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Little Scarlet

Mosley, Walter

3,205 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0316073032 / ISBN 13: 9780316073035
Published by Little, Brown and Co, New York, 2004
Used Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since December 5, 1997

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

306 pages. SIGNED BY MOSLEY ON TITLE PAGE. Black covers, red spine with silver titles, illustrated dust jacket. Covers unmarked, very slight rubbing to dust jacket, spine stiff and tight, pages crisp and unmarked; a beautiful copy in great condition. Record # 807164. Bookseller Inventory # 807164

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Little Scarlet

Publisher: Little, Brown and Co, New York

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

For the huge audience that has always thought they should read Walter Mosley, he delivers at last the novel they've been waiting for-one so unstoppably dramatic that it will rank among the classic mysteries of our time. At the height of the devastating 1965 Watts riots, a white man is pulled from his car by a mob and escapes into a nearby apartment building. Soon afterward, a red-headed woman known as Little Scarlet is found dead in that building-and the man who fled is the suspect. The police investigate, and what Easy finds is a killer whose rage, like that which burned in the city, is intrinsically woven around race and passion.Rawlins's hunt for the killer will reveal a new city emerging from the ashes - and a new life for Easy and his friends. Mosley captures the heat and the rhythm of Los Angeles's heart, where danger is the common currency of everyday life.LITTLE SCARLET is further proof that Mosley is 'a master of mystery' (New York Times Book Review).

Review:

Los Angeles, 1965, right after the Watts Riots, six summer days of racial violence--burning, looting, and killing--that followed the routine arrest of a black motorist for drunken driving. Although custodian and unlicensed PI Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins stayed safely inside during the turmoil, as an African-American male he understands all too well what it was about. "It's hot and people are mad," he explains in Walter Mosley's Little Scarlet. "They’ve been mad since they were babies." Even with the rioting finally cooled, police remain on edge. So when a mid-30s, redheaded black woman named Nola Payne--aka "Little Scarlet"--turns up dead in her apartment, strangled and shot and showing signs of recent sexual contact, the cops are reluctant to storm L.A.'s minority community, looking for her murderer, especially since the culprit may well be an injured white man Payne had sheltered, and who's now disappeared. Instead, they ask Easy to see what he can find out about this crime.

The case forces Rawlins to address the ethnic tribulations of 1960s America, in microcosm, and his own discomfort with discrimination, in particular.

I spent my whole early life at the back of buses and in the segregated balconies at theaters. I had been arrested for walking in the wrong part of town and threatened for looking a man in the eye. And when I went to war to fight for freedom, I found myself in a segregated army, treated with less respect than they treated German POWs. I had seen people who looked like me jeered on TV and in the movies. I had had enough and I wasn't about to turn back, even though I wanted to.

But Easy can't tackle this investigation alone; assisting him are the casually homicidal Raymond "Mouse" Alexander, as well as a dogged white detective and a fetching younger woman, who threatens to overturn the settled life Easy has been working toward all these years. Nor can Rawlins wrap the case up easily. Harassed and attacked for his inquiries, he eventually connects Payne's slaying to a homeless man, allegedly responsible for killing as many as 21 black women, all of whom had the bad judgment to hook up with white men.

Little Scarlet, the eighth Rawlins novel (after Bad Boy Brawly Brown), is unusual for Mosley, because it focuses as much on the credible mechanics of crime-solving as it does on the exposition of character and the exploration of L.A.'s mid-20th-century black culture. Combined with the author's vigorous prose and prowess with dialogue, Easy's promotion to serious sleuth promises great things for what was already a standout series. --J. Kingston Pierce

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Monroe Street Books. Owners: Richard and Flanzy Chodkowski. Mailing address: Monroe Street Books, 70 Monroe Street, Middlebury, Vermont 05753 USA. Store Located at: 1485 Route 7 North, Middlebury, Vermont 05753 USA. Phone: 1-802-398-2200 Email: books@monroestreetbooks.com
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