BOOK 172: DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS: WALTER MOSLEY
This is a 1990 hardboiled mystery novel by Walter Mosley, his first published book. The text centers on the main character, Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins, and his transformation from a day laborer into a detective.
Set in 1948, in the Watts area of Los Angeles, the story begins with Easy out-of-work and unable to pay his mortgage. He is sitting in a bar run by Joppy, a friend from Texas, when a man named DeWitt Albright walks into the bar and offers him a job finding a young woman named Daphne Monet. Monet, a young white woman, is rumored to be hanging out in bars frequented mostly by African Americans, although white women are allowed inside.
The book was adapted into a 1995 film of the same name, which starred Denzel Washington as Easy Rawlins, and also featured Jennifer Beals, Tom Sizemore, Maury Chaykin, and Don Cheadle as the unhinged "Mouse."