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Red Death Promotion With Yellow Dog [Mass Market Paperback]

Walter Mosley
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1 1997 Easy Rawlins Mystery Series
Nailed by a racist IRS agent for tax evasion, Easy Rawlins is asked by the FBI to infiltrate the First African Baptist Church to spy on alleged communist union organizer Chaim Wenzler, but the case soon takes a deadly turn, in a mystery set in 1953 Los Angeles. Reissue."

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This is the second novel in Mosley's superb series featuring Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator living in 1950s Los Angeles. (Aug.) In July Norton will publish White Butterfly , a third Mosley mystery starring Rawlins, which received a starred review in PW (Fiction Forecasts, May 4).
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

A Red Death confirms just how ambitious Mosley's acclaimed Easy Rawlins series (e.g, Devil in a Blue Dress, Audio Reviews, LJ 9/15/94) means to be. The tale presents a social history of black life in Watts over the course of several decades via the conventions of the hard-boiled private eye novel. The early 1950s finds Rawlins working as a janitor in buildings he secretly owns. When the IRS nabs him for tax evasion, his only way out is to cooperate with the FBI in bringing down a leftist Jewish man who is organizing through black churches. Worse yet, Etta Mae Harris has left Easy's deadly friend Mouse and seems finally ready to reciprocate Easy's long-time passion for her, placing his life in jeopardy from Mouse. Reader Stanley Bennett Clay has a great time with the many character voices and gives a fine reading. Highly recommended.
John Hiett, Iowa City P.L.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Mosley Takes a Step Back in A Good Sophomore Effort Sept. 13 2003
Format:Hardcover
A Red Death is not the novel Devil In A Blue Dress is, but really what could be? Mosley's style and storytelling are just as sharp, and he takes time to further develop the character of Easy Rawlins, the protagonist and narrator.
The main story of the novel is the same as Devil in a Blue Dress, Easy, a good man, comes into some trouble and has to use his wits, his fists, and his crazy friend Mouse (who conveniently has no problem with any moral questions that may arise on the streets of L.A) to get him out.
Mainly what a Red Death lacks is the tension, the overbearing sense of danger that hangs over every page of his first novel. The classic mystery elements of the plot are niether as complex nor are they as well defined as in Blue Dress. Too many details of the mystery are kept from the reader, therefore the audience is not as engaged during the story and not as satisfied with the resolution. These little disappointments however, will not keep me from following Easy Rawlins in White Butterfly!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rawlings is weird Aug. 1 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second Easy Rwalings book, a series by Walter Mosley.
It's a short and fast-paced book, easy to read. There are two problems with Easy Rawlings, though. As happens with all Mosley books, the plots are kind of misty, you just don't know for sure what Rawlings must do or discover through the story. Other thing I find extremely annoying is that, except Rawlings, other characters are completely undeveloped, they're just names thrown into the story, making it a little confusing, you almost never know who is who and what part they seem to take in the plot.
Easy Rawlings is a funny character, though a little too stupid. He acts before he thinks. Mosley thinks this is a means to provide action in the book and it works well, but I thought Easy was rather obtuse sometimes. But maybe Mosley just wanted to create a story as close to reality as possible. As in "Devil in a blue dress", the most interesting character is Mouse, Easy's friend, a murderer without scruples, who should get a book of his own.
I'll give a try to "White Butterfly", the next book in the series.
Grade 7.3/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional novel July 1 2001
By Omni
Format:Hardcover
I'm not quite sure if this novel qualifies entirely as a mystery novel because there are so many layers that permeate the book, envelop the senses and relate to the reader about another world that sits on the fringes of everyday African-American reality. There is within thsi book something that can only be compared to the U.S. discovering a Nazi secret decoding book. There is a cadence, a language, a knowledge that is carried within Africanist people, thrugh the neighborhoods, the folks that live in them that is apparent here. That's very, very hard to translate adequately on to paper, to reveal that code, bare it to the light of publication and yet in many ways still keep it private. Easy Rawlins is more complicated than simply being a good man. He's a bit of a tortured man, wanting his best friends woman and child as his own, risking death to be with them and then still remaining loyal to his insane friend Mouse and telling him where they are. Problem #1. Problem #2 Another insane man, an IRS man who is after Easy for not paying his taxes and who challenges Easy as at face value, the color of his skin not realizing that Easy will kill him, wants to kill him and is only stopped by a meeting with Problem #3---an insane FBI agent who wants Eays to infiltrate a Baptyist church to root out communists. Of course Easy knows that communism is the scapegoat for the ol' okey-doke but he's in a terrible spot and getting more and more desperate. Usually half way through a book you can see where it's going, who has to die, who the killer is, even why the killer did something but Mosley turns this around into something that chugs the mystery along but makes it secondary to whatever is goign on in Easy's life. Read more ›
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