Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Little Yellow Dog ” as Want to Read:
A Little Yellow Dog
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Little Yellow Dog (Easy Rawlins #5)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,632 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
JFK is President and Ezekiel (aka Easy) Rawlins has a job with the Los Angeles Board of Education as a school janitor. No dogs are allowed on the school premises but Pharaoh, the dog in question, belongs to Idabell Turner, a curvaceous teacher whose husband has murder on his mind.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 5th 1997 by Picador USA (first published 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Little Yellow Dog, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Little Yellow Dog

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 16, 2013 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
“It was a regular family scene. All we had to do was clean up a few murders and a matter of international dope smuggling, then we could move next door to Donna Reed.”

Easy Rawlins is back. 1963, two years on from the disastrous end to Black Betty he is out of the doing favours for people business; living the straight life, working hard, keeping his head down and watching his two adopted children grow. But all that changes when a beautiful woman (aren't they always) pays him some attention, on her
Larry Bassett
If you read your first book in a mystery series and only gave it three stars, why would you move immediately on to the next book in the series? It is a mystery and I haven’t figured that out yet myself. In spite of the fact that the plot of the first book twisted my brain mercilessly, making me feel a little stupid, there was a good deal of captivating writing. I thought maybe I had missed something crucial and would catch up with it in a second book. Or maybe I am just having a moment of false ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty basic mystery story but end of the day, Mosley's stories are much more about the characters and locations - all atmosphere all the time. This one doesn't disappoint as turns it's eye to LA and Easy Rawlins trying to go straight, but having road block after road block thrown in his way, only a little bit of his own doing.

The story itself is somehow both very convoluted and a pretty simple "sex and drugs gone wrong" with a few twists, but the fun is watching Easy (and of course picturing
Carol Storm
I love the Easy Rawlins series, but the best books are the early ones, such as A RED DEATH, BLACK BETTY, and DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS.

The trouble with this story is that it reads more like a soap opera. Easy keeps pining over his woman who's left, and then a new woman comes around, and it gets really tiresome. The kids he adopts are tiresome too. It's like he's trying too hard to prove he can be respectable.

Bring back Mouse!
John Devlin
(3.2) I've said this before if you want to read crime fiction of LA in the 40's-70's, read James Ellroy, but then read the Ez Rawlins mysteries to get a handle on the black side of town during those turbulent, lawless times. Some of the tropes of the genre are here: the femme fatales and the loose women, the cops on the take and the desperate folk living on the margins of a city; however, the gamechanger is that the detective's black and that gives his desperation, his lone gunman like mentality ...more
Cameron Wiggins
May 06, 2014 Cameron Wiggins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Walter Mosley novel that I have read, but I definitely plan on reading more of his work. A Little Yellow Dog is a good book, in my humble opinion. I stumbled across Mosley in another book I was reading. The main character was always picking up another Walter Mosley novel. I am glad that I did. Mosley is perhaps best known for Devil in a Blue Dress.
This novel takes place circa 1963 in Los Angeles when it is not so easy to be black. Easy Rawlins, a black man, is trying to get his
Apr 25, 2015 Martin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These Easy Rawlins books are starting to get a little repetitive for me. I like that he's a supervisor at a regular job; it seems like he would be a great guy to work for/with. I kind of wish his kids would grow up already so they could be more involved, not just to pull sentiment. I liked the mystery this time! I followed it clearly and did not see the resolution coming. I like how Mouse and Ella have changed as well. But I wish that every woman who sleeps with Easy didn't end up dead or raped. ...more
Cynthia Sinsap
By a certain point I started reading faster just to get it finished
Sandy Bookwitch
May 14, 2014 Sandy Bookwitch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It was the dog's fault..."

These are the words just after the title page instead of an author dedication in this volume.

Mosley's great hardboiled detective, Easy Rawlins, has been living a normal workingman's life the last couple years. No more prowlin' around "in the streets" as he says. He's got a great job, two great kids, he isn't drinking and life is fine as fine can be. Even his best buddy Mouse, a cold-blooded killer, is working for wages and contemplating the state of his immortal soul.

Oct 21, 2013 Cam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another mystery that's great to see Mosley's observations about the times, race relations, philosophy, and the ever-evolving Easy Rawlins and his attempts to live a normal life even as he gets dragged into yet another situation almost beyond his control. His kids are growing up, he has a regular job as a facility supervisor with the school district that he finagled earlier, and he continues to read and enjoy great jazz and blues. One of his teacher's ends up leaving her dog with him as she skips ...more
MB Taylor
Jun 26, 2011 MB Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished reading A Little Yellow Dog last night. As soon as I opened it I wondered why I don’t read more Mosley. I have 35 books by the guy and all but 7 are in my unread pile. I love his writing. Then as the story progressed I remembered why I don’t read them more quickly. He makes me feel the characters' pain too much.

Easy Rawlins is a great character and I’ve appreciated the stories of his life as they’ve progressed in time from 1948 (Devil in a Blue Dress) to 1962 (A Little Yellow Dog). I
Jan 29, 2008 Guy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Alwéér Mosley?” Wel ja, ik hou niet zo van amuse-bouchekes. Als ik iets nieuws leer kennen – hetzij een band, een gerecht, een auteur – en het bevalt me, dan word ik gulzig, dan wil ik meer, dan wil ik het volledige palet geproefd hebben of op z’n minst weten waarover ik het heb als het eens ter sprake zou komen mocht ik iemand tegenkomen die er ook mee vertrouwd is. En omdat de hoofdstedelijke bibliotheek van Brussel zo’n fijne keet is die ervoor zorgt dat ik die boeken allemaal gratis kan lez ...more
Easy Rawlins tries to change his ways, but the streets just keep pulling him back to his old way of life.

I usually enjoy reading every book in the Easy Rawlins series, but this one was a little disappointing. Being a dog lover, I may have found this book less favorable because of the way the little yellow dog was portrayed. After all, the dog seemed to be the cause of Easy's misfortune throughout the novel, but really, it's due to his changed lifestyle. In that case, I think the dog hated Easy s
Feb 25, 2015 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
I'm gradually working my way through a pile of Mosley books. I have enjoyed them all so far and this one is around the average level of them, which, by anyone else's standards means it is pretty good. Easy is trying to stay out of trouble, but his instinctive desire to help leads him into trouble, deep trouble. Watching him trying to work his way out of the mess is thoroughly enjoyable, although this book doesn't quite reach the heights of some of the others.
Christopher Roberts
Mosley is at his best when writing Easy Rawlins. The character serves as a great way to explore American history and society. As usual the character work and setting of Los Angelos is great but the mysterty itself is a bit of a convoluted mess. A lesser Mosley Easy Rawlins novel but still a decent read. I just prefer Devil in a Blue Dress and Little Scarlet.
Frank Jude
Sep 12, 2008 Frank Jude rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Hammett, Chandler and ther rest.
Shelves: fiction-novels
Easy Rawlins and his friends and lovers are a wonderful cast of characters. This noir-ish tale satisfies by playing with the 'genre' offering acute social commentary and sheer poetry at times. After describing a jazz trumpeter's soaring solo, the following passage takes the reader up to the flowery heavens and deposits her right back on earth:

"Lips sat down and wiped his face. The room cheered him. Cheered him for all the years he'd kept us alive in northern apartments living one on top of the o
Nov 04, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read many of Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlin's series but from the one's I have read I can find no great fault in them, the prose seems to flow easily and transports you back to an age of the nascent civil rights movement and casual racism.

A good, tightly narrated story with a shock at the end for anyone who has followed Easy in the previous books, a good adult thriller.
Jun 26, 2013 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started by reading new Mosley and not going back to read or reread as I understand the family saga he is creating. what I loved about this one was the story of how Feather came to have the dog XXX who hates Easy. Because Easy tried to help a teacher @ Sojourner Truth jr high, but fails. The dog belongs to the dead teacher and in the end Easy can't give it away because Feather loves, etc. While trying to help him Mouse gets shot and since he is back with Etta Mae and sober, Etta Mae takes mouse a ...more
Lynn G.
I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had other Walter Mosley books. Part of the problem is that this book is part of a series that features the character Easy Rawlins in each story, and I read A Little Yellow Dog first, not realizing that several of the other characters in the book were recurring. That aspect put me at a disadvantage. I wasn't able to really understand the history between and among all these characters as well as I should have and, likely, would have had I begun at the beginnin ...more
I didn't enjoy it very much. Starts with the main character coming in to his job as the supervisor of the janitorial service in L.A. school district, finding a teacher there with her little dog. The dog is not allowed and he tells her so but they end up having sex on her desk and the main character gets stuck with babysitting the dog. Then someone turns up dead on school property. And the first lady, the teacher, she disappears after telling people that her dog got hit by a car.
There are more d
Walter Mosley is a great writer--you drop naturally into his books--feel, taste, hear, see and smell his world. Always enjoy reading about a place I could never experience, but can live it vicariously through him.
P.e. lolo
Sep 17, 2013 P.e. lolo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a real good book. In this stoy Easy has a real paying job but trouble still finds him. He now must find the the ansewers to get himself off instead of someone else. There is a lot of twists in this story and Iliked this one very much. The dog does have a part in the story and Easy for a while thinks it might help him. The characters for the most part are the same afew different and some from the first book come into play to help him out. But it is still up to him to find the killer or k ...more
Adam Hegg
Oct 17, 2012 Adam Hegg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
This is my first Easy Rawlins book and I am quite taken. This is strange for me as I am a completist and always start with the first book in a series. This exception was made simply because a good friend of mine expressed a love of the character so I picked up the only book on the library featuring him.

This book was perfectly balanced for me considering I am in a light reading type of mood. The crime was easy to follow but still filled with enough twists and turns to keep me interested and I fe
Carl Hanger
Dec 28, 2015 Carl Hanger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written. Great characters, dialog, and story. A revealing look at 1963 life in the black L.A. community.
Dec 07, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites in the series. A little lighter in tone with the titular stray serving as comic relief.
Jun 06, 2010 Judith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Walter Mosley's books that I'd read. It's an "Easy Rawlins" mystery... fast-paced, suspenseful, hard-hitting on the race relations problems of 1960s Los Angeles. Easy is the maintenance manager of a public school, with a good-sized staff and considerable responsibility - a far cry from his past life on the streets, in the company of very rough characters. Mosley himself is mixed race, white-black, and he writes with an interesting and informed perspective about both sides of ...more
Jacqueline Avant
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2015 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seriously, that damn dog. This is why I'm a cat person.
George Nicholis
2011. One of the better Easy Rawlins mysteries. Easy's now the head custodian at a high-school in L.A., trying to make it as a legit family man. But of course, a body shows up that ends up spinning his life upside down. The best part of these stories is the domestic relationship between Easy and his adopted son and daughter. Seeing how these kids have grown and how they react to their father coming home bloody, beaten, drunk and stabbed is heartbreaking. His kids are forced to grow up fast, and ...more
Trice McCallister
Another Easy FAVORITE
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • When Death Comes Stealing (Tamara Hayle, #1)
  • Blanche Among the Talented Tenth (Blanche White #2)
  • The Heat's On (Harlem Cycle, #6)
  • In the Night of the Heat (Tennyson Hardwick, #2)
  • When the Thrill Is Gone
  • The Ferguson Affair
  • Inner City Blues (Charlotte Justice, #1)
  • Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Fiction
  • The Living Blood (African Immortals, #2)
  • Plain Brown Wrapper: An Alex Powell Novel
  • Pearls are a Nuisance
  • Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime: Stories
  • What Becomes of the Brokenhearted: A Memoir
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

Easy Rawlins (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins, #1)
  • A Red Death (Easy Rawlins #2)
  • White Butterfly (Easy Rawlins #3)
  • Black Betty (Easy Rawlins #4)
  • Gone Fishin' (Easy Rawlins #6)
  • Bad Boy Brawly Brown (Easy Rawlins #7)
  • Six Easy Pieces (Easy Rawlins #8)
  • Little Scarlet (Easy Rawlins #9)
  • Cinnamon Kiss (Easy Rawlins #10)
  • Blonde Faith (Easy Rawlins #11)

Share This Book

“It was a regular family scene. All we had to do was clean up a few murders and a matter of international dope smuggling, then we could move next door to Donna Reed.” 4 likes
“Mrs. Turner gripped my baby finger.

It's amazing how a man can feel sex anywhere on his body.”
More quotes…