Devil in a Blue Dress is a 1990 award-winning detective novel -1st in a series- by Walter Mosley. It was adapted for film in 1995. I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turner and will keep my copy. I'll add the others in the series to my shelf as time goes by and look forward to reading them.
from the back of the book:
Chapter 3 begins:Named "one of the 100 Favorite mysteries of the century"by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.
Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Mont, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs....
I drove back to my house thinking of money and how much I needed to have some.The New York Times says, "'Devil in a Blue Dress' marks the debut of a talented author with something vital to say about the distance between the black and white worlds, and with a dramatic way to say it." The LA Times also has a positive review and says, "re-creates the era convincingly, with all of its racial tensions, evoking the uneasy combination of freedom and disillusion in the post-war black community and revealing a tough, fresh perspective on Los Angeles history."
I loved going home. Maybe it was because I was raised on a sharecropper's farm or that I never owned anything until I bought that house, but I loved my little home. There was an apple tree and an avocado in the front yard, surrounded by thick Saint Augustine grass. At the side of the house I had a pomegranate tree that bore more that thirty fruit every season and a banana tree that never produced a thing.There were dahlias and wild roses in beds around the fence and African violets that I kept in a big jar on the front porch.