The novel's protagonist. His full name is Ezekiel Rawlins. After fighting in World War II, Easy settles in segregated Los Angeles. He is fiercely proud of his home and haunted by memories from the war.
A white man who takes odd investigatory and other jobs in order to make a living. Often flanked by his bodyguards, Manny and Sharrif, Mr. Albright dresses in stunning white clothing. He has been commissioned by Todd Carter to locate Daphne Monet, and he hires Easy to help him.
Owner of Joppy's bar, a dingy establishment above a butcher's shop. Joppy is Easy's friend, but betrays his confidence. He beats Howard Green and Coretta James to death and eventually dies at the hands of Mouse.
A woman who appears white but is "colored." She is Frank Green's half-sister and Todd Carter's love. She left Mr. Carter after stealing thirty-thousand dollars from him. The mystery revolves around trying to locate Daphne. At the novel's end, we discover that Daphne's real name is Ruby Hanks.
One of Mr. Albright's bodyguards. He appears Asian, but his race is unknown because he was raised in an orphanage.
One of Mr. Albright's bodyguards. Described as, "tall and slight with curly brown hair, dark skin like an India Indian, and brown eyes so light they [are] almost golden."
The owner of a small grocery store that serves as the entrance to John's place. She is a slight, black woman and the aunt of Junior Fornay.
A strong, enormous field hand whom Easy knows from Houston. He has a habit of letting his cheap Zapatas cigarettes burn out on the floor. Easy describes him as "a flithy man who didn't give a damn about anything." He nearly killed Easy in a brawl back home before Mouse intervened. He kills Richard McGee.
Matthew Teran's former chauffeur, whom Joppy beats to death. Howard tries to help his boss ruin Mr. Carter.
A pedophile who recently dropped out of the mayor's race. He keeps a little Mexican boy as a sex slave and is grotesque in appearance. He tries to use Daphne to get back at Mr. Carter, who forced him to withdraw his candidacy.
A homosexual pimp and pedophile who sells young boys to "rich men with sick appetites" such as Matthew Teran. He dates Daphne before she leaves him for Mr. Carter. Junior kills Richard after escorting him home from John's place.
A gangster who hijacks alchohol and cigarette shipments in order to sell the stolen goods to local businesses. Frank is Daphne's half-brother. He is called "Knifehand" because of his quickness with a blade when provoked. He eventually dies at Mouse's hands.
The president of Lion Investments. He is a humble-looking, weak-willed man with more money than any other character. He dated Daphne Monet until she stole thirty-thousand dollars from him and left him. He hires Mr. Albright and later, Easy, to bring Daphne back to him. He also helps Easy avoid jail time.
Vice president of Lion Investments. He reluctantly admits Easy to Mr. Carter's office.
Little Mexican Boy
Matthew Teran's young sex slave. He wears soiled briefs and dirty socks, and clings to Teran despite being abused by him. With Daphne's help, Easy saves the little Mexican boy and puts him in Primo's care.
Otherwise known as Raymond Alexander, Mouse is Easy's best and most dangerous friend from Houston. He is renowned for his quickness to kill, and can intimidate even the likes of Junior Fornay and Frank Green. Mouse helps Easy solve the mystery.
Mouse's former fiancee. She kicked him out after he returned home one night so drunk that he neglected to shower. EttaMae slept with Easy when she was first engaged to Mouse.
Mouse and EttaMae's young son.
Mouse's stepfather, whom he shot in the town of Pariah in order to get money he considered rightfully his.
Mouse's collaborator in stealing Daddy Reese's money. Daddy Reese shot him dead in the struggle.
Daddy Reese's biological son. When he tries to avenge his father's death, Mouse kills him.
Easy's quiet, cautious, religious middle-aged friend. He is wont to sit at John's or Vernie's and sip one beer all night. Odell is a voice of fear, advising Easy to run away from his problems.
Easy's loud, friendly former coworker at Champion. He tries to help Easy get his job back by talking to Benny. He is dating Coretta when she sleeps with Easy and is interrogated after her murder.
A mesmerizing young black woman who arrives at John's place as Dupree's date. Later, she has sex with Easy and gives him information about Daphne. Joppy beats her to death.
"Benny" is Easy's Italian-American former boss at Champion aircraft. He fired Easy for refusing to stay late.
One of the police officers who interrogates Easy. Even though he is less violent than his partner, he seems to have it out for Easy. Easy notices a strange scar under his eye.
One of the police officers who interrogates Easy. He is unnecessarily violent, beating Easy and knocking him over.
Manager of Ricardo's Pool Hall. She is Ricardo's wife, and neglects him even though he is disabled by diabetes.
Founder and owner of Ricardo's Pool Hall. He is an alcoholic who lost his legs to diabetes.
Rosetta and Ricardo's son.
Owner of Vernie's place, a brothel and lounge. She is an enormous, friendly woman.
Vernie's daughter. She is enormous like her mother, whom she helps run the business.
A tough bouncer who maintains order in Vernie's place.
A friend of Easy's who has nine children because his wife, Mary, does not believe in using birth control.
Ronald White's wife and mother of his nine children. She enlists Easy's help in finding Ronald after he tries to leave her.
The neighborhood barber. He lets the palsied Zeppo beg outside his shop.
A palsied neighborhood drunk.
A neighborhood man who sells bootleg for Frank Green. He takes Easy to Abe's liquor store.
A Polish Jewish immigrant and Holocaust survivor. He saved his brother-in-law, Johnny, by hiding him in a hole in the wall of his cell at Auschwitz. He owns Abe's liquor store along with Johnny.
Abe's brother-in-law, also a Polish Jewish immigrant and Holocaust survivor. He survived Auschwitz by hiding in a hole in the wall of Abe's cell. He is said to have gone crazy because of his experiences in the war.
One of Easy's fellow soldiers during the liberation of concentration camps during World War II. Vincent LeRoy extended his love to an emaciated Jewish boy named Tree Rat. He later blamed himself for killing Tree Rat, because he gave him rich food that Tree Rat's digestive system could not handle. He may take his name from Mosley's father, LeRoy Mosley, to whom the novel is partially dedicated.
An emaciated Jewish boy that Vincent LeRoy helps after liberating him from a concentration camp. Tree Rat dies because his digestive system cannot handle the rich foods Vincent feeds him with good intentions.
Dupree's sister. He hides out at her house after the police interrogate him.
Landlady of the motel where Easy picks up Daphne to take her to Primo's.
A jolly, fatherly Mexican friend of Easy's. He rents out an old mansion to the occasional guest, including Easy and Daphne. At the novel's end, he takes the little Mexican boy under his care.
A chubby, Jewish girl who tries to talk with Easy at the Santa Monica Pier.
Devil in a Blue Dress Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Devil in a Blue Dress is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Joppy's Bar is described as a small bar on the second floor of a building that housed a butcher's warehouse. It reeked of rotten meat and its primary customers were butchers, as they were the only ones who could stand the smell. The setting was...