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A Little Yellow Dog (Easy Rawlins #5)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,939 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
With each succeeding mystery featuring his reluctant detective (and natural-born existentialist) Easy Rawlins, Walter Mosley gains new fans and builds on what is now recognized as a permanent addition to American crime writing. His current book is A Little Yellow Dog--another instant classic of suspense, style, and shrewd social observation.


It's 1964. Easy Rawlins has give
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Hardcover, 300 pages
Published June 17th 1996 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tfitoby
May 05, 2012 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
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Larry Bassett
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, mystery
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
Larraine
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 1963 LA. Easy Rawlins is playing it straight. He's left the street life behind and is working as a custodian at Sojourner Truth Elementary School. Life is quiet and perhaps sometimes it's boring, but Easy is satisfied with the trade. He's a single father to his two adopted children, Jesus and Feather. Then one day he arrives at school to find one of the teachers there much earlier than normal. Ida is beautiful and seductive, telling him a tale of an abusive husband who has threatened to kil ...more
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!
Jake
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(4.5) Every long-running mystery series based on a central character tends to go in one of two directions: 1. The writer either starts aping their past work because they know it sells or 2. The author finds their voice and the books improve over time. Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins series falls (fortunately) in the latter. Devil in a Blue Dress was a quality freshman effort and the two follow ups are good as well but their plots tend to get clunky with Mosley's need to give Easy semi-relevant side ...more
Arlene
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: readsoullit, audio
3.5- 4

I like this one a lot but it was almost annoying. It was just like the first 3 Easy stories, where Easy is just another man, recently migrated from Louisiana to Texas now to live firmly in Los Angeles, trying to keep on the straight and narrow, just keep house in good order, bills paid, food in his belly and a good bottle of liquor for those hard ones. When a dead man is found in the garden of the school he is working at and on another hand, things are being stolen from that same school.
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Hannah Brown
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The characters in this milieu are so remarkable and believable and their responses to events are so touching that the book transcends its genre: Mosley is rueful about love, funny about crime, and so perceptive about American tensions. Some of the best dialogue I've ever read!
Mike
Jan 13, 2016 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
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Bonnieb
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bonnieb by: Linda Coleman
This is the first book of Walter Mosley’s that I have read...and the fifth in Mosley’s Easy Rawlins’ mystery series. Mosley is a good story teller, but probably a better painter of a time and a culture. Rawlins’ is in L.A. the early 1960s in this story; it is obviously a very different city for blacks than for whites in those years and this very clear in this book. I will read more of Mosley simply for the very different perspective of a black author in the genre.
Chana
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
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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
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
Cynthia Sinsap
By a certain point I started reading faster just to get it finished
Ray Pettiford
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Walter Mosley creates characters that are easy to care about. I will give you just 1 suggestion. READ HIM.
Mom
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun book! Crime is not my normal preference of genre -- in fact, I'm not sure I've ever read a crime novel clear through before this one. But Little Yellow Dog somehow came my way and I began reading not really knowing what type of book it was. The references to areas of South Central LA, where I grew up, charmed me. Especially when the protagonist Easy mentions his house on Denker Street (where I lived) and drives up and down Slauson (my neighborhood). The story itself wasn't something ...more
Sue Russell
Love Walter Mosley and his recurring character, Easy Rawlins. Love Easy's moral and existential challenges, the book's complex plotting (easy to read perhaps but no mean feat to write, I am sure), the characters' smooth L.A. dialogue--and a cantankerous little yellow dog. This single novel, set in the mid '90s, wraps its arms around love (the kids Easy has chosen rather than fathered) and his understandable hate for much of the system. Fires rage outside and within. If you haven't read Mosley, t ...more
Joseph Weed
First mosley book,i think im gonna try some other easy's.
Babs Brodie
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting book, plot hard to believe. ex xapist reading great characters
a
Kat
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
New author for me - Easy is a great character. I'll definitely be looking into other books by this author!!
Guy
Jan 28, 2008 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
Cameron Wiggins
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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MB Taylor
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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Sandy Bookwitch
Feb 22, 2013 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.

B
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Cam
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Ellen
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
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Gina
Jun 26, 2013 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
Frank Jude
Sep 12, 2008 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
...more
Martin
Apr 25, 2015 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
P.e. lolo
Sep 07, 2013 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 04, 2012 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
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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 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)

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“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.”
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