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A Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosley

A Little Yellow Dog (1996)

by Walter Mosley

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6171324,189 (3.73)31



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Easy Rawlins is trying to stay off the street but his sense of justice, his hidden knight errant, keeps pulling him back. Full of intersting characters (too many w similar names) and told in the first person it is a great look at late 1950's - 1960's LA thriough the eyes of a black man. Moseley writes well and his philosophical meanderings via Easy are sharp. Almost gave it a 3.5 but the ending brought it up to a 4. ( )
  JBreedlove | Jun 7, 2019 |
From previous books in the Easy Rawlins series, I'd come to see Easy as a man with a good amount of money and Mouse as a frightening, murderous thug. Here, Mouse has apparently reformed and works as a janitor, and Easy as a supervisor of the janitorial staff at a local school. Beyond those incongruities, there's a lot that The Little Yellow Dog shares with Mosely's other works in the series -- rampant promiscuity, corrupt racist cops, violence, low-lifes, criminals, con men, and ordinary people trying to get by.

Against his inclinations, Easy is drawn into a puzzling case involving multiple murders (including two male twins and a woman he's slept with). He is in some danger of losing his job, if not the two orphans he's given a home to, and is up against a Police sergeant who would like to pin the murders on Easy. To survive, he has to figure out who the various miscreants are and who did what to whom. As for the dog, it's a little yappy thing named Phoenix that he's taken in as a favor to one of the school's teachers, who says her husband has threatened to kill it. The dog functions as comic relief (it takes an instant dislike to Easy) and presents some suspense, since its presence may reveal his connection to the teacher. It turns out the case revolves around a heroin smuggling ring in which a child's croquet set serves as the means by which drugs were brought into the country.

My main reaction to this book is that it has far too many characters -- even though I kept a running list with descriptions, it was hard to keep track of them all, in part because they weren't fleshed out enough to make them distinctive. In addition, I didn't find a single memorable character, nor any to like, including Easy himself. This book has some amusing moments and interesting prose, and I credit it with its uncompromising look at the nature of early 1960s racism. However, reading it was less than an enjoyable experience. ( )
3 vote danielx | Mar 17, 2019 |
Synopsis: Easy Rawlins is the head janitor for a school. He is asked by one of the teachers to keep her dog since her husband has threatened to kill it. Not long after a body is found on the school yard and the teacher has vanished. A policeman is trying to blame the murder on Easy, so he has to not only clear himself but find out why the person was killed and how to keep from getting killed himself.
Review: The author is black and he uses his experiences to inform his writing. I rather like his work. ( )
  DrLed | Jul 12, 2018 |
Seriously, that damn dog. This is why I'm a cat person. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Apr 9, 2017 |
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. ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
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It was the dog's fault.
First words
When I got to work that Monday morning I knew something was wrong. Mrs. Idabell Turner's car was parked in the external lot and there was a light on in her half of bungalow C.
We take our friends where we can. (72)
I had my hand on the trigger and my eye in his. There was going to be blood or money on the table before long because neither one of us was walking away until the issue was settled. (94)
(Easy warily interviews someone involved in murder, each not revealing much to the other)
Our eyes met in the involuntary agreement that we were both liars. (164)
Ice didn't melt on his tongue and he didn't know, for a fact, the color of his own blood. (173)
(Waitress) 'You got to buy three drinks in here if you wanna stay. Either that or go up to the gamblin' room. You gamble?'
(Easy) 'Only with my life.' (178)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393039242, Hardcover)

The saga of Easy Rawlins that began in 1990 with Devil in a Blue Dress, continues in A Little Yellow Dog. Working as a janitor at Sojourner Truth Junior High School, Easy is asked to care for a small dog owned by the attractive Idabell Holland, a teacher at the school. When Idabell's husband is murdered, Easy finds himself mixed up with a gang of criminals engaged in looting Los Angeles schools and smuggling heroin from France. Idabell and Easy fall into a sexual liaison, but in the wake of it, Idabell is found stabbed to death in the passenger seat of Easy's car. While at first Easy thinks the murders are a "simple falling out of thieves," a surprising twist on the level of "The Maltese Falcon" reveals the truth.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:50 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Black PI Easy Rawlins, working as a school janitor in Los Angeles, is seduced by a teacher into taking her dog which her husband threatens to kill. When the husband is murdered, Rawlins becomes the prime suspect and must clear his name. By the author of Black Betty.

» see all 5 descriptions

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Average: (3.73)
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