Category Archives: 2020 Book Reviews

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 47: Devil In A Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

I will admit that I came late to the party on the work of Walter Mosley.  I read White Butterfly back in 2012 and liked it.  However, I had not read other Walter Mosley novels until now. As a reader and reviewer, you get sidetracked or distracted by other books you want to read you forget to go back to something that you read and liked. Better late than never….as the adage goes!

Devil In A Blue Dress is the first novel in the acclaimed and well-regarded Easy Rawlins series.  This novel introduces Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins as he loses his job at a defense plant and needs money to pay his mortgage.  Easy comes into contact with a man named Dewitt Albright.  Albright is looking for a white woman named Daphne Monet who likes to visit the black jazz clubs of post World War 2 Los Angeles. Easy is hired by Albright to find Monet and ends up getting more than he bargained for.

Mosley does a solid job in creating an interesting character with Easy Rawlins.  His juxtaposition of street toughness and deep introspection gives me a connection as a reader and I will admit that the reflective Easy Rawlins was more interesting to me than finding Daphne Monet.

This is a crime novel and Mosley follows the tropes of the genre well, bringing it to a satisfying conclusion. However, I’m drawn to characters in a story and Easy jumped off the page for me as a reader.  I learned about him growing up in Houston and his time in World War 2 in the story.  Those elements provide depth to a character that I will explore in subsequent books of the series. Devil In A Blue Dress is a solid mystery novel and fans of the genre should read it. I’ve heard the movie with Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle was a disappointment compared to the novel.  That could be possible.  I would write that book is worth reading and is the best compliment I could give for this review.

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 46: Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup

  One of the joys of being a book review blogger is I get to read books I would have never come across in my normal book reading encounters. Latitudes of Longing by Mumbai-based writer Shubhangi Swarup is the latest book encounter outside of my normal reading experience.  This book was presented to me through… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 45: Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

“Words are free, she used to say, and she appropriated them; they were all hers.” That sentence from early in the novel, Eva Luna, by Isabel Allende captures the spirit of her protagonist.  Eva Luna is a spinner of tales and the stories from growing up poor on the streets of an unnamed South American… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 44: The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

There is a popular meme where a guy is walking with his girlfriend and another woman walks past them.  He turns to check out the woman’s backside to the dismay of his girlfriend.  We have used the meme for all kinds of things, including how readers have always succumbed to new book fever. The girlfriend… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 42: Face of an Angel by Denise Chavez

Rereading a novel can bring different expectations from when you first read it over twenty-five years ago.  This is the case with Face of An Angel by Denise Chavez. Face of an Angel tells the story of Soveida Dosamantes, a waitress at El Farol Restaurant in the fictional New Mexican town of Agua Oscura.  Soveida… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 39: Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills

  Black History Month has passed, and I had a plan to read three non-fiction books about black history during the month of February.  I finished Maurice White’s wonderful biography, My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire quickly and then I read Before The Mayflower by Lerone Bennett, Jr.  Bennett’s groundbreaking book chewed up the… Continue Reading