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Cinnamon Kiss    by Walter Mosley order for
Cinnamon Kiss
by Walter Mosley
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Cinnamon Kiss stars part-time black PI Ezekiel Easy Rawlins in 60s California (I enjoyed Easy's reactions to the hippie movement's lack of prejudice, and find that he's mellowed somewhat over the years). Easy is in desperate need of money - his small daughter Feather is dying of a mysterious illness, and desperately needs a treatment only available, at a seemingly impossible cost, in Switzerland.

Hard cash is to be had in a criminal caper that Easy's dangerous friend Raymond (Mouse) can set up for him, but that's a line that Rawlins is reluctant to cross, as he knows that violence can quickly get out of control. So he's happy when his Jewish PI pal Saul Lynx comes up with a missing persons job. They're hired by a small man named Robert E. Lee to track down a Berkeley liberal lawyer named Axel Bowers and his 'colored servant', Philomena Cinnamon Cargill. Easy's problem seems to be solved, until corpses start to pile up, and a cold killer threatens his family.

As if this weren't enough, Easy is being sued by a couple hit in a car crash that happened because of his distraction over Feather. And he's deeply disturbed by Bonnie's relationship with an African diplomat. His comfortable life seems to be falling apart. As he searches for Cinnamon, Easy finds links from wealthy U.S. businessmen to World War II Nazi leaders, and the violence escalates. Luckily, he gets through it, with a little help from friends like Mouse (who comes into clearer focus in this episode) and financial genius Jackson Blue.

Don't miss Cinnamon Kiss, another exciting, thoughtful, read starring Easy Rawlins, who reminds me more and more of a black Spenser.

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