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A Little Yellow Dog: An Easy Rawlins Mystery…
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A Little Yellow Dog: An Easy Rawlins Mystery (Easy Rawlins Mysteries) (original 1996; edition 1996)

by Walter Mosley

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660614,562 (3.7)21
Member:bjkelley
Title:A Little Yellow Dog: An Easy Rawlins Mystery (Easy Rawlins Mysteries)
Authors:Walter Mosley
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (1996), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:2012
Rating:***
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A Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosley (1996)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Having never read a Mosley book, but having seen Devil In A Blue Dress, I thought I would give an Easy Rawlins mystery a try.

While the book was very well written, I had problems keeping up with all of the characters. This might be a personable problem of mine OR it might be that the characters weren't delineated enough for me to keep them straight. That's why I rated it 3 stars instead of 4. ( )
  bjkelley | Nov 3, 2012 |
I came to this (the fifth) installment in the series first, and liked that there was so much weight behind the protagonist, Easy Rawlins, and seemingly such a sea change in his character and place in life compared to what it was in previous books. Curious how much is literally explained in the previous novels, how much is Mosley's writing that lends it this weight.

I knew nothing of the series, and found it intriguing that it was a third of the way in before the date was made clear. On page 155 Easy makes reference to it being "early in the sixties". Up to that point, there were references to 1961 and such, but it wasn't clear whether that was a year, 10 years, 20 years prior to the current situation. (Later it's made explicit: JFK is assasinated on the last day of the novel's action, and the book jacket clearly states 1963.) Are race relations really not that much different that for much of the plot, it wasn't certain whether the events were unfolding in 1963, 1983, or 2003? Similar to Pulp Fiction in that respect, at least for me: could not tell if it took place in the 80s, 90s, or ... when.

The story is a mystery, sure, but I was propelled by my interest in what would be revealed about life in LA, and in Mosley's spare prose, hardboiled dialogue, and occasional turns of phrase. He also reveals a wicked if deadpan sense of humour, noting about the gardening and horticulture of a daughter and father he visits at home: "Their house was small but impeccably well kept. The mums and honeysuckle made me jealous. The oranges were the pride of their race." (100) But the people to whom he's referring are Italian-Chinese. What race is that, exactly? ( )
  elenchus | Jul 4, 2009 |
Sarjan 5. osa. ( )
  virpiloi | Apr 13, 2009 |
This is the first Rawlins mystery I've read, after seeing "Devil in a Blue Dress" movie a few years ago. I am excited to read more, because the language is stylish but street-smart for the 1950s. Easy is trying hard to keep a good job as a school maintenance supervisor but he gets pulled into a crime investigation when a body is found behind the school. Some teachers had some extra-curricular activities he did not know about. Easy struggles with his former life of crime and you hope for him to succeed. ( )
  coyle220 | Dec 10, 2007 |
The best of the Easy Rawlins books. This gives you the feel of living in LA as an African-American and gives you a context to understand why OJ was found not guilty. Hint: keep a list of characters as you read to keep them all straight. ( )
  williamsLA | Aug 18, 2006 |
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Epigraph
It was the dog's fault.
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:44 -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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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