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Paperback Little Scarlet Book

ISBN: 0446198242

ISBN13: 9780446198240

Little Scarlet

(Book #9 in the Easy Rawlins Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Walter Mosley delivers at last the compelling master work everyone's been waiting for--a novel so intriguing, so soulful, so unstoppably dramatic that it will rank among the classic mysteries of our time. At the height of the riots that cripple LA in the summer of 1965, a white man is pulled from his car by a mob and escapes into a nearby apartment building. Soon afterward, a red-headed woman known as Little Scarlet is found dead in that apartment...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


Because I grew up there, because I was a burgeoning adolescent at the time of its setting, because the events in this story were the ones that began the formation of my view of the socio-political world... and above all because it was well written and entertaining... I LOVED IT! Mr. Mosley has skillfully driven another of his fiction-vehicles to a place where the reader hits pay dirt. For those who might not otherwise have a clue, here is a cruise through understanding what the '65 Watts Riots were about. For those of us who know the bitter-sweet road from our own journeys, he takes us on a trip down memory lane that can renew focus, sharpening the edges of our consciousness and memory.

Historical Fiction Tastily Wrapped

Word is that Mr. Mosley has tried to let Easy rest for a while but we readers (as expressed through the editors) demand his reappearance. How can we help but want more Easy?!? As a character he is believable, smart, kinda gritty but wholey honorable. In "Little Scarltet," however, my enjoyment of the story was more than just the hankerin' for more Easy Rawlins .Because I grew up in South Central L.A,. because I was a burgeoning adolescent at the time of the story's setting, because the events in this story (the '65 Watts Riots) were the ones that began the formation of my view of the socio-political world... and above all because it was well written and entertaining... I LOVED IT! Mr. Mosley has skillfully driven another of his fiction-vehicles to a place where the reader hits pay dirt. For those who might not otherwise have a clue, here is a cruise through understanding what the '65 Watts Riots were about from more than one perspective. For those of us who traveled the mostly-bitter-sometimes-sweet road, he reminds us of the moral, political and spiritual lessons learned. The plot drove the telling of all this in an engaging, entertaining manner and left me wanting more Easy Rawlins--sorry Mr. Mosely LOL! I have enjoyed the Easy Rawlins series enough to have ordered some of his works in other genres and look forward to more of that good Hot-Fudge-Sundae fiction!

Virtuouso Thriller In Black And White

Easy Rawlins is an easygoing man who tries to be helpful. He works as a school custodian and has a small office where he conducts unofficial private investigations. He is also a seething caldron of racially inspired anger. The time is 1965, just as the Los Angeles riots are winding down. For a change, for one brief shining moment, the LA police need his help, to find the killer of a young black woman. For that brief period he carries a letter from the Deputy Commissioner, authorizing him to conduct this semi-official investigation. Reason--if the wrong suspect turns out to be the right suspect, it might re-ignite the riots. That is the plot, but the plot is really unimportant. What makes the novel wonderful is the profusion of down-home earthy characters, the men, the women, the relationships, and the fault-lines of racial distrust (suspicion, fear, hatred) that run just below the surface of LA society. This is my third Walter Mosley novel, and so far, the best of all. Mosley is a brilliant writer, who brings out his characters strengths and weaknesses. Some of them are terribly flawed, men walking at the edge of the abyss, crazed people, homicidal people, and people who love each other intensely--Somehow he makes them all believable. the writing flows easily, the dialect rings true, and I felt like I knew what made these people tick. Author Mosely has a unique African-American voice, and he explores a realm that most white Americans are not aware of. And will never experience directly. Yet he makes it understandable, even believable. Little Scarlet is an outstanding novel, and I recommend it highly. But remember, don't worry about the plot. Don't try to keep it all straight. Just go with the flow, like listening to overheard conversations. Like poetry. Five stars and more. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber

Walter Mosley: Easy To Like!

One of the many gifts of President Bill Clinton was introducing me-- and I suspect many other white readers- to the great mystery writer Walter Mosley. Early in his presidency on a vacation to Martha's Vineyard, the president laden down with books, including Mosley's then latest, as he left a local bookstore, was accosted by the media. (That Mr. Clinton read Mosley comes as no surprise since Toni Morrison has described him as the first black president in America.) So the press wanted to know what Mr. Clinton read for pleasure-- and what a pleasure reading Mr. Mosley is, particularly when he writes of the adventures of the indefatigable Easy Rawlins. He returns here at the time of the Watts race riots in '65 where he is recruited by a detective from the infamous LAPD to help solve the murder of a young black woman, Little Scarlet, who may have ben killed by a white man. Mr. Mosley weaves a complex tapestry here with many characters of all colors, some new of course, and many returning from previous novels, Mouse, Bonnie, Feather, Jesus et al. As always, Mosley through Rawlings makes cogent statements about race in America. He tackles unflinchingly both self-hatred in the black community and the hierarchy of color there. In the hands of a lesser writer this story would be little more than an angry diatribe about the treatment of blacks by whites in this country; but that does not happen. Mr. Mosley creates black characters who are less than perfect and white ones-- including one from the LAPD-- who are actually decent people. As the writer's fans know already, his prose is as succinct as a grocery list but beautifully descriptive. Rawlins describes his clan as "my beautiful patchwork family." A cook prepares eggs "just an instant past running." A young black man already has the "slouching shoulders of someone who has been defeated by life." I particularly liked Easy's definition of a real cook as someone who can cook up a complete meal in five minute with whatever is available. And when Easy takes an alias, as he often does, he selects names of deceased friends-- because their names are easy to remember and to keep them alive, a beautiful concept and a loving tribute. The author has never written a better novel. Thank you, Mr. Clinton, and thank you, Mr. Mosley.

Another Mosley Masterpiece!

Walter Mosley spins a tale so deftly that the reader soon becomes completely absorbed in the action and the characters surrounding it, and quickly forgets that the printed text is merely a portal linked to the fictional world created by the author's imagination. This eerie effect is experienced even more profoundly in Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries, and LITTLE SCARLET is his best addition yet to this remarkable series. Although the reader is deprived of ever meeting the woman known as Little Scarlet, her presence looms throughout the novel as Easy is enlisted by the racist and corrupt police department to assist in solving her seemingly senseless murder. During his quest, Easy encounters familiar characters from Mosley's previous works, such as the ever charming and murderous Mouse, the brilliant, but cowardly Jackson Blue, beautiful and loyal Bonnie, and Easy's "adopted" children, Feather and Jesus. A serial killer, carried over from Mosley's last short story collection (which also re-introduced the previously "deceased" Mouse), rears his monstrous head again, although the reader learns a little more about what motivates his conduct and can even empathize with him near the novel's conclusion. Also present in LITTLE SCARLET are Mosley's trademark wit and inimitable writing style. From his realistic use of street vernacular to his clever turn of a simple phrase, Walter Mosley, easily, is one of the most thought-provoking literary craftsmen of all time. Utilizing Easy's character to seamlessly comment on society's illnesses and illusions while he goes about solving the crime du jour, Mosley's slick and subtle commentary are exemplified by such statements as (in describing a homeless man): "His jeans had been starched by street living and his shirt was a color that no manufacturer could duplicate", and (in characterizing Jackson Blue): "He was a liar by nature and a thief from the first day he could close his hands around some other baby's rattle." As the novel progresses from the aftermath of the 1965 Watts riots, to the discovery of a deadly presence in the African-American community that the police, ironically, would choose to cover up by sacrificing a possibly innocent white man, many truths are slowly revealed. These revelations occur partly through Easy's tenacious search for justice, aided by his intuitive knowledge of human frailty and the devastating price of self-hatred, and partly due to an unexpected ally who joins the ranks of Easy's usual cohorts. In addition, Easy's ever-burgeoning credentials receive an extra boost by the novel's end, so that the reader can exhale on a note of assurance that there will be many more Rawlins adventures to come.
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