Cover image for Bad Boy Brawly Brown
Bad Boy Brawly Brown
Mosley, Walter.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
427 pages (large print) ; 24 cm
General Note:
"An Easy Rawlins Mystery."

Format :


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Item Holds
X Adult Large Print Large Print

On Order



Easy Rawlins returns in this dazzling new novel of passion and justice in 1964 L.A. When an old friend asks Easy to find his missing stepson, Brawly Brown, Easy soon finds himself dodging the cops, who want to pin him for murder.

Author Notes

Walter Mosley was born in Los Angeles, California on January 12, 1952. He graduated from Johnson State College in Vermont. His first book, Devil in a Blue Dress, was published in 1990, won a John Creasy Award for best first novel, and was made into a motion picture starring Denzel Washington in 1995. He is the author of the Easy Rawlins Mystery series, the Leonid McGill Mystery series, and the Fearless Jones series. His other works include Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, 47, Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, and Twelve Steps toward Political Revelation. He has received numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, the Carl Brandon Society Parallax Award, and PEN America's Lifetime Achievement Award.

(Bowker Author Biography) Walter Mosley is the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series of mysteries, the novels "Blue Light" and "RL's Dream", and two collections of stories featuring Socrates Fortlow, "Always Outnumbered", "Always Outgunned", for which he received the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and "Walkin' the Dog". He is a member of the board of directors of the National Book Awards and the founder of the PEN American Center's Open Book Committee. At various times in his life he has been a potter, a computer programmer, & a poet. He was born in Los Angeles & now lives in New York.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Mosley fans have been eagerly anticipating the return of Easy Rawlins, last seen in A Little Yellow Dog (1995) trying unsuccessfully to carve a separate peace for himself away from the violence of South Central L.A. in the mid-60s. That's the situation again, as Rawlins is once more lured back into the street life when a friend needs help. Teenager Brawly Brown has left home and is running with the radical Urban Revolutionary Party. Easy quickly finds the boy, but he is just as quickly caught up in the murder of one of the party's leaders. There is a poignant world-weariness to Rawlins here. He responds to "the gruff bark of the American Negro's soul," yet he also sees Brawly as part of an "army of young fools . . . fighting and dying for ideas they barely understand, for rights they never possessed, for beliefs based on lies." This episode replays the themes and recaptures the mood of the previous installment more than we've come to expect from the constantly evolving Rawlins series, but it nevertheless stands on its own as a powerful human drama and a vividly re-created historical moment . --Bill Ott

Publisher's Weekly Review

Finally. Five years after the last taste (1997's Gone Fishin') and six years after the last full meal (1996's A Little Yellow Dog), Easy Rawlins makes a very welcome return. Now 44 years old, Easy no longer makes a living from doing people "favors." Now he owns a house, works for the Board of Education in Los Angeles and is father to a teenage son, Jesus, and a young daughter, Feather. It's 1964, and while some things have changed, the process is slow and uncertain. Too slow for some, including Brawly Brown, the son of Alva, the girlfriend of Easy's friend, John. Hotheaded Brawly has become involved with a group calling itself the Urban Revolutionary Party, and John and Alva fear the group's unspoken aim is violence and revenge. Friendship and loyalty being still sacred to Easy, he agrees, as a favor, to try to locate and talk to Brawly. As usual, Easy's path is not easy. When a body surfaces, Easy finds himself in the middle of a vicious puzzle where lives are cheap and death the easiest solution. As always, Mosley illuminates time and place with a precision few writers can match whatever genre they choose. He also delivers a rousing good story and continues to captivate with characters readers have grown to love, including the now "dead" Mouse, who still plays an important role in Easy's chronicle. Agent, Gloria Loomis. (One-day laydown July 2) Forecast: This one should shoot up bestseller lists, backed by a 10-city author tour and a major advertising and publicity campaign. The reissue and repackaging of six Easy Rawlins novels this fall, each with an original stand-alone story focusing on the fate of Easy's friend Mouse, will keep the momentum going. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

After a long wait, Easy Rawlins is back. Now it's February 1964, and the winds of racial unrest begin to blow in west Los Angeles. Easy has settled into a calm life balancing family and job responsibilities but remains troubled by regrets surrounding the death of his friend Mouse. Then a friend asks Easy to do one of his "favors": find and bring home the young, hot-headed Brawly Brown, believed to be caught up in a black activist organization, the Urban Revolutionary Party. But the situation is not so easy, Easy finds, as he and Brawly are entangled in murder, gun-running, robbery, and betrayal. The action is well paced and plausible; Mosley's sense of time and place are near-perfect, as usual, and M.E. Willis's first-person narration nicely conveys our streetwise and world-weary hero. Highly recommended.-Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins has accomplished many of his goals through hard work and perseverance, and in spite of being a black man in a white-dominated world. When Alva Torres needs help to locate her son, Brawly, Easy gladly steps in as unofficial private eye. The young man turns out to be mixed up with a radical political group, and Easy tries to find a way to ease Brawly and himself out of the mess. After two men are murdered and the police search for everyone with a connection to either death, Easy comes up with a violent answer that saves Brawly's life and covers his own tracks. Mosley weaves together the racial tensions felt in 1964 Los Angeles with the complex threads of Easy's life. Rawlins's multilayered personality and history provide the character's mental and physical drive, which in turn drives the plot. Supporting characters bring their own depth and substance and give readers additional insight into the period. A fine balance of historical fiction, murder mystery, and character study, this novel offers action and a lot of thoughtful material.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Bad Boy Brawly Brown by Walter MosleyLeadtext: MOUSE IS DEAD. Those words had gone through my mind every morning for three months. Mouse is dead because of me.When I sat up, Bonnie rolled her shoulder and sighed in her sleep. The sky through our bedroom window was just beginning to brighten.The image of Raymond, his eyes open and unseeing, lying stockstill on EttaMae's front lawn, was still in my mind. I lurched out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom. My feet hurt every morning, too, as if I had spent all night walking, searching for EttaMae, to ask her where she'd taken Ray after carrying him out of the hospital.So he was still alive? I asked a nurse who had been on duty that evening. No, she said flatly. His pulse was gone. The head nurse had just called the doctor to pronounce him dead when that crazy woman hit Arnold in the head with a suture tray and took Mr. Alexander's body over her shoulder.I wandered into the living room and pulled the sash to open the drapes. Red sunlight glinted through the ragged palms at the end of our block. I had never wept over Raymond's demise, but that tattered light reflected a pain deep in my mind.IT TOOK ME over half an hour to get dressed. No two socks matched and every shirt seemed to be the wrong color. While I was tying my shoes Bonnie woke up."What are you doing, Easy?" she asked. She had been born in British Guyana but her father was from Martinique, so there was the music of the French language in her English accent. "Gettin' dressed," I said. "Where are you going?""Where you think I'ma be goin' at this time'a day? To work." I was feeling mean because of that red light in the far-off sky. "But it's Saturday, baby." "What?"Bonnie climbed out of the bed and hugged me. Her naked skin was firm and warm.I pulled away from her. "You want some breakfast?" I asked. "Maybe a little later," she said. "I didn't get in from Idlewild until two this morning. And I have to go back out again today." "Then you go to bed," I said. "You sure? I mean... did you need to talk?" "Naw. Nuthin's wrong. Just stupid is all. Thinkin' Saturday's a workday. Damn.""Are you going to be okay?" she asked. "Yeah. Sure I am." Bonnie had a fine figure. And she was not ashamed to be seen naked. Looking at her pulling on those covers reminded me of why I fell for her. If I hadn't been so sad, I would have followed her back under those blankets.FEATHER'S LITTLE YELLOW DOG, Frenchie, was hiding somewhere, snarling at me while I made sausages and eggs. He was the love of my little girl's life, so I accepted his hatred. He blamed me for the death of Idabell Turner, his first owner; I blamed myself for the death of my best friend.I WAS SITTING at breakfast, smoking a Chesterfield and wondering if EttaMae had moved back down to Houston. I still had friends down there in the Fifth Ward. Maybe if I wrote to Lenora Circel and just dropped a line about Etta - say hi to Etta for me or give Etta my love. Then when she wrote back I might learn something. "Hi, Dad."My hand twitched, flicking two inches of cigarette ash on the eggs. Jesus was standing there in front of me. "I told you not to sneak up on me like that, boy." "I said hi," he explained.The eggs were ruined but I wasn't hungry. And I couldn't stay mad at Jesus, anyway. I might have taken him in when he was a child, but the truth was that he had adopted me. Jesus worked hard at making our home run smoothly, and his love for me was stronger than blood."What you doin' today?" I asked him. "Nuthin'. Messin' around." "Sit down," I said.Jesus didn't move the chair as he sat, because there was enough room for him to slide in under the table. He never wasted a movement - or a word. "I wanna drop out of high school," he said. "Say what?"His dark eyes stared into mine. He had the smooth, eggshellbrown skin and the straight black hair of people who had lived in the Southwest for thousands of years. "It's only a year and a half till you graduate," I said. "A diploma will help you get a job. And if you keep up with track, you could get a scholarship to UCLA."He looked down at my hands. "Why?" I asked. "I don't know," he said. "I just don't wanna be there. I don't wanna be there all the time." "You think I like goin' to work?" "You like it enough," he said. " 'Cause if you didn't like it, you'd quit."I could see that he'd made up his mind, that he'd thought about this decision for a long time. He probably had the papers for me to sign under his bed.I was about to tell him no, that he'd have to stick out the year at least. But then the phone rang. It was a loud ringer, especially at sixthirty in the morning.While I limped to the counter Jesus left on silent bare feet."Hello?" "Easy?" It was a man's voice. "John? Is that you?""I'm in trouble and I need you to do me a favor," John said all in a rush. He'd been practicing just like Jesus. My heart quickened. The little yellow dog stuck his nose out from under the kitchen cabinet.I don't know if it was an old friend's voice or the worry in his tone that got to me. But all of a sudden I wasn't miserable or sad. "What you need, John?""Why'ont you come over to the lots, Easy? I wanna look you in the eye when I tell ya what we want." "Oh," I said, thinking about we and the fact that whatever John had to say was too serious to be discussed over the phone. "Sure. As soon as I can make it."I hung up with a giddy feeling running around my gut. I could feel the grin on my lips. "Who was that?" Bonnie asked. She was standing at the door to our bedroom, half wrapped in a terry-cloth robe. She was more beautiful than any man could possibly deserve."John." "The bartender?" "Do you have to leave today?" I asked. "Sorry. But after this trip I'll have a whole week off." "I can't wait that long," I said. I gathered her up in my arms and carried her back into the bedroom. "Easy, what are you doing?" I tossed her on the bed and then closed the door to the kitchen. I took off my pants and stood over her."Easy, what's got into you?"The look on my face was answer enough for any arguments she might have had about the children or her need for sleep.I couldn't have explained my sudden passion. All I knew was the smell of that woman, her taste and texture on my skin and tongue, was something I had never known before in my life. It was as if I discovered sex for the first time that morning. Excerpted from Bad Boy Brawly Brown by Walter Mosley All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.