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Buried in the Stacks by Allison Brook
A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron Dark Waters by Katherine Arden
A Deadly Deletion by Lorna Barrett and Cassandra Campbell (Narrator) Death Gets a Time-Out by Ayelet Waldman
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
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Funky Chickens by Benjamin Zephaniah
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1, 2, 3 Salish Sea: a Pacific Northwest Counting Book by Nikki McClure
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Purrder She Wrote by Cate Conte
Red Velvet Revenge by Jenn McKinlay
Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs by Russell Ginns
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison and Emily Durante (Narrator)
The Tea Dragon Festival by Kay O'Neill
This Is Venice by Miroslav Sasek
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Turning Point by Paula Chase

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Devil in a Blue Dress: 09/14/21

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley is the start of the Easy Rawlings mystery series. Easy Rawlings has a $100 a month mortgage and just lost his job. He loves that house and reluctantly takes on a gig to find a missing woman named Daphne. He knows she'll lead him into trouble but he's got a mortgage.

The setting is Los Angeles in 1948. It's, not, however, Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles save for the few times Easy has business in white spaces. Even then, his experiences are still punctuated with micro and macro aggressions from the white folks he's forced to interact with.

Like so many mysteries where the main character is brought on board to do something or find something (or someone) when no one else can, Easy's progress is lined with bodies. People die because he's poking his nose into places everyone else has had the sense to avoid. While the setting and characters are completely different, the basic narrative flow of Devil in a Blue Dress reminds me of another mystery I recently finished, Coached to Death by Victoria Laurie.

The second book in the series is A Red Death (1991).

Four stars

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