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New Hope for the Dead (Hoke Moseley #2)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  682 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Miami homicide detective Hoke Moseley is called to a posh Miami neighborhood to investigate a lethal overdose. There he meets the alluring stepmother of the decedant, and begins to wonder about dating a witness. Meanwile, he has been threatened with suspension by his ambitious new chief unless he leaves his beloved, if squalid, suite at the El Dorado Hotel, and moves downt ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published August 10th 2004 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1985)
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Best Hardboiled PI & Noir
446th out of 531 books — 657 voters
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120th out of 145 books — 77 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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James Thane
New Hope for the Dead is the second novel in Charles Willeford’s Hoke Moseley series, following Miami Blues. Hoke is a middle-aged Miami P.D. homicide detective who’s been gutted financially by a divorce and has been reduced to living in a tiny room in a run-down residential hotel that is inconveniently located just outside the Miami city limits. Inconveniently, because Hoke’s boss has just laid down the law and announced that the department will begin rigorously enforcing the requirement that a ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
New Hope for the Dead is Charles Willeford's follow up to Miami Blues, the debut appearance of series detective Moseley. Except it's an entirely different beast of a novel. Willeford clearly didn't anticipate Moseley becoming a repeat performer in that first outing, making him secondary to the crazy Freddie Frenger Jr. and so this second novel gave him an opportunity to really flesh out the character, establish his world and really outline where this series of books is headed.

This time out Mosel
May 03, 2015 Paul rated it liked it
Lacking the great antagonist of Willeford's first novel, Miami Blues (played in the film of the same name by a young Alec Baldwin in full anarchic, scene-chewing glee), New Hope for the Dead seems to suffer from a sense of direction and purpose as the first novel in the series. Indeed, it was bit of a plod until Hoke Moseley and crew undertook the burden of 50 cold case files thrown at them by their ambitious boss while his two teenage daughters show up unannounced on his doorstep. The novel gat ...more
Carla Remy
Oct 08, 2015 Carla Remy rated it really liked it
After Miami Blues, which was about the bad guy as much as Hoke Mosely, the good guy, comes a meandering tale of Hoke's life. Dark and gritty in spots, gentle and likable overall.
Aug 30, 2010 Richard rated it really liked it
Almost nothing happens in this book but I'd rather hang out with Hoke Mosley than almost anyone on Earth
What a weird novel. Willeford was to crime fiction what Philip.K.Dick was to sci-fi. Hoke Moseley is unlike any other police detective in the crime fiction genre. He is almost like an average middle class guy in some ways - he has to deal with rent and alimony, he has not had sex in a long time and in this book, he has to take care of his teenage daughters while he deals with gluttonous cravings and obesity. Despite being a policeman, he faces housing problems caused by mass immigration and whit ...more
Nov 17, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
A Hoke Moseley novel is to literature as comfort food is to cuisine. You have to like the guy because he's just like you or at least some of your friends. He struggles with his finances, his relationships, his job, just like a real person. He's not above taking advantage of a situation for his own benefit but he's nowhere near a bad person, just an average joe and that is what makes him so appealing.
Dec 03, 2015 Jim rated it liked it
This second installment in the Hoke Moseley series is an improvement over the first "Miami Blues."

Hoke Moseley has a heap of problems, but maintains a sense of humor and street smarts. The scene in which he figures out how a young addict was killed is wonderful. The other characters in the book, including his new partner and his daughters, are well written.

Nov 07, 2011 Tracie rated it it was amazing
I might not read any other authors apart from Charles Willeford for awhile. This guy. Man.

I enjoyed this just as much as Miami Blues even though I only gave it 4 stars versus the 5 I gave to MB. The crime-solvey bit that frames the middle parts is a little meh compared to that of MB, but man oh man the middle parts of this book. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I burst out laughing at least three times, and if Hoke Moseley's sex talk with his daughters could be turned into a 2 minute play, I would see the da
Dec 29, 2014 Piker7977 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-mystery
I like Hoke Moseley and all ... but this follow up to Miami Blues was dull. It was a like a very odd episode of Father Knows Best. Hardly anything happens except for conversations with Hoke's coworkers, Hoke searching for a place to live, and a weak-ass mystery.

There were some funny quotes and conversations that saved this from a one star review. The biggest difference between this installment and Miami Blues was the back and forth plots of Hoke and the main criminal character. I must say I pref
Aug 30, 2016 James rated it liked it
This is my kinda crime book. While I love various genre fiction, I don't read a lot of mysteries because, at this mnemonically-challenged point in my life, the puzzle aspect just doesn't appeal all that much. Who cares who killed Roger Ackroyd, indeed, but, more importantly, who can remember? So, New Hope for the Dead, full to bursting with the atmosphere (the mini-malls and apartment blocks of fungible, lower-middle class Miami exurbs that perfectly embody the disappointment and alienation of a ...more
Nov 08, 2015 Sloweducation rated it it was amazing
One way to understand the history of detective fiction is to weigh out the changing balance between character-building and the central plot.

The Victorian ancestors of "detective fiction" proper were much richer in character than in plot. Consider The Moonstone, whose pleasure derives not so much from a stolen diamond as the round robin narrative eccentricity. The novel shows us not crime in a bare form, as golden age crime novels do (though always dressed with an inconsequential motive as thoug
Feb 13, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
"New Hope for the Dead" is the second Hoke Moseley story by Charles Willeford. Moseley is a middle-aged cop in early 1980's Miami, but Willeford passes over the "Miami Vice" coke don gloss usually associated with that area in that era, and tells stories of humid day-to-day life. Hard boiled with a heart.

In this story, Moseley has a new partner, who is pregnant, and he needs to find a home for himself and the two daughters that his ex wife just dumped on him. These problems slowly but surely inte
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Very snappily written, with sharp, sardonic descriptions, realistic dialogue and a story that's less about the mysteries that are solved along the way as they are about Hoke Moseley's quotidian dilemmas - finding housing,looking after two teenage daughters and generally making ends meet. The way he solves his housing problem is startlingly amoral by my standards. My first Willeford novel and it seems like I'd enjoy more.
Oct 26, 2013 Cullen rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, calibre
I loved the other two Charles Willeford books I've read, but I could not finish this one. I gave up with less than 80 pages to go.

There simply isn't a plot. That might be ok for a Murakami novel, but for the follow-up to Miami Blues? It's Hoke trying to find an apartment; Hoke thinking about minorities; Hoke awkwardly hanging out with his daughters; Hoke helping his partner move.
Feb 23, 2014 Ed rated it liked it
Hoke Moseley works to solve 50 cold cases and one apparent OD while desperately searching for a Miami based apartment. His teenage daughters arrive to live with Hoke while he tries to make sense of his current situation. Things were a little different in 1978 but Hoke manages to bridge the gap with today's world of crime fiction.
New Hope for the Dead, uscito nel 1985 (in Italia l’ha pubblicato Marcos y Marcos col titolo Tempi d’oro per i morti), di Charles Willeford, è la seconda puntata, dopo Miami Blues , delle avventure di Hoke Moseley, sergente della polizia di Miami con un’aura ben poco da “maledetto”, tutt’altro: i suoi guai sono molto meschini, prosaici, ma affrontati con uno spirito pratico che lascia poco spazio all’autocommiserazione o, appunto, al “fascino” dell’antieroe perdente e in lotta con la società.

Sep 20, 2012 wally rated it really liked it
Shelves: willeford
this is the 6th, 7th from willeford for, my version...had an introduction by james lee burke...says they taught many years together at miami-dade c.c./...willeford was a true friend to burke.


(for what it's worth: The Way We Die Now is the story i read after this one...and although i was not trying to do this...this the way we die know seems to follow, chronologically...)

story begins:
"crap," sergeant hoke mosely told his partner, "is the acronym for finding your way around miami.
Aug 01, 2012 Steve rated it liked it
The sequel to his late-career surprise hit MIAMI BLUES, this is a typically colorful Willeford tale, but lacks his typical taut sense of story construction. Its somewhat meandering and unfocused plot tracks Miami PD Homicide Det. Hoke Moseley as he simultaneously copes with his assignment to a new cold case division and the unexpected arrival of his teenage daughters after his ex-wife dumps them on his doorstep before splitting for California. The main narrative drive is a fairly weak storyline ...more
Patrick McCoy
Oct 30, 2012 Patrick McCoy rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-noir, fiction
The second book in Charles Willeford's series featuring divorced, middle aged Detective Hoke Moseley is the entertaining New Hope For The Dead. The new hope is born from a special assignment designed to solve cold cases to make the homicide department look better on percentages of solved murders that would lead to a number of promotions. Willeford writes very well when showing the mind numbing detail checking that leads to the solving of crimes. But what I love about his writing is what the read ...more
Feb 05, 2010 Rauf rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of detective/police procedural genre
Charles Willeford chose not to face Sergeant Hoke Moseley with an enigmatic sociopath killer or white supremacists or Cuban drug lords in New Hope For The Dead -- a follow-up to his 1984's novel, Miami Blues. There were no blood-splattered crime scenes or Tim Dorsey-esque ways of killing people or a mystical art of erasing all signs of death. Willeford kept the story on the ground.
For those who wants to know, the original title for Miami Blues was Kiss Your Ass Good-Bye.
Hoke Moseley had his plat
Tim Niland
Jun 20, 2012 Tim Niland rated it liked it
Hoke Mosley in a police Sargent in Miami whose career and life are going through some trials and tribulations. Put in charge of a major cold-case sweep of unsolved homicides at the same time that his estranged wife decides to drop his two daughters on him and his partner suffers a breakdown, he has to use all of his skills just to stay afloat. One case keeps sticking with him though, the presumed overdose death of a young man just doesn't seem right even as he begins to surreptitiously court the ...more
John Grazide
Nov 29, 2015 John Grazide rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A street wise homicide detective in Miami gets the surprise of his life when his estranged wife sends his two teenage daughters to live with him. Down on his luck from a crazy divorce ruling, living in a run down hotel he takes them in.

One of the funniest scenes is when he decides to tell them about sex. Hoke decides to be blunt to get his point across. Or the scene when, to keep the girls busy, fellow detective shows the girls crime scene photos.

Great writing, although brief, and very memorabl
Apr 01, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Sgt. Hoke Mosely is a bit of an anachronism even taking into account the 80's era in which this story was written. Although he has a good female partner he still feels that the best career for women is marriage. Funnily enough his own marriage was a failure which has left him broke, estranged from his children, living in a dump with more burdens than Job.

Despite this Hoke keeps his eye on his objective of solving murders and manages to keep those around him calm and confident which makes him an
Feb 18, 2016 Harry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Während in »Miami Blues«, dem ersten Roman rund um den Polizisten Hoke Moseley, der soziopathische Antagonist den Plot stetig vorantreibt, wirkt »Keine Hoffnung für die Toten« leider wie ein wenig gelungenes Mosaik. Willeford hat zwar wieder auf eine Rahmenhandlung gesetzt, die ist allerdings äußerst spannungsarm und kommt nicht über das Niveau eines durchschnittlichen TV-Krimis hinaus. Interssant bleibt allerdings der opportunistische Hoke Moseley. Immer auf der Suche nach dem eigenen Vorteil. ...more
Aug 13, 2010 Eric_W rated it really liked it
I like Willeford. I like his characters, especially Hoke's sardonic and realistic view of the world, but there was something about this book that kept nagging at me. Scenes appeared familiar ,and I kept wondering if I had read the book before. Possible, I suppose, although I couldn't find any notes or other indications of that likilihood.

It's the grind of normal life that makes this book interesting as the investigation plot lines are rather thin. Hoke's ex-wife has dumped the two daughters on
Philip Girvan
Mar 22, 2015 Philip Girvan rated it it was amazing
Another entertaining Hoke Moseley novel: this, the follow-up to Miami Blues, finds Hoke looking for new lodgings, getting reacquainted with his two teenage daughters, solving a murder case, and tentatively re-entering the dating scene.

Highly recommended: this is a humorous, fun story featuring one of the best, and clearly one of the most underrated, detectives in American fiction.
May 14, 2016 AV AV rated it liked it
De misdaad ligt op straat en de auteur weet een bijzonder goed beeld te scheppen. Dat dit verhaal een detective is staat buiten kijf, maar omdat de (grote) privéproblemen van de inspecteur danig het beeld bepalen kan hier net zo goed gesproken worden van een roman. Het is goed om nog een ander boek van deze auteur te lezen.
Apr 13, 2015 Clay rated it really liked it
Has Hoke changed? It's been many months since I finished reading the first novel but he seems to be quite different. I remember him as a little bit awkward, neurotic and insecure. Obviously he was not full on Aspergers but I remember him as a little bit of a weird guy. In this book he is confident, ruthless and even bossy. He threatens his superiors, seduces a woman and bends the rules. That was all new.

Despite these changes the book was still a good read. The characters are super clear and the
Mar 25, 2015 Rushbug23 rated it liked it
don't know what it is about these books but I keep listening to them. I guess it has something interesting about them but nothing to write home about and recommend folks to read's kinda dry.
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Charles Willeford was a remarkably fine, talented and prolific writer who wrote everything from poetry to crime fiction to literary criticism throughout the course of his impressively long and diverse career. His crime novels are distinguished by a mean'n'lean sense of narrative economy and an admirable dearth of sentimentality. He was born as Charles Ray Willeford III on January 2, 1919 in Little ...more
More about Charles Willeford...

Other Books in the Series

Hoke Moseley (5 books)
  • Miami Blues
  • Sideswipe: A Hoke Moseley Novel
  • The Way We Die Now
  • Grimhaven

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