensuring his safety and setting himself up for a future as an independent and savvy business owner.

    A Hard-Boiled Tale to Remember

    In conclusion, Devil in a Blue Dress is an engaging hard-boiled mystery that explores racism, political corruption, and identity. Mosley's story is gripping, gritty and, at the same time, a deep observation of racial and social dynamics in post-war Los Angeles.

    The book showcases the transformation of an ordinary man thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Easy Rawlins, personifying the tough, street-smart detective, bridges the divide between the lawful and the lawless, surviving a dangerous labyrinth of lies and death to finally reclaim his life.

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    What is Devil in a Blue Dress about?

    Set in 1948 Los Angeles, "Devil in a Blue Dress" follows Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins, a World War II veteran turned private investigator, as he is hired to find a missing woman. As he delves deeper into the case, Easy uncovers a web of corruption and deceit that leads him into the dangerous world of politics and racial tensions. This gripping mystery novel explores themes of race, power, and the struggle for justice.

    Devil in a Blue Dress Review

    Devil in a Blue Dress (1990) is a captivating crime novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the world of a reluctant detective named Easy Rawlins. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its gripping plot and clever twists, it keeps readers hooked from beginning to end, making it a great page-turner.
    • The book offers an insightful exploration of race, class, and power dynamics in 1940s Los Angeles, providing a unique and thought-provoking perspective.
    • Easy Rawlins' character development is rich and nuanced, making him a memorable and relatable protagonist that readers can root for.

    Who should read Devil in a Blue Dress?

    • Fans of crime fiction looking for an intriguing and suspenseful read
    • Readers interested in exploring themes of race, identity, and social justice in a historical context
    • Those who appreciate well-developed characters and intricate storytelling

    About the Author

    Walter Mosley is an American author known for his crime fiction. He has written numerous novels, including the popular Easy Rawlins series. Mosley's writing often explores themes of race, politics, and social justice. "Devil in a Blue Dress" is one of his most well-known works, introducing readers to the captivating character of Easy Rawlins as he navigates the seedy underworld of 1940s Los Angeles. Mosley's unique storytelling and vivid portrayal of historical settings have earned him critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base.

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    Devil in a Blue Dress FAQs 

    What is the main message of Devil in a Blue Dress?

    The main message of Devil in a Blue Dress is revealed through a gripping noir detective story that explores the complex dynamics of race, power, and identity.

    How long does it take to read Devil in a Blue Dress?

    The reading time for Devil in a Blue Dress varies depending on the reader's pace, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Devil in a Blue Dress a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Devil in a Blue Dress is worth reading for its masterful storytelling, rich character development, and thought-provoking exploration of societal issues. A must-read for fans of the genre.

    Who is the author of Devil in a Blue Dress?

    Walter Mosley is the author of Devil in a Blue Dress.