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Fearless Jones (Fearless Jones #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,945 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
Walter Mosley's Fearless Jones inaugurates a new crime series set in 1950s Los Angeles. But can Jones match Mosley's engaging long-term hero Easy Rawlins? On the evidence of this first book, the answer is resoundingly in the affirmative, even if the new series takes a little time to establish the new protagonist. And this is probably because the central character here is n ...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2001)
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Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter MosleyBlanche on the Lam by Barbara NeelyA Little Yellow Dog by Walter MosleyLittle Scarlet by Walter MosleyFearless Jones by Walter Mosley
african american mysteries
5th out of 113 books — 40 voters
The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Long Goodbye by Raymond ChandlerFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Best Hardboiled PI & Noir
263rd out of 531 books — 657 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Melki
"Man, Paris, you got us into a real mess here."

"I didn't get into no mess. Mess just fell right top'a me. I was just sitting in my store reading a book."


It's 1954. Paris Minton is living the dream, running a used bookstore in Watts.

Business wasn't brisk, but it paid the rent and utilities. And all day long I could do the thing I loved best - reading. I read Up from Slavery, Tom Sawyer Abroad, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Mein Kampf, and dozens of other titles in the first few months. Who
...more
Wendy
Mar 20, 2012 Wendy rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book but I could only muster up a like. The story started strong but got bogged down in the middle. It was saved mostly by the character of Paris, who makes a nice Watson to Fearless's Sherlock. The author also knows how to turn a phrase nicely, which helped keep me reading.

The characters were mostly well done and the 1950s LA setting was terrific but the plot - oy! Trying to follow the in's and out's of the bond that everyone was chasing was convoluted to say the le
...more
Milt Jacobs
Mar 02, 2016 Milt Jacobs rated it liked it
Good action, fast paced but I got confused with so many different characters, or my mind is just getting feeble.
Larry Piper
Mar 16, 2016 Larry Piper rated it really liked it
Last summer I read through the last three of the Easy Rawlins books by Walter Mosley. Apparently, Mosley has had second thoughts and has resuscitated Easy, but the new book isn't yet available on kindle. So, I figured why not try a different Mosley series, the one featuring Fearless Jones. This is the first of them in which we are introduced to the narrator, Paris Minton, a second-hand book seller who is in the business primarily because he gets to sit around all day reading books, and his frien ...more
Nanette Bulebosh
Feb 25, 2011 Nanette Bulebosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've written before about how much I love Paris Minton and Fearless Jones, Mosley's intrepid accidental investigators. Part of my attraction is just the satisfaction of being exposed to such different personalities than the ones I find in small-town Wisconsin in 2010. Paris and Fearless solve the cases thrown their way in the less-prosperous sections of L.A. in the early 1950s. They're also African American, which means the cops suspect them of everything, even when it's clear they had nothing t ...more
Brian Toohey
Aug 18, 2010 Brian Toohey rated it it was ok
Mosley can't seem to decide whether he wants to write slice-of-life drama or noir, so he splits the difference and gives us a hybrid. But what results is something too meandering and lacking momentum to be an effective mystery, and too tied to genre conventions to stand as social observance. Mosley loves his characters, there's no doubt about that; he has a deep love for them. But his ability to walk the line between these two styles and successfully merge them together appears to slipping with ...more
Paul Brazill
Jun 03, 2016 Paul Brazill rated it it was amazing
Back in the 1990’s I lived in London. My then girlfriend was working in the kitchens at The Jazz Café in Camden. On night she phoned me to say that there was bloke on stage reading crime stories to a hip jazz accompaniment. She later told me he was called Walter Mosley. He was promoting a book called Devil In A Blue Dress.

So, I bought Devil In A Blue Dress. And, as they appeared, the next few Easy Rawlins books. Every one a gem.

A bit later, I read ‘Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned,’ which I
...more
Sheela Word
Mar 29, 2014 Sheela Word rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Well-written mystery set in the 1950's and featuring two black friends -- a smart guy and a brave guy. The story is told from the smart guy's perspective. Secondary characters include a conniving femme fatale; an elderly Jewish couple, their niece, and her husband; thugs of assorted color and style; racist police officers; friends and girlfriends of the protagonists; and a dog. The complicated plot revolves around a missing bond that various parties assume will make them rich, if they ...more
Stewart
Jun 01, 2015 Stewart rated it it was amazing
Shelves: no-longer-own
This book fit right into my fiction wheelhouse. I've been an unabashed fan of Mosley's Easy Rawlins series forever, and have always loved how Mosley scripted Easy's interaction with the Jews of mid-century Los Angeles, a group who experienced very different, but still profound, racism from the general populace. Fearless Jones inhabits the same Los Angeles that Easy Rawlins does. Easy doesn't make an appearance, but there are a few references to his associates that make reading this novel feel li ...more
Des
Feb 28, 2016 Des rated it really liked it
If you have heard of Walter Mosley, it’s most likely through the adventures of his original private detective Easy Rawlins. Mosley still writes in that short film noir style that draws you in like a good smooth jazz rhythm but where Easy Rawlins is crafty and his narrative tone soft and bluesy, Fearless Jones tends to have a stronger, harder rift to its flow and tone. This reflects first, the title character, who is a defiant but principled man, who has no problems taking you down first and then ...more
Ariel
Oct 06, 2014 Ariel rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, mystery
By the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins mysteries about black detectives in LA. This one is a little bit like Sherlock Holmes in that the sidekick tells the story about the friend-detective partner he admires. Takes place in the '50s. Fearless is so brave, so strong, so powerful, so kind, so charismatic, he's like John Henry or a figure in a tall tale. The narrator is a bookstore owner who left the South for LA because he was looking for desegregated libraries. They both have a certain charm ...more
Mary
Apr 10, 2009 Mary rated it it was ok
this book was o k but near the end it began to get boring to drawn out .
i have read this author before and he is good just this book was not as good as the others .
Rebecca
Aug 06, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Here in a small white community, I came across my first Walter Mosley novel at a used book sale held at the local library. I was introduced to Easy Rawlins, WWII veteran returning to L.A. and his friend, the very scary Mouse. When Mr. Mosley announced he was retiring Easy, I was so disappointed. Not to worry. We have a new hero, Fearless Jones and his buddy, Paris Minton. Paris owns a bookstore; quite different from the killer, Mouse. Fearless inaugarates a new crime series set in 50"s and 60's ...more
Guy
Jun 17, 2008 Guy rated it liked it
Terwijl Mosley naarstig verderwerkt aan zijn succesvolle “Easy Rawlins”-reeks (intussen 11 delen) die hem bekend maakte, benut hij blijkbaar elke andere beschikbare minuut om te werken aan nevenprojecten die uitblinken in diversiteit: een boek voor jongvolwassenen (zo’n onnozel label, ‘young adults’), drie science fiction romans, twee erotische boeken en een handvol maatschappelijk geëngageerde publicaties die vooral politieke en raciale kwesties onder de loep nemen. De twee boeken over Socrates ...more
Alex
Sep 01, 2009 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As previously noted, Mosley doesn't really trust his readers, and so his insistence on really spelling out the relationships between characters, or how a character is feeling at a particular moment, or a motivation for an action, really gets in the way.

In this book it hit me hardest when, in describing a minor female character, Mosley has his lead talk about how she's dyed her hair blond and states that this adhering to white standards of beauty has diminished her own. He honestly says that str
...more
Eli Bishop
Nov 19, 2011 Eli Bishop rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
I'm sure at some point Mosley could run out of things to do with '50s LA, but frankly I'm just a sucker for his writing so I wouldn't even mind if he just kept repeating his old plots scene by scene. The plot in this one takes a while to make any sense, but it's mostly an excuse to set in motion some characters who are good to know, and to let you soak in Mosley's savory sense of life. He writes about a corrupt, unjust, violent world with a strange lack of cynicism: evil schemers may cause you g ...more
Linda
Oct 04, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it
Walter Mosley is at his best describing life for African Americans in 1950s Los Angeles. I love (well, mostly love) his anti-hero, Paris Minton. He's a slight man, bookish, not so physically courageous, who gets thrown into danger and intrigue very much against his will. I both love and hate the elements of the hard-boiled detective novel that are nodded to here. Hate the femme fatale trope, love the use of familiar archetypes to tell a story from an unfamiliar point of view.

The plot is fast pac
...more
Villager
Sep 24, 2012 Villager rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of Walter Mosley. However, I've never read any of the books in this 'Fearless Jones' series until this week. I just finished the first book in the series, 'Fearless Jones' and I appreciate the talent that Mosley has for creating Black characters from a different era in our nation. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, so I also appreciate the backdrop for this book's story.

Fearless is described from the perspective of his friend, Paris Minton. These two get embroiled with police, stree
...more
Mike Jensen
This is a good book in so many ways: a compelling narrative voice, a well realized story, vivid characters, and a milieu that is troubled and troubling. Best of all, perhaps, is that the author allows us to experience a culture and a way of viewing the world that is foreign to me, but, I’m sure, real to millions of people. The only problem, and it is a big one, is that I simply did not buy the motivation of the protagonist and his friend, the title character. They essentially function as private ...more
Jen
Feb 04, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, america
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew Fray
May 03, 2015 Matthew Fray rated it liked it
An unusual lead character - the black, second-hand bookstore owner Paris Minton - and setting makes this stand out from the majority of crime novels. The plot and writing make the story rattle along at a good pace and the everyday discrimination that Paris and his pal suffer adds a different dimension to the story. They are never going to get the benefit of the doubt from the authorities and encountering the police will nearly always end badly for them.
Sumarie
Sep 26, 2014 Sumarie rated it liked it
I have really, really enjoyed the other Walter Mosley books that I have read. I think he's a fantastic writer, but this book did not impress me as much as the others (like Bad Boy Brawly Brown which first turned me on to Mosley). His writing skills are just as evident, but the story was very confusing to me, and I don't think that I'm a very easily confused reader.

I'm a slow reader and only typically read 20-25 pages each night, but when I would pick the book up, sometimes I was just completely
...more
Adrienna
This was a decent read but didn't woo me or greatly enthralled by the read. In the beginning, or premises of the book, I kept hearing about "Fearless" Jones from the main character: Paris Minton, and wondering where is this DUDE. Finally he comes in about 1/4 of the novel until the end. Of course, the things aforementioned in the beginning of the novel doesn't end the way you expect or the characters you thought caused the fire of the bookstore, was someone you would least expect to do it but th ...more
Richp
Feb 23, 2015 Richp rated it liked it
I'm a big fan of the Easy Rawlins books, and this one features different protagonists, but the same setting, black Los Angeles, in 1954. I found this below average for these books, but still considered rating it a 4, and on a finer scale, it is 3.5 for me.

Warning: the violence level is high, compared to most crime fiction, although some is much worse.
Tim
Dec 28, 2015 Tim rated it liked it
A new series for Mosley, set earlier than Easy Rawlins, in 50s LA. Paris Minton operates a used bookstore, that gets burned down because of a woman. Those actions pull him and his brave and good at violence friend Fearless into a web of investigations and said violence. A bit convoluted and I could have used more of the bookstore.
Jim
Feb 23, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it
I am a big Easy Rawlins fan and was glad to discover another Walter Mosley character I could become familiar with. I enjoyed meeting Fearless and his friends although this story is certainly centered around Paris and not Fearless.
I look forward to the rest of the series and am curious to see if Fearless takes more of the lead.
Princely
May 29, 2009 Princely rated it really liked it
When Walter Mosley stopped his Easy Rawlins series, I was sad, but I completely understood why he had to do it. I can't tell more, in case I ruin that collection for someone else ;)

Fearless Jones and his brainy friend Paris Minton are the next level to the detective legacy Mosley is creating. I like are respect the two detectives' interplay more than with Easy and Mouse- with Fearless and Paris I can see more believable character flaws portrayed in the plot. For example, Paris' lack of bravery
...more
Matt Carton
I love Mosley, and after finishing Charcoal Joe I wanted to come back and revisit this book (I think I read it back in 2006), mainly because Fearless has a terrific supporting role in CJ. Fearless and Paris Minton are great characters. But is it great Mosley? No. Who cares, though? Fearless Jones is a fun ride.
Denise Dougherty
May 10, 2015 Denise Dougherty rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Late, I discovered Leonid McGill and love the books. Thought I'd try Fearless Jones but I found it not as skillfully put together - almost as though the book was written many years before it was published - maybe it was. Dialogue was awkward and, often, contrived. I'll try the 2nd or 3rd in the series before I give up on Fearless.

DD@Phila
Pat
Sep 04, 2014 Pat rated it it was ok
Had been wanting to read some Walter Mosley for a while, as I'd heard good things about him. Crime/caper novels aren't really my thing, and this novel didn't change that. The plot, centering around various factions battling to get hold of a stolen bond, seemed mainly a vehicle for various shootings, beatings, throttlings, and repeated reminders about the size of the narrator's man parts. The plot kept me engaged enough to get through it, but seemed uninspired and somewhat pedestrian at every ste ...more
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Walter Mosley (b. 1952) is the author of the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins, as well as numerous other works, from literary fiction and science fiction to a young adult novel and political monographs. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and the Nation, among other publications. Mosley is the winner of numero ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Fearless Jones (4 books)
  • Fear Itself (Fearless Jones, #2)
  • Fear of the Dark (Fearless Jones, #3)
  • The Plot Thickens (Fearless Jones, #0.5)

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