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Little Scarlet (Easy Rawlins #9)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  2,682 ratings  ·  155 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,
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Published July 5th 2004 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2004)
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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
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
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
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
I completed this audiobook while stuck in a layover in LAX. It's rare I can read a book in the city it's based in. The story revolves around a murdered woman during the Watts riots in 1965. I've noticed in the more recent Mosley books that Easy seems to be getting quite preachy. In this one he is as well, but it makes sense during the riots. This didn't seem as over the top compared to other recent books in this series. Memorable for the characters and the environment.
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
This is more like a 3.5 rating. I read this book for my book club. I've never read this author before, and was pleasantly surprised with the book. It's a very quick, easy read (I read the whole book in about 4.5 hours) that is very entertaining. The book follows the main character, Easy Rawlins, who is a military veteran and unofficial private investigator. He also works as the building super for an elementary school and owns several apartment buildings. The story is set during the Watts riots i ...more
Walter Mosley's biggest gift to his readership is his honest portrayal of America from a black man's perspective. I'm white, and I don't get that gift very often--or maybe I don't seek it out often enough.

The logical consequence of any book written from one perspective--if it is written honestly--is that other characters are seen and described from that perspective, so the reader doesn't know their thoughts and motivations. The two-dimensional nature of the very few white characters in this boo
This is an excellent read set in LA during the large riots of the 60s. Easy Rawlins is not the mainstream detective. He is a school janitor that does detective work on the side. Like an old-school noir character is spontaneous and ready for everything. He is not afraid to attack people in their place of comfort or confront policemen that try to undermine him. Amidst the riots for racial equality a young woman is killed and Easy is called by the police to identify the killer without the press fin ...more
La Tonya  Jordan
Jan 01, 2015 La Tonya Jordan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to La Tonya by: Circle of Friends Book Club
Shelves: favorites
This novel has a passion for the real. It takes the reader back to 1965 – Los Angeles riot. A time when injustice meets the cruelty of reality and calls it powerlessness. Where Easy Rawlins solves the murder of “Nola Payne” referred to as “Little Scarlet”. Was she killed by her “white lover” or a victim of the riots. It turns out she was a victim of society.

The pin up hate of a man named Harold Ostenberg, who never could find his identity in a world which left him none and a mother who lost her
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
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
Lori S.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Anita Dawson
I love, love, love Walter Mosley. His vivid descriptions help paint a picture in your mind of the author's vision. In my opinion this makes a book believable. The fact that Easy Rawlins is the topic of this novel only makes me love him more. This time Easy is recruited to find a white man that may know who killed Little Scarlet. What he finds is that the white man was helped by her as he tried to flee the aftermath of the Watts riots. Now Easy must find the real killer.
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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 13 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)
  • A Little Yellow Dog (Easy Rawlins #5)
  • Gone Fishin' (Easy Rawlins #6)
  • Bad Boy Brawly Brown (Easy Rawlins #7)
  • Six Easy Pieces (Easy Rawlins #8)
  • Cinnamon Kiss (Easy Rawlins #10)
  • Blonde Faith (Easy Rawlins #11)
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

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