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Hoke Moseley

Damn! He Looks a Lot Like Me

I have just finished reading all of Charles Willeford’s Hoke Moseley novels about a Miami police sergeant investigating homicides. Unfortunately, there are only four novels in the series:

  • Miami Blues (1984)
  • New Hope for the Dead (1985)
  • Sideswipe (1987)
  • The Way We Die Now (1988)

Hoke Moseley is a decidedly soft-edged detective. He soaks his false teeth in a glass, has no ambitions regarding promotion, is helping to take care of his two teenage daughters as well as his pregnant Cuban police partner (he was not the father), and is actually an all-around nice guy. He drinks beer, plays Monopoly, and is, in many ways, quite average. Very refreshing for a change!

If you like the Florida crazies in the novels of John D. MacDonald, Elmore Leonard, and Carl Hiaasen, you will love Willeford’s Hokester. It’s too bad that he wrote his best novels at the end of his career (he died in 1988) instead of earlier. That way, he could have written more of the Moseley saga.

I urge you to start with Miami Blues and continue with the other three titles. In fact, I couldn’t think of a better series for summer reading.