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

Little Scarlet (Easy Rawlins #9)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,382 ratings  ·  137 reviews
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,...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published July 5th 2004 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2004)
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 Little Scarlet, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Little Scarlet

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
Apr 03, 2009 Gregory rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Easy Rawlins is rough, self-assured, mature, street smart, definitely a man’s man. A businessman who loves family and respects women, he is the amateur investigator featured in 10 books by Walter Mosley.

It’s the 60’s – a violent time in our history. An violence is the vehicle that Mosley uses to drive this story. Watts 1965. For those who don’t know what went down, go Wiki it for the full 411. But here’s a snapshot…

Watts, is a black neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles, California, that eru...more
Donald Gallinger
Walter Mosley delivers crime fiction set during a turning point in America's racial history. His protagonist, Easy Rawlins, is a man who, more often than not, would like to be left alone--he just keeps getting caught up murders that require his special expertise in detection. The great pleasure of reading Mosley is the classic, sharp-paced action mixed with commentary on the problems of being African American in a racist society.
David Anderson
A cat jumped into my lap and started pressing her nose against my hand. I scratched behind her ears absently. I imagined a lonely black boy living out in a white world where even his mother treated him like dirt.

"You like cats, Mr. Rawlins?" Dottie asked me.

"Better than most people," I replied.

"Hallelujah to that," she said.

Easy is on the trail of a tortured, demented killer of black women as L.A. still smolders in the wake of the '65 Watts Riots in the 9th installment of the Easy Rawlins myster...more
I had to read Mosley's Little Scarlet for my Mystery Lit class. I felt a bit uncomfortable at first while reading. I felt like I had walked down a bad alley in the wrong neighborhood. Little Scarlet takes place during the Watts Riots in the 60's (Google it!) and centers on the murder of a black woman and the behind the scenes investigation by Easy Rawlins. Rawlins is a black, hard boiled 'researcher' just trying to make it in a white world. He is not perfect and I think I'm in love with him.

Jenny Shank

More than a man of of mystery
Walter Mosley prefers 'literary' label
Jenny Shank, Special To The News
Published July 16, 2004 at midnight

Over the fourteen years of Walter Mosley's publishing career, during which he has turned out 19 books, Mosley has experienced segregation and discrimination - in the bookstore.

As a writer who's primarily known for mysteries but has also written straightforward literary fiction, science-fiction and essays, Mosley on occasion...more
This is a phenomenal book that has so many twists and turns which makes it so exciting. Especially when you think that you know where this book is going to end but all of a sudden someone else comes to the pool of suspects. Walter Mosley the author of Little Scarlet really captured the readers had them craving for more throughout the novel, especially because the plot was so good. This novel was a about a murder in Los Angeles involving a young, friendly, good hearted redheaded African American...more
An Easy Rawlins murder mystery set during the race riots in Watts in the 60's. Here's the thing about Walter Mosley - his novels are great and I never care who's the killer. The mystery genre is used by Mosley as a vehicle to explore these characters, whom he obviously loves, during unique times in history. A murder is fitting with the theme of control that he so often explores - a murderer takes control of another's life, the cops take control of the destiny of the blacks in LA until they stand...more
Milo King
Very good, atmospheric recreation of the Los Angeles scene at the time of the Watts riots of 1965, from the multiple perspectives of the black, white, and police communities. Also a compelling mystery with some memorable characters...and tied together with the narrative guidance of the compelling Easy Rawlins. The audiobook is masterfully read with much thought and nuance put into each character voice by actor Michael Boatman. This unabridged version kept my spouse and me enthralled for the enti...more
Alan Gerstle
This is a near masterpiece, and I believe the best book Walter Mosley has written. It works on the novelistic level, the detective story genre, and above all, a rendering of the internal and external reality of living in a racist society, circa 1965, U.S.

Worth a raft-full of non-fiction books on sociology and society, which is where most of them belong: on a raft.

Mosley is not what I would consider a 'natural' writer. He evidently has worked extremely hard to develop his craft. However, he has...more
Eugenia O'Neal
Mosley's at his best with this one! Highly recommended!
I had this one in my drawer for a long time; I finally listened to it because I’d run out of other books to listen to. I thought I was going to hate it but it turned out to be not so bad. And, I had no idea when I listened to it that it is part of a series of books “starring” one E.Z. Rallins (no “g”); one of the other books in the series was made into a movie starring a fairly young Denzel Washington (“Devil in a Blue Dress”). Apparently, Mosley’s books always have a color in the title. Anyway,...more
Walter Mosley is great at evoking 1965 in the aftermath of the Watts Riots, and Ezekiel "Easy" Rollins' feelings and the mixture of fascination and fear Easy finds that there's a new way to see the world and his place in it.

Drawn into a murder investigation by the top brass of the LAPD, Easy follows close on the trail of a mass murderer, someone he's come up against before. This man has left a trail of dead women in his wake, all victims of his own anger and hatred against a mother who rejected...more
Larry Piper
I had begun reading Richard Wright's Native Son, and decided it was too depressing and that I needed a respite. Interesting to pick this book up. It also deals with the corrosive effects that racism has on both the black and white communities.

This book is set during the time of the LA riots in the summer of 1965 (I'd thought the riots were 1966, which, I guess, shows how well I remembered them). Anyway, the protagonist is an African American who doesn't trust the white community in the least. S...more
Mosley builds off of Chester Himes with his protagonist Easy Rawlins, an African American who migrates to California during the war in search of work in the shipbuilding industry. He is now a detective, fully aware of the ongoing racial tensions of 1940s Los Angeles.
Furthermore, Easy Rawlins is not like Holmes or Dupin in the way that he is not a social isolate. He does set himself apart as a self-educated African American of the middle class but he doesn't live on the fringe of society. Who he...more
i picked this up on CD for a drive to Indianapolis and I loved it. I have liked every Walter Mosley book i have read (or heard) so far. This one, more than any other brought me so profoundly into the black experience of the 1960's. it was painful, but graphis as Easy looks for the murderer of a black girl and discovers that it is not oly this woman but any black woman who is friends with a white man who have been slaughtered.

From the LA Times: Mosely introduced Easy Rawlins in 1990's Devil in a...more
Dec 01, 2007 Spiros rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Raymond Chandler
Shelves: freebox, california
Still haphazardly filling in my Easy Rawlins reading, "catch as catch can", to crib a phrase from Ned Plimpton in LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU. This novel finds Easy in the immediate aftermath of the Watts riots, conscripted by police brass to find a white killer of a black woman and thereby prevent another round of rioting in volatile South Central. Easy's investigations lead him into a different, equally horrific scenario, as he must track a killer who can fade into the expansive background...more
Mark Jaress
This is one of two audio books I bought to listen to while on a plane to Hawaii, the other being Cinnamon Kiss. These are my first experience with audiobooks, too, and I was quite pleased with the experience.

I'm a huge fan of Walter Mosley and his character, Easy Rawlins, who first appeared in the book "Devil in a Blue Dress", 1990, which was made into a successful movie (1995) staring Densel Washington as Rawlins and bringing Don Cheadle to fame in his role as Mouse Alexander, a natural born ki...more
I really enjoyed this hard-boiled mystery. I've really been thinking about race issues in the US a lot lately and getting really depressed about it. But this story that takes place during the L.A. race riots, while tragic in many ways, was still enjoyable in its characterizations. I grew interested in reading Mosley after hearing a great interview with him on Democracy Now! and grabbed a couple of his books fairly randomly at the library. One tendency I've noticed that I really like is the love...more
**edited 12/30/13

The LA riots have erupted, and the state of mind of Easy Rawlins, official janitor and unofficial detective, reflects the chaos around him. While saddened by the rage and violence, he understands it deeply, seeing that to even make the offenders aware of the gulf between white and black, something has to break. In the midst of his own inner turmoil, the LA police call him in to investigate a potentially racially sensitive case. Easy Rawlins has a unique perspective and voice. He...more
I read this book for my Reader's Advisory class. Surprisingly I really enjoyed this book. I am not usually a mystery novel fan. I often find the plot lines a little contrived and predictable.

I liked this book because of the background/setting for the most part. The story follows Easy Rawlins, a black amateur detective sought out by the LAPD to help solve the murder of a black woman during the Watts Riots in 1965.

It was really interesting to read the perspective of a black man who was working s...more
Janet Lynch
Mosley not only offers a satisfying detective story, but always provides social commentary as well, usually about racism in its myriad ramifications. This novel features Mosley’s most famous sleuth Easy Rawlins and is set in 1965, in L.A. during the Watts riots when racism in the LAPD is the status quo. A light-skinned African American woman trying to gain social equality by passing for white spawns disaster, when she hides the fact that the black youth being raised in her household is actually...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
There are books that are written to convey plot as clearly as possible and keep the reader turning pages eagerly. This is one of them, but it's also a book that is freighted with bleak, clear-eyed insight. The prose is a joy to read - fleet-footed, yet meticulous, never heavy-handed, but far from empty-headed. If everything else by Mosley is half as good, I look forward to reading more of his work.

Excellent mystery. Well written. Historical too. Feels like a first person description of the Watts riots. Maybe it is. The language is authentic. I love the way Mr.Mosley changes the characters' s regional accents. Easy Rawlins is a terrific. character,full of wisdom, street wisdom and spiritual wisdom , down to earth, very human, admirable. A fun novel with depth.
Highly recommended.
An Easy Rawlins semi-noir mystery which is up to Mosley's usual high standards. As the 1965 Watts riots wind down, Easy gets tasked by the police to help investigate the murder of a young black woman. The suspect is a white man, which the LAPD wants to keep under wraps in order to not fuel the racial conflicts. The characters are marvelously wrought with Mosley's balance of deft visual imagery and lively dialog. He makes Easy's compassion and moral force come alive, made believable by his foible...more
I have not read a Walter Mosley book I haven't _loved_! This book is no exception.

The book is set during the race riots in Los Angeles in 1965. Through the dialog and the description of the locale you can feel the raw energy that is set to explode into violence at the slightest provocation. Layer on this the open hatred [maybe too strong a word] shown against the black population and you wonder why it hadn't happened sooner.

Anyway, the story itself is about Easy Rawlins's investigation [at the r...more
Carrie Allison
an Easy Rawlins novel. This is a really good book. Walter Mosley knows people and how they think. His relationship with Bonnie seems to be good, which is not the case in Mosley's later novels, The Long Fall in particular. Or is that different characters? I can't remember. Mouse is an interesting character, and Easy's best friend. Easy calls This is set in a time (1960s) when the riots in LA were bad. Feather is his little girl. Jesus is his son. He rarely ever sleeps or goes home which I found w...more
Ms. Dunn
Set in 1965, immediately following the LA race riots, Little Scarlet not only depicts the years of discrimination toward African Americans leading up to this pivotal time, but also the continual struggle we still face in the US, most notably seen in the recents events in Ferguson, MO.
Anne Kaufhold
The book's protagonist is not really Easy Rawlins, investigator. The main character here is race itself. Set in the weeks following the Watts riots, Little Scarlet boils over with anger. It's a good read. Many sentences worth underlining and thinking about twice.
In Easy Rawlins, Mosley has created a distinct character and Little Scarlet only makes him more likable. Rawlins cares for his neighbors and friends and makes new ones as the story proceeds. But the story is written on a larger stage than his domestic life and local mysteries. In its opening chapters, set amid the devastation of the 1965 Watts riots, Rawlins' intricate and eloquent rage opens the wounds of race in America. He does not offer reasons for the riot, he makes you feel them. In the re...more
I just couldn't put this one down. I love the smooth writing of Walter Mosley. He brings life into a book and makes you think you know these characters personally. Everything isn't as it appears and Easy Rawlins should be immortal.
« 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)
  • Black Money
  • 72 Hour Hold
  • Casanegra (Tennyson Hardwick, #1)
  • The Blunderer
  • Ugly Ways
  • Hard Revolution
  • Good Hair
  • Spade & Archer: The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon
  • The Harry Bosch Novels, Volume 3: A Darkness More Than Night / City of Bones / Lost Light (Harry Bosch, #7-9)
  • Babylon Sisters
  • Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith
  • Playback
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...
Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins #1) The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey Black Betty (Easy Rawlins #4) Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned The Man in My Basement

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »