cover image Cinnamon Kiss

Cinnamon Kiss

Walter Mosley, . . Little, Brown, $24.95 (312pp) ISBN 978-0-316-07302-8

As shown in the superb 10th entry in Mosley's Easy Rawlins series (Devil in a Blue Dress , etc.), Easy's progress is never smooth and his achievements (responsible job, son and daughter both flowering, loving woman in his house, friends and even a grudging respect from local authorities) always fragile. Now, at the height of the Vietnam War era, it all threatens to collapse. Daughter Feather's mysterious illness is the proximate cause, and only an expensive Swiss clinic offers hope. Needing the nearly impossible sum of $35,000, Easy considers assisting his dangerous pal, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander, with a robbery. But he decides instead to try his luck on a missing persons job brokered by white friend and PI Saul Lynx. Easy leaves Los Angeles for San Francisco, where his new employer puts him on the trail of a wealthy and eccentric lawyer and the lawyer's exotic lover, a girl known as Cinnamon, who have disappeared. As ever, Mosley is able to capture the era—hippies, Watts, communes—in brief strokes that provide a brilliant background to Easy's search for solutions to both a convoluted mystery and complex personal problems. Agent, Gloria Loomis. 10-city author tour . (Sept.)