Walter Mosley has proven over and over again during the past two decades that he is not only one of America’s greatest mystery writers, but is one of America’s greatest writers period --- an American literary treasure. And in ALL I DID WAS SHOOT MY MAN, the fourth entry in his Leonid McGill series, Mosley has given us one of his best works ever.
While he probably will always be remembered as the creator of the Easy Rawlins mysteries, which showed us the mean streets of Raymond Chandler’s postwar Noir L.A. from the perspective of a black detective, Mosley is doing something equally fascinating in the series featuring New York private eye Leonid McGill.
"ALL I DID WAS SHOOT MY MAN is one of the best books of 2012, and you can’t help but root for Leonid McGill. We have much to look forward to with this series. Kudos to Walter Mosley."
For years, mystery fans lamented that the hardboiled detective had been copied so frequently after Dashiell Hammett and Chandler that he had become a cliché: the loner in a corrupt world who is himself good and fights for what is right and just with the help of the bottle of Rye in his desk drawer. Many said that the American PI was a genre that was finished, especially when written in the first-person narrative.
Mosley has proven them quite wrong with Leonid McGill. In Leonid, he gets us rooting for someone who has been a bad guy all his life. Leonid tells us at the start: “I worked for organized crime and other professional bad men finding patsies for those that felt law enforcement closing in…I’d plant false evidence, alter phone records and forge documents to prove that some other poor slob at least might have been the perpetrator.” The cops, he tells us later, “suspected me of everything from contract murder to armed robbery, from kidnapping to white slavery.” They were never able to take him down for anything. But we know, as the series starts, that Leonid is trying to go straight or, as he says, “at least as straight as a man can get after a lifetime of being ben