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A Little Yellow Dog: Featuring an Original Easy Rawlins Short Story "Gray-Eyed Death" [Paperback]

Walter Mosley
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2002 Easy Rawlins Mysteries
November 1963: Easy's settled into a steady gig as a school custodian. It's a quiet, simple existence -- but a few moments of ecstasy with a sexy teacher will change all that. When the lady vanishes, Easy's stuck with a couple of corpses, the cops on his back, and a little yellow dog who's nobody's best friend. With his not-so-simple past snapping at his heels, and with enemies old and new looking to get even, Easy must kiss his careful little life good-bye -- and step closer to the edge....

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From Amazon

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"You had to kill someone white to get any kind of news splash in the '60s," Easy Rawlins says of Los Angeles. In this fifth installment in the Easy Rawlins series, Mosley has allowed his character to evolve with age (the first book in the series took place in the mid-'40s). Tired of the street life, ex-hustler Rawlins has carved out a life on the straight and narrow, working for a public school and trying to raise his two adopted children. When the police suspect him of murder, he relies on his old street connections to help him out. Mosley is a master of dialogue and his quick-witted narrative is full of Chandler-esque twists. Weinberger is a natural Easy. With a voice that has the gravel of Jack Webb (minus the stiffness) and the confidence of Morgan Freeman, Weinberger takes listeners on what should be a smooth and exhilarating ride. However, the narration is riddled with so many small but distracting errors and slight misreadings that it shatters the suspension of disbelief. With a little more attention in the post-production phase, this fine, nine-hour foray into drama, intrigue, sex, hustling and murder could have been great.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A woman, a murder, a dog June 24 2004
In Mosley's fifth Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins mystery it's 1963 and streetwise, brooding Easy has established a "straight" life for himself and his two adopted street children. The supervising custodian of a school in Watts, Los Angeles, he arrives for work to find Mrs. Turner, a young, lovely teacher, distraught because her husband wants to kill her dog.
A couple hours later there's a dead man in the school yard, the teacher has disappeared and Easy's stuck with a yapping mutt while the police fit him - a black man with a shady past and an attitude - for murder.
Rawlins is a man of few words, keeping most of his dialogue interior. Mrs. Turner is beautiful, alluring, available.
"'Call me Idabell,' she said.
Call me fool."
Easy has his weaknesses but understands them. He's proud and as the bodies mount up, he evades the cops and pursues his own investigation - as much for the excitement as to save his own skin.
Mosley's style is all personality - strong, eloquent, streetwise, stubborn, vivid and determined. Easy tracks his quarry with savvy and cynicism - if he doesn't get the murderer, the cops will get him.
Mosley's latest is a tightly plotted, fast-paced and thoughtful read. Pure pleasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner From Walter Mosley May 16 2000
Can a book have atmosphere? If it can, then this book has it. The descriptions of the school yard took me back, in a flash, to my elementary school in Long Beach, California years ago. Do you remember school rooms in bungalows? And tetherball? Mosley is absolutely THE master of dialogue. Sometimes too much of one author can get tiresome, but not in this case. I read BLACK BETTY just before this book and the dialogue continues to be fresh and sparkling. I enjoyed the dry humor sprinkled throughout the story. It suits Easy very well and I'd like to see more of it in future books. The foray into the culinary experience was another new addition that I liked a lot. The main story line held together well and moved along almost effortlessly. I finished this book yesterday and I still don't know how I feel about the ending. I'm sure it will stay with me for a long while. Walter Mosley is one of the best authors around today, in my opinion. I eagerly await the next installment in the saga of Easy Rawlins.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Does It,, Again! May 9 2000
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Easy Rawlins is the most unique protagonist in the mystery genre. He is always trying to get ahead without drawing unfavorable attention to himself. Whenever he seems to be making progress, crime and violence dog his footsteps . . . soon bringing the LAPD behind them to hassle him. If this sounds familiar, there is a good chance that Jean Valjean of Les Miserables is the real inspiration for Easy Rawlins.
Having grown up in Southern California at the time Mosley is writing about, I am very impressed with his ear for language and his eye for detail about those time. In A Little Yellow Dog, Easy has moved into the 1960s and is operating closer to the legal side than ever before.
He soon finds himself surrounded by corpses, accusations, and the potential to lose his job, his children, and his freedom. Faced with those terrible consequences, he returns to his old friends for help in unraveling a satisfying mystery.
Clearly, part of the appeal of this book is that Easy's vantage point on America is different from that of most readers. He is a black man with community connections to those who bend and break the law, yet he is a good man. How he will resolve the conflicts that inevitably occur due to his personal values, commitments to others, and the racisim of his society provides a satisfying look at the true nobility of man. That's what takes this book well beyond the normal well-written mystery.
I liked the way that Easy developed as a person in this novel, bridging the gap between his aspirations and his former life. This provides more interesting plot twists, character development, and a chance to revisit characters who worked well in the earlier novels.
A Little Yellow Dog is a top-notch successor to the earlier books in the Easy Rawlins series. Don't miss it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING!!! July 3 1998
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the best book in the complete "Easy Rawlins" series. I started the series reading "Black Betty" immediately followed by "Devil in a Blue Dress". Upon completion, I got on-line purchased the rest of the series. My only regret is that I haven't read "Gone Fishing". It seems as though the previews of "Gone Fishing" says wait save the best for last. Walter Mosley has created a fascinating character in Easy Rawlins. A man who has made a name for himself in the business of solving L.A.'s African American crimes involving murder. Every character in the book has a story to tell and their story seems to involve Easy. The characters seem to come right off of the pages into your heart. Mosley has kept every "major" character in this series ALIVE in our hearts and in our minds. If this is your first time reading an Easy Rawlins adventure, I promise it won't be your last. If this book happens to be the one you saved for last...I'm sure you feel like I do...it was the very BEST by far!!!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars But why is he... I had to keep asking
Here's a guy who is just trying to keep his life clean, after having a questionable past. He is obviously not involved in this killing, yet he continuously puts himself in... Read more
Published on May 23 2004 by Troy Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
By no means would I call myself a big fan of mystery novels, but I really enjoyed this book. Walter Mosley did a superb job of developing very interesting and memorable characters... Read more
Published on April 4 2002 by Barry D. Smith
1.0 out of 5 stars Bore-rine
I've read 2 other Walter Mosley's and that's it for me. He's too sloooow and most of all empty. He's character are not very interesting and the stories always lag, drag and fizzz... Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm Hooked On Easy
A Little Yellow Dog was the first Walter Mosley book I've ever read, and the first mystery I've read written by an African-American. From page one, I was hooked. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2000 by Cydney Rax
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book
This is the best book out of the Easy Rawlins series. It is wonderful and extremely vivid the way Walter Mosley describes the characters and the scenes of this novel. Read more
Published on Dec 22 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars I love all of Walter Mosley books.
If you love Walter Mosley's books as I do, you will also appreciate Chester Himes. (Search for his name on Amazon.com. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars A poignant conclusion to the Easy Rawlins series
OK, it's overlong, but Easy does not bed (or desk...) every women who occurs in the complicated plot! Read more
Published on Oct. 12 1998 by Stephen O. Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a half stars, a job well done
Have to hand it to Mosley, he gets better each time. This book held the biggest mystery of any of his novels to date, the dialogue was right on, and the last chapter leaves the... Read more
Published on Sept. 15 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars The "BEST" in the Easy Rawlins series
After having read "Black Betty", "Devil in a Blue Dress", "A Red Death", "White Butterfly" and now "A Little Yellow Dog" in that... Read more
Published on July 8 1998
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