Being the tenth entry in the Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins series, Cinnamon Kiss could easily have come off as a weak effort in a long-running series – but it isn’t, not by a long shot. This is a fantastic book by Walter Mosley (The Man In My Basement, Devil In A Blue Dress, Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, Six Easy Pieces, Bad Boy Brawly Brown).
The book opens up with Easy Rawlins chatting with his buddy mouse about an armored car robbery. Desperately needing the money to get treatment for his ill daughter Feather, Rawlins ponders the situation when something else falls into his lap.
“‘Hey, Easy,’ he said, giving a quick grin and looking around for anything out of place.Turns out that a man named Robert E. Lee needs Easy to find a man named Axel Bowers and his housekeeper-turned-secretary, Philomena Cargil, who goes by nickname “Cinnamon” because of the color of her skin. Bowers absconded (made to seem that way) with a briefcase that contained important papers and fled the country. Turns out that Cinnamon also went missing, and Easy gets hired to track her down.
‘Pretty bad. But there’s this clinic in Switzerland that’s had very good results with cases like hers.’
Saul made his way to my client’s chair. I went behind the desk, realizing as I sat that I could feel my heart beating. Saul scratched the side of his mouth and moved his shoulder like a stretching cat.
‘What is it Saul?’
‘You said you needed work, right?’
‘Yeah. I need it if it pays.’
‘Fifteen hundred dollars.’
‘I put the word out after you called me. Talked to anybody who might need somebody like you on a job.’
Easy’s search takes him from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Oakland and back again. Easy finds quickly finds his man but it wasn’t what he was expecting. He also finds Cinnamon and soon realizes his mission is more than what it seems to be on the surface.
With a fast pace and quick chapters Mosley deftly crafts a tale that will please fans of mysteries and of Easy Rawlins. Overall, Cinnamon Kiss is a fantastic and enjoyable read with great characters and an eye-opening look at the times during the Summer Of Love.