Cinnamon Kiss

by Walter Mosley

Hardcover, 2005




New York : Little, Brown, 2005.


Easy Rawlins is in need of money for his daughter Feather's expensive medical treatment, so he agrees to find a missing attorney who seems to be more trouble than he's worth.

Media reviews

With his latest, Cinnamon Kiss, Mosley has written what is certainly the most emotionally complex Rawlins book to date, delving deeper and more subtly into Rawlins’ pain and rage than ever before.
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The good guys win, the ending is bittersweet, and Mosley sets up a sequel. It's interesting to absorb the changes as Easy ages along with the times. Here, however, the distractions -- and some are pips -- get in the way of his development.

User reviews

LibraryThing member lkoble
Whether I am listening in my car or reading, Mosley holds my attention with his smooth writing.
LibraryThing member citygirl
Easy Rawlins, as usual, is caught between a rock and a hard place. He's hired by an strange little but powerful detective to track down a girl and some documents. Nightmares, gunshots, evasion tactics, sex and scheming ensue. Rawlins is a great character and Walter Mosley populates his novels with colorful and unusual types. This book is no exception. However, this one didn't seem as powerful as earlier Rawlins books and at times I felt Mosley was dumbing the prose down for readers, which I don't like at all. But I'll never regret a few hours spent with Mosley.… (more)
LibraryThing member franoscar
I was disappointed in this book. There are good pictures of LA/SFin the dawn of the new age (the 60's), but so much is so formulaic. And so many people want to have sex with Easy. And then he has Easy start to consider himself a single man again so there can be sex scenes. The stock characters, Mouse, Jackson Blue, Etta Mae, by now aren't drawn at all they just are & Mosley uses the same words every time -- maybe to evoke a time when he did try to draw them & give them personalities. Plus he spends the whole book talking about his love for his daughter & then he kicks Bonnie out of the home without even considering the kids.… (more)
LibraryThing member BraveKelso
I have missed Walter Mosley and Easy Rawlins after reading the first 4 in the Rawlins series as they were published in paperback. I went back after a discussion with friends, and was rewarded. In this novel, we have reached the late '60's, the height of the Haight. Mosley manages the duality of Rawlins, his identity as a member of a subordinate racial group and his identity as a thinking and moral person as deftly as is possible. His voice is unique, deliberately vulgar, and deliberately, provocatively, literary at turns. The story breaks down as a crime story or mystery, but makes up for itself as a novel of servitude, anger, violence, survival and transcendence.… (more)
LibraryThing member arubabookwoman
I don't usually follow detective series, and this is the first Easy Rawlins novel I've read, although it is apparently the 10th in the series. Easy Rawlins is a black private detective in LA in the 1960's. This is a book to read for its evocation of time and place. It's 1966, and the Watts riots have barely died down. The plot brings Easy up to San Francisco, so there are also some great portrayals of the Haight-Ashbury of the time.
Maybe it's, sadly, really not all that different now. I was particularly struck by this scene in which Easy and a companion are approached by two cops at a phone booth (no cell phones then):

"I couldn't help but think about the Cold War going on inside the borders of the United States. The police were on one side and Raymond and his breed were on the other.
"I came out of the phone booth with my hands in clear sight.
"My job was to make these cops feel that Raymond and I had a legitimate reason to be there at that phone booth on that street corner. Most Americans wouldn't understand why two well-dressed men would have to explain why they were standing on a public street."

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LibraryThing member kimreadthis
I could not manage to ever come to like Easy Rawlins. This is the only book featuring the detective that I have read, and I could not get myself to care what happened to him. He seemed very egotistical to me. I did understand his motivation to earn money for his daughter's medical care, and that seemed to me to be his sole redeeming quality. Other than that, he was the wisest, smartest, sexiest man alive, and best detective ever, and that grated on my nerves.… (more)
LibraryThing member page.fault
After dealing with the fallout from an external crisis--the LA riots--in the last books, Easy Rawlins must now face another more personal catastrophe: his adopted daughter Feather is extremely ill. The only way to save her may be to send her to an extremely expensive clinic abroad, and Easy is willing to do anything--up to and including murder--to get her the treatment she needs. Desperately searching for a case, he is faced with two alternatives: one, to accept a case from a pompous and mysterious "super-detective" and locate a missing man and the papers he ostensibly stole; two, to join his crooked friend Mouse on a bank heist. However, Easy quickly discovers that his first alternative may in fact lead him to even murkier waters than the second.

Mosley is one of the best noir writers out there, and the Easy Rawlins series exemplifies his skill; Rawlins' wry narration deftly captures the racial tensions of 60s LA. Yet every so often, I end up infuriated with Rawlins, and unfortunately, this is one of those books. My issue comes down to Easy's personality: he is astute in his analysis of the world and the circumstances he lives in, but in my opinion, he is almost entirely lacking in self-insight. He tends to rush to judgment, but he rarely evaluates whether his decisions or his opinions were justified. This makes him a rounded, real, character, but it's a trait I have issues with, and one reason I may prefer LT (first book:The Long Fall) to Easy. This book, with its focus on Easy's relationship with his girlfriend Bonnie, highlights this defect. hover for spoiler.

If you're hooked on the Rawlins series and don't mind the certain areas where he lacks introspection, I think this is an interesting addition to the series. For other readers, it may not be the best example of Mosley's talents, as it lacks the driving and coherent plot that characterizes other books in the series. It also lacks much of the little domestic moments that I tend to love about these books. However, if you're a fan of Mouse, he's a major player in this story, and Jackson Blue also makes an appearance. Mosley, as always, does a wonderful job in capturing the atmosphere of the city and its time period. One of my favorite moments in the books is Easy's bewildered interactions with hippies... that by itself made the book a worthwhile read.
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