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Trouble is what I do
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Syndetics Unbound
Morally ambiguous P.I. Leonid McGill is back -- and investigating crimes against society's most downtrodden -- in this installment of the beloved detective series from an Edgar Award-winning and bestselling crime novelist.
Leonid McGill's spent a lifetime building up his reputation in the New York investigative scene. His seemingly infallible instinct and inside knowledge of the crime world make him the ideal man to help when Phillip Worry comes knocking.
Phillip "Catfish" Worry is a 92-year-old Mississippi bluesman who needs Leonid's help with a simple task: deliver a letter revealing the black lineage of a wealthy heiress and her corrupt father. Unsurprisingly, the opportunity to do a simple favor while shocking the prevailing elite is too much for Leonid to resist.
But when a famed and feared assassin puts a hit on Catfish, Leonid has no choice but to confront the ghost of his own felonious past. Working to protect his client and his own family, Leonid must reach the heiress on the eve of her wedding before her powerful father kills those who hold their family's secret.
Joined by a team of young and tough aspiring investigators, Leonid must gain the trust of wary socialites, outsmart vengeful thugs, and, above all, serve the truth -- no matter the cost.
Fiction/Biography Profile
Leonid McGill (Male), Private investigator, African American, Married, Father, His father abandoned him when he was twelve and his mother died a year later; went from orphanage to foster homes to life on the street; former boxer; in a loveless marriage with a woman who has cheated on him numerous times; his wife has taken up drinking; his oldest son has dropped out of college;
Blues musicians
Fathers and daughters
Private investigators
New York City, New York - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Trade Reviews
Library Journal Review
Leonid McGill is a successful private investigator in NYC whose background in criminal activity and uncanny intelligence give him an edge on keeping one step ahead of the criminals and ne'er-do-wells he is hired to investigate. McGill's mission to deliver a letter that reveals Black lineage in the wealthy family of a soon-to-be-bride becomes treacherous, as assassins and thugs attempt to thwart McGill's every move. Throughout the story, Mosley paints a vivid picture of the geography, landmarks, and neighborhoods in which the story unfolds. The rich voice narrator Dion Graham provides authenticity to the setting and emotional context. Verdict Wherever Mosley's novels have been in demand, this will be a necessary purchase.--Ann Weber, Bellarmine Coll. Prep., San Jose, CA
Publishers Weekly Review
In MWA Grand Master Mosley's easy-reading sixth Leonid McGill mystery (after 2015's And Sometimes I Wonder About You), the PI moseys around contemporary New York City from one repartee-filled scene to another. Black blues player Catfish Worry wants McGill to get a message to his granddaughter, who passes as white. Her prosperous father, Charles Sterman, who's Catfish's son, also passes, yet is a virulent racist. No less than the deadly Ernie Eckles (aka the Mississippi Assassin) sent him McGill's way. A bottle of legendarily aged moonshine is included as introduction and payment. Often undercover, McGill thinks, "And on those rare occasions I have been revealed, I was still the most dangerous man in the room." Not here, with his pal Hush ("ex-assassin extraordinaire") and Eckles in the mix: "The Mississippi Assassin could kill Sternman right then, and there wasn't a man in the room who could stop him--with maybe the exception of Hush." If this were a spaghetti western, it would be all staring and no gunplay, to the dismay of action fans. Some readers may be disappointed that the violent pay-off at the end takes place way offstage. Agent: Gloria Loomis, Watkins Loomis. (Feb.)
Booklist Review
NYC fixer Leonid McGill, last seen in And Sometimes I Worry about You (2015), knows he's in trouble when prospective client Catfish Worry throws out the name Ernie Eckles, a legendary hit man known as the Mississippi Assassin. Catfish, an elderly bluesman, needs Leonid's help with some long-unresolved family business. The young Catfish barely survived fallout from a taboo love affair with wealthy Mayflower descendant Lucinda Pitts-Sternman. Their son, Charles, was born with light skin, and when Catfish and Lucinda parted ways, Lucinda decided the boy belonged in her world. Now Catfish needs to fulfill his promise to Lucinda that if she died first, he'd deliver a letter revealing this secret history to their granddaughter, Justine. Unfortunately, Catfish impulsively revealed the truth to Charles before contacting Justine, and his son, determined to protect his purity, has ordered Catfish's murder. Determined to keep Catfish safe, Leonid plants himself in the converging paths of Justine and her father's assassins. Spieled in a powerful, streamlined voice, this wrenching American noir will stick with readers long after the final page.--Christine Tran Copyright 2019 Booklist
Kirkus Review
If you've been wondering what Leonid McGill and his family private-eye business have been up to lately, how does trying to foil a billionaire's murderous plot to conceal his black heritage sound to you?The seemingly unstoppable Mosley (John Woman, 2018, etc.) shifts his restless vision back to contemporary New York City and to McGill, the ex-boxer who's as agile at navigating both sides of the law as he was in the ring. Here, Mosley delves into the murky waters of history and racial identity as Leonid's agency is asked by one Philip "Catfish" Worry, a 94-year-old African American blues musician from Mississippi, to help him to deliver a letter to the daughter of a wealthy, ruthless, and incorrigibly racist white banker saying that he's her great-grandfather because of an illicit liaison he had with the banker's white mother. Sounds simple enough, but the aptly named Mr. Worry warns McGill that the banker is desperate enough to do anything within his considerable and far-reaching power to stop that information from getting to his daughter. ("One thing a poor sharecropper understands is that messin' with rich white people is like tipplin' poison.") When his client is wounded three hours after he takes the case, Leonid calls upon every resource available to carry out his assignment, including various characters scattered throughout Manhattan who are somehow beholden to him, whether it's a physician recovering from opioid addiction or an ill-tempered NYPD captain who dispenses the kind of stern-but-friendly admonitions police detectives have given private eyes since the days of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. Watching McGill coolly deploy the physical and intellectual skills he'd acquired in his previous life as an underworld "fixer" provides the principal pleasure of this installment, along with Mosley's own way of making prose sound like a tender, funny blues ballad. (At one point he says a character is "as country as a bale of cotton on an unwilling child's back.") But there isn't much more than that to this mystery, which is far less complex than its setup promises.Even at less-than-peak performance, Mosley delivers enough good stuff to let you know a master's at work. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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