by Sukey HowardNovember, 2004
<B>Sukey's favorite</B> There's a lot more depth in Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins mystery series than you find in most of this genre. He writes crime fiction with the best of them and he writes about being black in a white-dominated America with affecting power. <B>Little Scarlet</B>, his latest, is set just days after the 1965 riots in Watts, where the racial tension that sparked the riots is still raw and the disorienting aftermath is just beginning to sink in. In the midst of this chaos, the LAPD asks Easy to help them investigate the death of a black woman who may have been murdered by a white man, an investigation that, if wrongly handled, could rekindle the riots. Easy takes on the case and takes us into his world and onto the highly charged, troubled streets of Los Angeles. Michael Boatman's intelligent narration gives Easy Rawlins the voice he's meant to have, nuanced with anger and sadness and love, and captures the inflections and cadences of the other characters male, female, black and white with extraordinary skill and understanding.