Cover image for Little Scarlet
Little Scarlet
Mosley, Walter.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Time Warner AudioBooks, [2004]

Physical Description:
7 audio discs (approximately 7.5 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
It is 1965, and the devastating Watts riots are ravaging Los Angeles. A white man attempts to escape from a mob by running into a nearby apartment building. A few days later he is accused of killing a woman known as Little Scarlet who is found dead in the building. But when Easy Rawlins starts to investigate, he suspects the killer to be someone else-someone whose rage is racially motivated and as deep as his passion. For those who always wanted to read Walter Mosley, here is a novel they've been waiting for: an unstoppably dramatic mystery.
General Note:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


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FICTION CD Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
FICTION CD Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
FICTION CD Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



An irresistible story of love and death amid the flames of the hottest summer L.A. has ever seen


Just after devastating riots tear through Los Angeles in 1965 - when anger is high and fear still smolders everywhere - the police turn up at Easy Rawlins' doorstep. He expects the worst, as usual; but they've come to ask for his help. A man was wrenched from his car by a mob and escaped to a nearby apartment. Soon afterword a redheaded woman was found dead in that building, and the obvious suspect, the fleeing man, has vanished.

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 3

Booklist Review

Mosley returns to top form in this ninth installment of his celebrated Easy Rawlins series. In the early volumes, the calendar moved ahead almost one decade per book, but Mosley has been lingering through the 1960s--rightfully so, given the far-reaching impact of that turbulent era on African American life. Here it's the last days of the Watts riots in 1966, and a black woman, nicknamed Little Scarlet, has been found murdered in her apartment, the same building that an unidentified white man appeared to enter after escaping a mob of rioters. Did the white man commit the murder? The LAPD wants answers quickly, which is why Rawlins is asked to investigate. As has been the case throughout this series, the mystery at hand serves as a window opening on a historical moment. As Easy investigates, he finds himself forced to make sense of his own contrary feelings about the riots--his sadness at the loss of life and property in his community set against his recognition of inevitability, of the fact that the riots were expressing out in the open the anger every black man and woman had been forced to hide: Now it's said and nothing will ever be the same. That's good for us, no matter what we lost. And it could be good for white people, too. Mosley remains a master at showing his readers slices of history from the inside, from a perspective that is all those things history usually isn't: intimate, individual, and passionate. --Bill Ott Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set during the Watts riots of 1965, this eighth entry in Mosley's acclaimed Easy Rawlins series (Bad Boy Brawly Brown, etc.) demonstrates the reach and power of the genre, combining a deeply involving mystery with vigorous characterizations and probing commentary about race relations in America. Easy Rawlins, 45, is-like the rest of black L.A.-angry: "the angry voice in my heart that urged me to go out and fight after all the hangings I had seen, after all of the times I had been called nigger and all of the doors that had been slammed in my face." But Easy stays out of the fiery streets until a white cop and his bosses recruit him to identify the murderer of a young black woman, Nola Payne; the cops suspect an unidentified white man whom Nola sheltered during the riots, and are worried that if they pursue the case, word will leak and the riots will escalate. Easy, an unlicensed PI who also works as a school custodian, agrees to investigate, drawing into his quest several series regulars, including the stone killer Mouse, the magical healer Mama Jo and his own family. There's also a sexy young woman whose allure, like that of the violent streets, threatens to smash the life of integrity he has so carefully built. In time, Easy focuses on a homeless black man as the killer, not only of Nola but of perhaps 20 other black women, all of whom had hooked up with white men. This is Mosley's best novel to date: the plot is streamlined and the language simple yet strong, allowing the serpentine story line to support Easy's amazingly complex character and hypnotic narration as Mosley plunges us into his world and, by extension, the world of all blacks in white-run America. Fierce, provocative, expertly entertaining, this is genre writing at its finest. (July 5) Forecast: Strong reviews, Mosley's rep and word of mouth will get this title onto lists quickly; a 30-city author tour will add lift. Expect this to be Mosley's biggest seller yet. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Mosley's excellent Easy Rawlins stories distill into a uniquely American package of readable goodness detective work, race relations, folksy folks, and the universal desperation and bitterness felt by a black man. Here, readers find police hire Easy, a school custodian and unlicensed PI, looking into the murder of the titular woman while the ash heaps of the 1965 Watts riots smolder. See, Scarlett (aka Nola Payne) was black, and the cops think the murderer was white. Hoo, boy, talk about a powder keg waiting to go off. Mosley is a masterful writer, especially with dialect and sketches of routine life back in 1940s to 1960s California. But this same accuracy is disturbing-can America have been this racist and ugly? It's no place I know (thankfully), but that's the appeal of the Easy Rawlins stories, an alien America as seen through the eyes of a normal dude. In some ways we're alike, like having a simple, secure job and a good home life. But that's where the similarities end. Easy can stay calm under pressure, has friends and beaucoup street smarts, dresses well, owns his own house, can take you in a fight.what's not to envy? Mostly, he's angry and sad, though, and that condition confronts readers throughout this enjoyable, engaging series.-Douglas Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Middletown (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.