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

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,547 Ratings  ·  235 Reviews
Softcover novel
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Riverhead Hardcover (first published January 1st 2012)
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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
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
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.
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
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
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
The main sleuths in Walter Mosley novels are two very different men. In my heart, I still love and adore Easy Rawlins. He remains my first love. In this novel, I met Leonid Trotter McGill. Leonid is brutal and street smart. Leonid has a short fuse. He doesn't have time to mess around. You either want him to work for you or you don't. It's that easy. However, McGill is not just a man ready to punch you out. He's also a family man. Weaved beneath each case in this novel, is the importance of famil ...more
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.
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
Phil Bird
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one as much as the last instalment, although I found it a bit harder to follow (I think what threw me was using first names to identify characters and then using last names). I really like the main characters especially Leonid, the characters definitely carry this book along. Worth a read.
Ashley S
Expectations not met

The book was okay I just expected more. This is my first book by this author so I will definitely try another one of his books to determine if it was the story line.
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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
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
“I wondered if I could just drop the role I carried like a mantle of a dethroned prince.” 3 likes
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