Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “All I Did Was Shoot My Man (Leonid McGill, #4)” as Want to Read:
All I Did Was Shoot My Man (Leonid McGill, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

All I Did Was Shoot My Man (Leonid McGill #4)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,641 Ratings  ·  242 Reviews
Softcover novel
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Riverhead Hardcover (first published January 1st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-45)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Richard Derus
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Rating: 2.5* of five

The Publisher Says: In the latest and most surprising novel in the bestselling Leonid McGill series, Leonid finds himself caught between his sins of the past and an all-too-vivid present.

Seven years ago, Zella Grisham came home to find her man, Harry Tangelo, in bed with her friend. The weekend before, $6.8 million had been stolen from Rutgers Assurance Corp., whose offices are across the street from where Zella worked. Zella didn't remember shooting Harry, but she didn't den
*2.5 Stars*
A nifty little title. I like it. It refers to NY private detective Leonid McGill's new "client(?)" Zella Grisham, who recently served 8 years for not only shooting her boyfriend, but for being involved in a major robbery. As usual, Leonid is feeling the need to atone for past sins. Leonid is the one that planted the false evidence that implicated Zella in the heist. Now he means to get to the bottom of who was really behind it.


The only thing cool about the plot is the title. One
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’ve wanted to read something from Walter Mosley for a while now. I hear good things about his hardboiled mysteries—a modern African American twist on traditional Noir—and these days we’re putting all sorts of twists on traditional Noir, so why not try another flavor, right? That’s why I was really excited to get a copy of his most recent novel. It’s called All I Did Was Shoot My Man, and it’s the fourth in the Leonid McGill series.

Overall All I Did Was Shoot My Man was a great book. The charact
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is another solid entry in Walter Mosley's new PI series. I got a little lost in the plot toward the end, but that may be because I had to stop in the middle for a paid reading asignment. I like the way WM handles the back story, and how he intersperses the philosophical bits in the narrative.
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm a long time fan of Walter Mosley's work, especially his Easy Rawlins mysteries and the blues-flavored RL's Dream. The Leonid McGill mysteries are a bit different.

McGill is hired to the Zella Grisham, arriving on a bus, just out of prison after serving eight years of a fifteen year sentence for shooting her boy friend after catching him in bed with her best friend. She'd never denied it, just didn't remember it, and prosecutors hadn't been inclined to try her. That is, until the paper bands f
Marissa Morrison
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Either I didn't drink enough coffee today, or the plot of this book is hard to follow. Eight years ago there was a big heist, and some dozen characters were either involved in the heist or played a role in its cover-up. Some of those characters are now dead men with no more to identify them than their names (or, in one case, a rotting corpse), some are described in a paragraph or two but never appear in person in the book, and some--many?--have nicknames and aliases (I couldn't give more than a ...more
Finished this a while ago and forgot to record it!

For people who really like mysteries with a suspenseful vibe and gritty urban realism, I imagine this would at least be a 4 star or maybe a 5 star read. It's very very good at doing what it does, but it's just not really my thing. I guess I like escapist English countryside mysteries better (ha ha, from my sample size of two books). For me personally it's probably more of a 3 star, but I decided to give it 4 stars for the potential I think it ha
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Walter Mosely’s Leonid McGill is not a good man. He isn’t necessarily a bad man either, but he has done some really bad things in the past. Product of a dysfunctional home and the enabler of another of his own making, he has decided to change his life around and atone for the wrong he has done.

In this fourth outing in the series, All I Did Was Shoot My Man, this means arranging for the release of Zella Grisham, and helping her get back on her feet. Zella (to whom the title of the book refers) wa
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The fourth Leonid McGill novel by Walter Mosley proves once again that Mosley is really one of our finest novelists. If you haven't read any of the Leonid McGill books in the past, it's not that difficult to dip into the series at #4. Leonid is a private detective with a "bent" past who is trying to make up for his past misdeeds. He has done some downright criminal things and is always being watched by the police, but always manages to elude them.

In an excellent NPR interview and discussion of
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
The plot and story has been well documented here, so it will remain absent in my review. The crime and all of its' relations almost seem secondary to Mosley's sundry riffs on people and society. He is like a jazz artist in that way, and the various characters are merely instruments to help us experience the world through the eyes of a gifted writer. A very enjoyable book, one than is well paced, and you will not finger the person responsible for the heist until the very end. This yearning and de ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have read a lot of Mosley. Have him listed as one of my favorite authors. This tome however was a muddled mess. I was never sure whether Mosley was more interested in solving the very thin plot of the "mystery" or giving me added back story of his protagonists family dynamics. Which were really just a repeat of things already spelled out in the first three books of the Leonid McGill series. Mosley seemed to introduce a new character in each succeeding chapter. Some that came and went in the sp ...more
Wilde Sky
May 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
A detective investigates an old robbery.

I thought this book was a bit of a mess – a lot of the time I couldn’t figure out who was talking / thinking and most of the writing was a bit clunky.
Kelly Knapp
Feb 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: not sure I would but I think young men would be its best audience
Recommended to Kelly by: Goodreads firstreads program
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it
ALL I DID WAS SHOOT MY MAN. (2012). Walter Mosley. ***.
This is an episode in Mosley’s Leonid McGill series of mysteries. It may have deserved more stars than I gave it, but that would only come from readers who were up on McGill’s previous adventures. I think that there were three novels featuring this character prior to this one. In spite of Mosley’s efforts, this is not really a stand-alone novel in the sense that it can be picked up and read and understood by one not familiar with McGill’s p
Daniel Sevitt
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: part-of-a-series
Nice entry in the series switching between real cases and real peril and Leonid's strange and exhausting family.

I like the contrast between this series with its cellphones and computer hacking and Mosley's period-set Easy Rawlins books. Good to know there's already another one of these for me.
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
This review first appeared on my blog:

Last year I read and reviewed my first (but Mosley's third) installment in the Leonid McGill series, When the Thrill is Gone. It was enough to make me love this character - a thinking man's P.I. with a philosophical bent:

The path of my life appeared before me-hard and clear. I could,
in the dream, turn around and take everything back. I could pass
through time and decide not to help Zella or lie to Shelly. I could
June Ahern
Aug 24, 2015 rated it liked it
This is my third Walter Mosley novels and I found it entertaining. My only issue was with the amount of characters to remember who done what, who knew who and who done did it. I see some reviews that said the protagonist Leonid McGill is unbelievable and wish to remind readers that fiction can create just that, not true images of the strength and skills of a human thus super dudes. The title "All I Did Was Shoot My Man" was perfect for the crime and the mystery surrounding the charges made to Ze ...more
Dave B.
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Walter Mosley writes like a jazz player rifting away at the ivory keys in a dark night club. This latest entry in his Leonid McGill series was just as entertaining as his past books. Mosley’s free flowing nature can be hard to get a hold of at first but once you do layers of richness unfold like a velvet cake. I started this book and I didn’t know where it was going just like a noisy beginning to a Miles Davis tune. Once I finished the book I understood all the minor characters and their motives ...more
Matt Kuhns
May 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I can't rate this one quite as highly as the previous two Leonid McGill novels, to which I would probably assign an enthusiastic five stars. I read the others in one to two sittings, finishing in the early hours of the morning; this one I was actually able to put down.

It's quite a good book, just not as wildly absorbing. I think Mosley got a few too many plates spinning in this one, frankly; the intricacies of the main plot, though largely beside the point, were baffling. Side-plots seem piled i
Leonid McGill continues to be a wonderfully complex character as his past, present, (and future) intertwine in this excellent entry in this series.

McGill is a PI who continues to make amends for wrongs he has committed in his previous life as a gangster/fixer. In this one he arranges the release from prison of Zella Grisham, who nine years earlier he helped frame for a $58 million insurance heist. This awakens the other players in the heist scheme.

McGill's personal life also remains complex and
Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Leonid McGill is a private investigator with a checkered past. As he embarks on the later quarter of his life righting past wrongs take control. First he fixes the case against Zella Grisham but her release from prison starts a domino sequence that threatens to destroy everyone connected to her. As Leonid works through the madness, his life continues to unravel - his wife breaks through her depression, an old flame returns offering her heart, Zella's baby is found, his family is nearly killed an ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Walter Mosley once said that in his fiction he wanted to create a heroic,strong Black Man as the protagonist...he has succeeded many times over...Leonid McGill,Fearless Jones,Easy Rawlins and my particular favourite,Socrates Fortlow...they are all Black,strong and and heroic and yet are all vivid individuals who are not just the same character under different names...Robert B. Parker,for example,wrote more than one enjoyable series but Spenser,Sunny and Jesse are all essentially the same charact ...more
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have developed a true like for Walter Mosley's detective novels. I found this one to be an easy read that held just enough to keep the suspense going. Leonid McGill's world is always gritty and filled with a cast of characters who either are working with him or against him. His personal relationships are always threaded with complex emotions and moves that should blow his marriage completely to an end. But as always, Mosley works things out and leave the door open for the next case.
Dan Klimaszewski
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mosley continues with themes of racial and social ambiguity in this story set in New York. There are at least four subplots involving several different women and family members. I liked it and I would guess there are more books in this series to come. Sex and violence are highlighted.
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Ok it's a great noir mystery with a lot of interesting characters, but half the time I had no clue what was going on.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
Walter Mosely has written some good novels. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. 1 of 10 stars
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it
A good enough book for this genre. I enjoyed The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray so much more.
Loved it. Cliffhanger for an ending. Can't wait to read the next one.
Mike Cuthbert
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mosley’s Leonid McGill mysteries are tough to follow not only because of the many characters that populate them, but because those characters often have multiple names and the relationships between them and the squat hero are often times confusing. For example: he is married to the lovely Swede, Katrina, but has a mistress named Aura whom he loves deeply and several ex girlfriends who he bumps into occasionally. Too, McGill frequently bumps into women that intrigue and tempt him into erections a ...more
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
A satisfying detective story about Mosley's latest flawed hero (is there any detective story these days in which the hero isn't flawed?).

Here is a list of challenges Leonid McGill has to deal with before the last page: the Communist father who abandoned the family when Leonid was young, the woman who shot her man and on whom he foisted false evidence and sent to jail for a huge robbery (many flawed regrets), her baby given up for adoption, her missing boyfriend and his woman, a rich man who can
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Leonid McGill is a multi-tasker. In each episode of this series (which I've been binge reading) he must juggle: a case that comes in the front door of his detective agency; the legacy of his unsavory past of helping criminals frame others for their crimes; his less than optimal family life. He's also a riveting and funny narrator, whose philosophical musings reflect his red diaper upbringing. As if to further feed these political tendencies, all of his cases eventually point to the rich and powe ...more
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another solid entry in the Leonid McGill saga, though still shy of the greatness that was Known to Evil. Leonid's latest attempt to right the wrongs of his past places him in the cross hairs of a particularly dangerous foe. Unfortunately, the enemy remains too far away from the action to really flesh out the character, and so the denouement of the novel lacks the punch it ought to have, especially since there are very few secondary storylines in this latest Walter Mosley thriller to pick up the ...more
May 13, 2016 rated it liked it
In this book, I met Lenoid McGill. I say "I" because apparently there are three previous books. He is a family man. A crusader. A criminal turned private investigator. This book details one of Lenoid's cases, which is a quest to right a wrong he himself committed. Several years ago a woman named Zella Grisham was sent to jail for a crime she didn't commit. Although, she did shoot her boyfriend when she found him in bed with her best friend, she did not steal the money that was found in her stora ...more
Mahoghani 23
Leonid McGill to the rescue. In this plot, Leonid's trying to correct a wrong he did to a woman who was only guilty for shooting her boyfriend because she caught him sleeping with her best friend in her bed. Zella Grisham doesn't remember shooting him but Leonid understands his role in her being sent to prison for stealing $58 million dollars.

Back in the day, Leonid used to set people up for a crime some did and some did not commit. He's now trying to atone for his actions. Especially since he's
Riccarla Roman
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love the twisty plots of Walter mosley books. Sometimes I have to read sections over again to make sure I understood what happened.

This book starts out with a great title. Zella was sent to prison for participating in a robbery from a huge corporations of some fifty-eight million dollars. The problem is the only thing Zella actually did was come home early and find her man in bed with her new best friend. She shot him. Didn't kill him, just wounded him. She was arrested and should have been se
L Fleisig
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
"The blues ain't nothing but a woman crying for her man."
So sang Dinah Washington. And much like Dinah Washington, Walter Mosley's "All I Did Was Shoot my Man" is filled with the blues, the type of blues that makes for a great story.

Leonid McGill, who made his first appearance in The Long Fall, isn't as much a private eye as he is a `fixer'. Named after Leonid Breshnev by his long-absent revolutionary Marxist father, McGill's career involves taking other people's problems and finding a way out.
Jan 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
“'Tell me something I don't know,' I said.
“'Until the end of the season all aphids are born female and pregnant.'
“'Something pertinent'” (31).
“Mardi smiled. She never spoke unless she had something to say—a rare quality among Americans of any age” (35).
“Dmitri and I look a lot alike. Our faces were not made to express powerful emotions. Our people carried heavy loads and looked into the wind” (41).
“Mothers and guilty lovers, the use private detectives like paper towels in a public toilet” (59).
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
All I Did Was Shoot My Man is one of the most straightforward and clear-cut Leonid McGill mysteries so far. That's not to say that there aren't twists and turns but Leonid's options and his path in the novel don't get too difficult to follow. I think it's reflective of his state of mind during the story - dealing with his past crimes coming to bear and going into full survival mode.

As with other books in the series, the characters are rich and interesting, even those that can be seen as "throwaw
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
Zella goes home one day and finds her lover and her best friend in her apartment, her bed. So she shoots him. Several times, apparently, Zella has no memory of anything after her initial discovery. The DA might have left the whole thing slide - 3 very non-lethal wounds and the circumstances. Then came a tip and that DA found fifty thousand dollars from a recent $58 million robbery in Zella's storage locker, complete with a drop of blood from a slain guard on one of the bands. Zella, denying know ...more
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Leonid McGill is a very interesting guy, but what is even more interesting is how Mosley uses him to explore:
Issues of human nature
Guilt and regret
Restitution and absolution
Why we do the things we do and what we tell ourselves before, during and after
Food and other needs
The little known parts of New York City
By now Mosely has a cast of characters which include: the family; the cops and various members of the “underworld.” By skillfully blending the plot pieces he establishes a le
Ronald Roseborough
Walter Mosley continues his winning ways with this fast paced, hard hitting, twisted web of a mystery. If you haven't started reading Mosley, you are truly missing out on some very literate and well plotted mysteries. Leonid McGill has a problem, well, one of many. Years ago at a mobster's request, he planted evidence against a woman, Zella Grisham, that implicated her as an accomplice in a multimillion dollar robbery. She was already on the fast track to prison, having shot and wounded her husb ...more
Gloria Feit
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Leonid Trotter (“LT”) McGill is a 55-year-old African-American man, a former boxer, con man, fixer and over-all reprobate turned [relatively honest] PI is one of the more unusual characters in mystery fiction. Married, he has little if anything to do with his wife. As far as his three children are concerned, he acknowledges that two are not his, but he loves and nurtures all. His collection of friends and associates are as unconventional as he is. And so are the books in the series, all somewhat ...more
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have long been a fan of Walter Mosley, and perhaps the only one I know of who liked Leonid McGill almost as much as Easy Rawlins from the start. This is because, though Easy tells a more base, raw story (having a racist, Civil-Rights world around him), Leonid is much more multi-faceted and complex, with a highly intelligent voice and dealing with many more problems than Easy. For this reason, McGill stands as the more relevant of the two heroes, if not the more popular. Hopefully (if Mosley ge ...more
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Walter Mosley's plots are maze-like, and his heros are nearly anti-heroic. Yet the plots flow, and the heros are compelling. Their struggle to do a right thing, despite their many wrongs, makes them empathetic: don't we often feel that way?

I am fascinated at his insistence on the omni-presence of race and ethnicity. Every character's skin color receives a different adjective, and they come from varied locations on the globe. He is not being divisive (I don't think); he is demonstrating a melting
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Leonid Trotter McGill is cool, complex, and his story is good. But I really miss Easy Rawlins and Mouse and Etta Mae. Twilliam needs more space and I want to hang out with Zephrya a lot more, too. Something is missing in the Leonid McGill mysteries, the sense that the author is not in love with his characters as he was with the Easy Rawlins series. Leonid's friends, family and escapades are just a tad too contrived; Easy and Mouse's just happened. Mosley is always worth reading, though, always. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Dying in the Dark (Tamara Hayle, #7)
  • In the Night of the Heat (Tennyson Hardwick, #2)
  • Chasing Shadows: A Special Agent's Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice
  • Original Sin
  • Camouflage (Nameless Detective, #35)
  • Potboiler
  • The Lost Treasures of R&B
  • Caught Dead (Rick Van Lam, #1)
  • What It Was
  • Blanche Among the Talented Tenth (Blanche White series Book 2)
  • Godchild (Jack Marconi #2)
  • Sunset (John Bekker, #1)
  • Black Fridays (Jason Stafford, #1)
  • Without a Word (Rachel Alexander & Dash, #8)
  • The Tenth Witness (Henri Poincare Mystery, #2)
  • Lickin' License
  • Phantom Limb (Daniel Rinaldi #4)
  • Black Orchid Blues
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
More about Walter Mosley

Other books in the series

Leonid McGill (5 books)
  • The Long Fall (Leonid McGill, #1)
  • Known to Evil (Leonid McGill, #2)
  • When the Thrill Is Gone (Leonid McGill, #3)
  • And Sometimes I Wonder About You
“That would be like me tellin' a gosling not to migrate down south his first mature season. You got to go. Got to. There's gonna be snakes and foxes, and in your case, [...], there might even be men with guns.” 3 likes
“It's not that racism doesn't exist. Lots of people in New York, and elsewhere, hate because of color and gender, religion and national origin. It's just that I rarely worry about those things because there's a real world underneath all that nonsense; a world that demands my attention almost every second of the day.

Racism is a luxury in a world where resources are scarce, where economic competition is an armed sport, in a world where even the atmosphere is plotting against you. In an arena like that racism is more of a halftime entertainment, a favorite sitcom when the day is done.”
More quotes…