RARA-AVIS: Little Yellow Dog

From: Keith Alan Deutsch ( keithdeutsch@earthlink.net)
Date: 21 Apr 2000

Dear Doug Bassett,

Walter Mosley's Little Yellow Dog is one of his sexier "noire" as-in-black-detective, African American community detective novels. There is also plenty of music in the background. The writing, well the plotting, reminds me of Chandler. But Mosley is in my opinion one of the greater novelists to come along in a long time. His characterizations are moving, complex, and as memorable as character work in grate "literature." His range is wider than the hard boiled Black Mask tradition, but precisely within it. He is also one of our finest black authors. This novel, like all of them, has a lot of texture, both historical and social.

His narrative voice, in all his writings, is always intelligent, probing, unsentimental, but sensitive. One of my favorites by him is Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned--an episodic novel, or collection of short stories that also works as a novel--it is less a detective story than a story about a community and relationships between friends and neighbors. But his classic detective novel series, of which Little Yellow Dog is a later entry, is also about these same themes.

Can't go wrong with Mosley.

Keith keithdeutsch@earthlink.net

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