Whenever you're hungry for a juicy, well-written mystery, you just can't go wrong with Walter Mosley. Like the chanteuse from the old blues tune, "with a lot a meat on the bone," Mosley's tales never fail to satisfy, and All I Did Was Shoot My Man, the fourth installment in Mosley's Leonid McGill series, upholds this reputation. Long haunted by the dirty deeds of his past, McGill looks to right an old wrong by arranging for the release of Zella Grisham from prison. True, she did kill her man, but what really got her hard time was a multimillion-dollar robbery-homicide frame-up orchestrated by McGill. Unfortunately, proving the old adage true, his good intentions set off a chain reaction of murder and mayhem that leaves few unscathed.
Set in present-day New York, the Leonid McGill stories are several decades and a full continent removed from the post-war Los Angeles of Mosley's acclaimed Easy Rawlins mysteries. In either milieu, Mosley exhibits the same subtle skill with his familiar themes of race and family, and McGill's life and times are every bit as compelling as those of Rawlins. And don't be afraid to start midseries: Mosley's nonlinear narrative structure, combined with McGill's obsession with his past, make it possible to jump in feet first anywhere. Just mind the landing. --Tom Lavoie, former publisher