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Little Scarlet (Easy Rawlins Mysteries) Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • Series: Easy Rawlins Mysteries
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586216600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586216603
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,040,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Los Angeles, 1965, right after the Watts Riots, six summer days of racial violence--burning, looting, and killing--that followed the routine arrest of a black motorist for drunken driving. Although custodian and unlicensed PI Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins stayed safely inside during the turmoil, as an African-American male he understands all too well what it was about. "It's hot and people are mad," he explains in Walter Mosley's Little Scarlet. "They’ve been mad since they were babies." Even with the rioting finally cooled, police remain on edge. So when a mid-30s, redheaded black woman named Nola Payne--aka "Little Scarlet"--turns up dead in her apartment, strangled and shot and showing signs of recent sexual contact, the cops are reluctant to storm L.A.'s minority community, looking for her murderer, especially since the culprit may well be an injured white man Payne had sheltered, and who's now disappeared. Instead, they ask Easy to see what he can find out about this crime.

The case forces Rawlins to address the ethnic tribulations of 1960s America, in microcosm, and his own discomfort with discrimination, in particular.

I spent my whole early life at the back of buses and in the segregated balconies at theaters. I had been arrested for walking in the wrong part of town and threatened for looking a man in the eye. And when I went to war to fight for freedom, I found myself in a segregated army, treated with less respect than they treated German POWs. I had seen people who looked like me jeered on TV and in the movies. I had had enough and I wasn't about to turn back, even though I wanted to.

But Easy can't tackle this investigation alone; assisting him are the casually homicidal Raymond "Mouse" Alexander, as well as a dogged white detective and a fetching younger woman, who threatens to overturn the settled life Easy has been working toward all these years. Nor can Rawlins wrap the case up easily. Harassed and attacked for his inquiries, he eventually connects Payne's slaying to a homeless man, allegedly responsible for killing as many as 21 black women, all of whom had the bad judgment to hook up with white men.

Little Scarlet, the eighth Rawlins novel (after Bad Boy Brawly Brown), is unusual for Mosley, because it focuses as much on the credible mechanics of crime-solving as it does on the exposition of character and the exploration of L.A.'s mid-20th-century black culture. Combined with the author's vigorous prose and prowess with dialogue, Easy's promotion to serious sleuth promises great things for what was already a standout series. --J. Kingston Pierce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Admirably performed by reader Boatman, this audiobook—the latest in Mosley's series featuring Los Angeles PI Easy Rawlins (A Red Death, etc.)—picks up immediately after the Watts riots of 1965. It is a time of change, and Rawlins finds himself in the unusual position of being asked to officially help the LAPD in its search for the killer of a young black woman. Mosley is at his best capturing the gritty ambience of a setting, and Boatman's skillful reading of the author's rich, descriptive prose transports listeners to that sweltering summer, when violence and fear simmered just below the city's surface. With the support of the LAPD in his back pocket, Rawlins makes his way through places that had previously been closed, if not forbidden, to the blacks of that time. Boatman does a fine job of conveying the growing sense of confidence and strength that comes with Rawlins's newfound freedom. Tightly edited and nicely produced, this already enjoyable audiobook is further enhanced by snippets of jazz accenting the story elements at the beginning and end of each disc.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Walter Mosley is one of America's most celebrated and beloved writers. His books have won numerous awards and have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Mosley is the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series of mysteries, including national bestsellers Cinnamon Kiss, Little Scarlet, and Bad Boy Brawly Brown; the Fearless Jones series, including Fearless Jones, Fear Itself, and Fear of the Dark; the novels Blue Light and RL's Dream; and two collections of stories featuring Socrates Fortlow, Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, for which he received the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and Walkin' the Dog. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

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I read all of his books over and over again.
Miki
Racial tension has divided the citizens of California during one of modern America's most tumultuous times, the 1965 Watts Riot.
The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
His characters are vivid, and he builds an interesting story.
David F. Nolan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dera R Williams VINE VOICE on August 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
They're back. Both Easy Rawlins and his sidekick, "Mouse" has delighted fans of Walter Mosley for years and his latest, Little Scarlet, is no exception. It is 1965 and the city of Los Angles has been embroiled in rioting, killing, and other forms of violence in Watts for several days. Now a young black woman is dead and her aunt is insisting that a white man did it. This white man happened to be in Watts at the height of looting and violence where he was dragged from his vehicle and badly beaten. He escaped into a building to the home of the victim. Now the aunt is in a psychiatric facility, supposedly for her own protection and the police are calling on Easy to investigate the allegations.

The police have never been Easy's friend and now they want his help. What's up with that? He knows it is because if the word gets out that a white man killed a black woman, the now dormant riot would explode all over again. With thorough detective work, it does not take long for Easy to track down the mysterious white man. But things are never that easy and Easy is convinced Peter Rhone did not kill Nola Payne AKA Little Scarlet. A mishmash of neighborhood characters provide clues of other possible suspects and with the help of his old friends, Mouse and Jackson Blue, he is off and running. One of his informants is Juanda, a young woman who catches Easy's eye. But he can't go there for he is devoted to Bonnie, his woman of several years. His household is replete with his adopted children, Jesus, now eighteen years old and his daughter, Feather. He owns several properties, has a steady job as a custodian supervisor with the school district and an office in Watts where he conducts his private investigation business. What more could a brother with humble beginnings by way of Louisiana and Texas want?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ruth on March 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ANDRENA G. DANCER on August 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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.
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