Charcoal Joe (Easy Rawlins #14)

CHARCOAL JOE                                              WALTER MOSLEY

Picking up where Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds his life in transition. He’s ready to—finally—propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he’s taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and has, together with two partners, started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy’s friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe’s friend’s son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Rufus tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see his nephew exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour was literally found standing over the man’s dead body at his cabin home and the racially charged motives behind it, that might prove to be a tall order.

Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and a life in shambles on the ground around his feet.


This story picks up from the last book and you find Easy now with his own private investigative detective agency. This along with other areas of his life just add to this story. The author has added some characters to this book like he has in the past in other books and this just adds to the story. What really keeps this book along with all of the others in this series, is the way the author Mr. Mosley keeps true to the time period, and for me what was going on at the time and when he is describing either Southern California or other parts of California it takes me back in time when I would travel some of those roads with my family. In this story, he is asked by a friend to help his son who is a student at Sanford and is standing over a dead white man. The student being African American is automatically accused of the murder. All of the rest of the story falls into place for the time period of the 1970’s, but some of the issues we are still facing today. This is the author’s way of showing us how far we still need to go, or how much we lost. Overall a good story and like his other book good characters. Very much other the read. I received this book from I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at

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