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All I Did Was Shoot My Man (Leonid McGill Mystery) Hardcover – January 24, 2012

131 customer reviews
Book 4 of 5 in the Leonid McGill Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Leonid McGill has spent a life in crime but has managed to avoid the long arm of the law. Now he works as a de facto investigator, valued because of his access to the criminal underworld and his familiarity with the police. Years ago, Zella Grisham found her lover, Harry Tangelo, in bed with another woman. Zella had no memory of shooting Harry, but all the evidence pointed to her. After seven years in prison, Zella is out and looking to clear her name. Who better to help than Leonid? He begins the investigation but is constantly distracted by his own dissolving family. By tacit agreement, his wife, Katrina, has taken many lovers, looking for a man to take her away from Leonid. No one has fit the bill, leaving her frustrated and depressed. Now she’s drinking far too much. One of McGill’s sons is moving in with an ex-prostitute, the other has a talent for crime, and McGill’s father, long thought dead, resurfaces under an alias. Mosley has long used the crime novel as a framework for poignant explorations of the human condition. McGill is a dogged, tough investigator, but those qualities aren’t necessarily going to hold his family together. Compassion, wisdom, and forgiveness are needed and prove as tough to find as Harry Tangelo’s real killer. Mosley is a master, and this is among his best. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Mosley always draws a crowd, but his last few novels have been less than his best. A return to form here, backed by strong marketing, should signal strong sales. --Wes Lukowsky


Praise for All I Did Was Shoot My Man

“The best [McGill] book yet.”—The Boston Globe

“Like the city he works in, and the Mosley books he inhabits, Leonid McGill is complicated, savvy and full of surprises: a would-be champ who can't win for losing, a fighter who can never be counted out.”—The Wall Street Journal

“A big city never looks the same once you've walked its streets with a hard-boiled private eye. preferably someone as perceptive and thoughtful as Leonid McGill…[He] doesn't so much walk the city as case it for danger. Keeping pace with him is as much an education as an adventure.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Mosley ratchets up the tension with each new installment in his compelling series.”—Star-Ledger

“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…Mosley has given us one of his best works ever. In Leonid McGill, Mosley has created a character Dostoyevsky would have loved. [He] has written a mystery novel that transcends the genre—a private-eye story for the new, uncertain and constantly dangerous century. All I Did Was Shoot My Man is one of the best books of [the year] and you can’t help but root for Leonid McGill. We have much to look forward to with this series. Kudos to Walter Mosley.”—

“The best in the series to date…complex, satisfying.”—Publishers Weekly

“Exceptional storytelling.”—Library Journal
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Leonid McGill Mystery
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover; 1 edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781594488245
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594488245
  • ASIN: 159448824X
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Walter Mosley is one of America's most celebrated and beloved writers. His books have won numerous awards and have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Mosley is the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series of mysteries, including national bestsellers Cinnamon Kiss, Little Scarlet, and Bad Boy Brawly Brown; the Fearless Jones series, including Fearless Jones, Fear Itself, and Fear of the Dark; the novels Blue Light and RL's Dream; and two collections of stories featuring Socrates Fortlow, Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, for which he received the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and Walkin' the Dog. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Opa Wayne VINE VOICE on December 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )

All I Did Was Shoot My Man, is unlike most mystery stories. The story is mainly about family and acquaintances. The novel does present a mystery that has alluded investigators for eight years. They seek to learn who stole 58 million dollars from Rutgers Assurance Corp, and what happened to the money.

Only one person, Zella Grisham, was convicted of the robbery, because she had 50 thousand dollars in her storage unit. Zella does admit that she shot her man when she found him in bed with her best friend, but claims to be innocent of the robbery. Detectives have been unable to find the rest of the gang, and Leonid Mcgill believes that the one convicted is innocent.

Leonid takes on Zella as a client. He knows she is innocent but cannot reveal how he knows. Zella takes his help reluctantly, but does not really trust him. The police believe that Leonid may have been involved in the robbery, since before the robbery he had been heavily involved in crime himself.

How can a detective prove that his client is really innocent when she had 50 thousand of the stolen money? How can an investigator discover who really robbed Rutgers when those guilty have had eight years to cover their tracks? How does one conduct an investigation when the police and Rutgers think he is guilty?

Walter Mosley is an artist at character descriptions. There are many characters in this story and most of them are alive and realistic. The relationship of Leonid and his family is particularly clear. Leonid and his wife Katrina have a marriage of mutual tolerance, but somehow it survives more than twenty years.

I recommend this novel for those who enjoy good character studies. Leonid Mc Gill is a complex man with complicated relationships, I enjoyed meeting him.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Louis N. Gruber VINE VOICE on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Leonid McGill is one of those unique but unforgettable characters in fiction. He is a short, pugnacious men with an unusual childhood, a criminal past, trying to go straight, when he gets the case of Zella Grisham. Leonid is a sort of private eye, a fixer of complicated problems, an urban philosopher, now in big trouble with assorted killers, a big corporation, and surly cops.

I can't tell you much about the plot, except that it's complicated, involves a lot of players and a lot of money, surging currents of emotion, and a serious risk to life. Will Leonid work his way through it without getting killed? Will he get together with his true love? Will he find his father, missing for 40 years? You'll have to read the book to find out. Just remember--don't try to figure everything out. Read it like music, just enjoy it page by page.

Author Walter Mosley is a story-telling genius with a unique urban voice. He's a spellbinder. Even if you can't keep all the characters straight or remember where the money went, you'll still keep reading. His dialogue is gripping and believable; his characters fascinating. You wouldn't want to have lunch with most of them, but you care about them in the book, wonder if they'll find what they're looking for, and what makes them tick. Like all of Mosley's books, I recommend this one highly. Read it as soon as you can. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Smokey VINE VOICE on December 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Walter Mosley's Leonid McGill is an interesting character, and I look forward to the books that feature the PI. Unfortunately, "All I Did Was Shoot My Man" is not one of the best of the series. It promises to be interesting as McGill tries to help a women recently released from prison, a woman whom he helped to frame for a robbery she did not commit. Trying to make amends for his part in Zella Grisham's imprisonment, McGill trying to figure out who was really behind the "heist", puts himself and Zella in danger.

The book is, however, a disjointed read, with so many characters involved in the heist, but not really present in the book, that it is hard to follow. It bounces around too much, and made me wish Mosley would just have skipped the investigative part and concentrated on McGill's personal life, which changes drastically when it comes to his family. There are changes, too, with the woman he loves, but the parts of the novel that deal with that aspect of McGill's life get short shrift.

As always, the characters are interesting and McGill juggles his relationships and responsibilities in a determined fashion. I hope the next book in the series holds together better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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.

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.
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