Fear of the Dark Review
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Paris Minton would tell you that a life worth living is hell to live, and it would be true—at least for him.

Paris owns a bookshop and keeps to himself unless he’s messing around with some white man’s woman—which leads him to crawling out the window of his own shop with his shoes in one hand and his drawers in the other. But no trouble can top his cousin, Ulysses Grant—known as Useless to most people. So when Ulysses shows up at his door claiming he needs help, Paris tells him he sells books, not help, and sends him on his way. Then Ulysses disappears, and Paris finds a dead body sprawled in the doorway of his bookstore—and the body just happens to be the boyfriend of the white woman Paris had been sleeping with.

Auntie Three Hearts Grant comes looking for her boy, and she’s ready to give the evil eye to anyone who stands in her way. Afraid she’d turn that famous evil eye on him, Paris agrees to help her find Ulysses—besides, his cousin might be able to answer questions about why a man was shot to death in his bookstore.

Enlisting the help of Fearless Jones, an ex-soldier with an honest and good heart, but a dealer of terrible punishment when deserved, they follow a twisted road laid with vague clues and dead bodies. Slowly they reveal that Ulysses “Useless” Grant has fallen into some serious hot water this time.

Set in the 1950s, Walter Mosley’s latest novel lets you walk in the shoes of a black man from the slang to the racial discrimination of the time, all wrapped up in a complicated mystery. If you think you can figure this one out, think again. I loved the fact that I could picture Morgan Freeman as Fearless Jones and Will Smith as Paris Minton. Filled with a fair bit of humor and a whole lot of heart and inscrutability, Fear of the Dark is one of the best mysteries I’ve read this summer.

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