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Elmore Leonard wrote more than forty books during his phenomenal career. Many have been made into successful movies, including Get Shorty with John Travolta, Out of Sight with George Clooney and Rum Punch, which became Tarantino's Jackie Brown. He died in August 2013.
Click here, or the picture to download and read about Elmore Leonard's 10 rules for writing.
Below is a tribute to Elmore Leonard from Sophie Buchan, Commissioning Editor for Weidenfeld & Nicolson...
"Reading Elmore Leonard is the closest you can get to watching a movie without going to the cinema. He could sum up a character in a sentence, wrote some of the smartest dialogue ever committed to the pages of a novel and, to paraphrase his own 10 Rules of Writing, left out the bits that readers tend to skip. He famously once wrote ‘if it sounds like writing, rewrite it’. And you don’t read an Elmore Leonard novel; you live it.
Leonard’s novels will pick up you from your living room or train carriage and plonk you down in a smoke-filled backroom full of the slick-talking charlatans, plotting femmes fatales, and some of the wittiest baddies you’re likely to meet.
Publishing his novels was a joy not only because he was consistently brilliant but also because he was tremendously good fun, both on the page and in person. He surprised us constantly. At the age of 84, he delivered a novel that not only dealt with the – then – very topical Somali pirate crisis but also referenced Lady Gaga’s meat dress. I’d be lying if I said I’d expected that.
What has been unusual about the response to his death isn’t just the sheer depth of feeling but the range of people who have spoken of their admiration for this work. As tributes pour in authors including Ian Rankin, Martin Amis and Jackie Collins, I’d advise you – whatever you usually read – to discover Elmore Leonard."
Largely written during his years as a copywriter at a Detroit advertising agency, these stories find Leonard exploring far-flung locations, from the bars of small-town New Mexico to a military base in Kuala Lumpur. They also introduce us to unforgettable Leonard characters, some of whom - like ageing lawman Charlie Martz and former matador Eladio Montoya - star in his other works but were born in these pages.
The legendary 85 year old American Crime writer has created an absolute stand out novel with this tale of documentary film maker Dara Barr, Somalian pirates and the race to stop a tanker being blown up by any number of extraordinary characters.
The sequel to Chili Palmer's hit movie tanked and now Chili's itching for a comeback. So when a power lunch with record-label executive and former associate Tommy Athens ends in a mob hit, he soon finds himself in an unlikely alliance with organized-crime detective Darryl Holmes and the likely next target of Russian gangsters. But where others see danger, Chili Palmer sees story possibilities. Enter Linda Moon, a singer with aspirations that go further than her current gig in a Spice Girls cover band. Chili takes over as Linda's manager, entering the world of rock stars, pop divas, and hip-hop gangstas. As he wings his way to success in the music business with his trademark cool, Chili manipulates his adversaries and advances his friends, all the while basing the plot of his new film on the action that results.
Daredevil Dennis Lenahan has brought his act to the Tishomingo Lodge & Casino in Tunica, Mississippi - diving off an eighty-foot ladder into nine feet of water for the amusement of gamblers, gangsters, and luscious belles. His riskiest feat, however, was witnessing a Dixie-style mob execution while atop his diving platform. Robert Taylor saw the hit also. A blues-loving Detroit hustler touring the Southland, Taylor's got his own secret agenda and he wants Dennis in on the game. And high-diver Dennis could be about to take a long, fatal fall - right into a mess of hoop skirts, Civil War play-acting...and more trouble than he ever dreamed possible.
Collecting money for the Mob isn't too different from any other job, reckons Miami loan shark Chili Palmer. He soon finds himself ordered to collect on a bad debt from Leo Devoe, a guy who died in a plane crash. But it turns out Leo isn't dead - he's living it up in Las Vegas on the compensation money. So Chili follows him to Vegas and then on to Hollywood, where he gets drawn into the world of movies...
Jack Foley was busting out of Florida's Glades Prison when he ran head-on into Karen Sisco with a shotgun. Suddenly the world-class gentleman felon was sharing a cramped car trunk with a disarmed federal marshal - whose Chanel suit cost more than the take from Foley's last bank job - and the chemistry was working overtime. Here's a lady Jack could fall for in a big way, if she weren't a dedicated representative of the law that he breaks for a living. And as soon as she escapes, he's already missing her. But there are some seriously bad men and a major score waiting for Jack in Motown. And there's a good chance that when his path crosses Karen's again, she's going to be there for business, not pleasure.
Ordell Robbie makes a fine living selling illegal high-powered weaponry to the wrong people. Jackie Burke couriers Ordell's profits from Freeport to Miami. But the feds are on to Jackie - and now the aging, but still hot, flight attendant will have to do prison time or play ball, which makes her a prime 'loose end' that Ordell needs to tie up...permanently. Jackie, however, has other plans. And with the help of Max Cherry - an honest but disgruntled bail bondsman looking to get out - she could even end up with a serious nest egg in the process.
With the closing of the Harlan County, Kentucky coalmines, marijuana has become the biggest cash crop in the state. A hundred pounds of it can gross three-hundred thousand dollars, but thats chump change compared to the quarter million a human body can get youespecially when its sold off piece-by-piece. So when Dickie and Coover Crowe, dope-dealing brothers known for sampling their own supply, decide to branch out into the body business, its up to U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens to stop them. But by the time Raylan finds out whos making the cuts, hes lying naked in a bathtub, with Layla the cool transplant nurse about to go for his kidneys.Dark and droll, Raylan is pure Elmore Leonarda page-turner filled with sparkling dialogue and sly suspense that are the hallmarks of this modern master.
'Sharp as an ice pick . . . You will love this excellent book' New York Times 'Mr. Paradise is a perfect crime caper from a master . . . what more do you want?' Detroit Free Press Tony Paradiso - aka Mr Paradise - gets his kicks from watching old football games on TV accompanied by live entertainment: sexy cheerleaders shaking their pom-poms and doing rah-rah routines for his viewing pleasure. But for Chloe Robinette, playing dress-up doesn't end so well when she's caught in the crossfire of a contract hit. There are witnesses to the murders - Paradiso's right-hand man, Montez Taylor, and Chloe's roommate Kelly - but neither is giving too much away. Because Montez and Kelly have a score in mind, a big payoff from Mr Paradise's estate - if only Kelly can convince the cops she's someone else... 'Glittering black comedy, a razor-sharp cast of crooks and con men. Very funny, exceedingly tough . . . told in a dialogue sharp enough to draw blood' Literary Review
The King of Cool returns with another thrilling tale of crime capers. Arman 'The Blackbird' Degas is a professional hitman: one shot, one kill. But when he's carjacked by ex-con Richie Nix, he finds himself with a lethal partner. Nix is on his way to shake down a realtor and the Blackbird is along for the ride. But they don't count on Carmen and Wayne Colson getting in their way. Exposed as eyewitnesses, the Colsons are placed in witness protection but soon discover the program contains as many predators as the underworld they're hiding from. But can they outrun the Blackbird...?
The old Apache renegade Soldado Viejo is hiding out in Mexico, and the Arizona Department Adjutant has selected two men to hunt him down. One -- Dave Flynn -- knows war, the land, and the nature of his prey. The other is a kid lieutenant named Bowers. But there's a different kind of war happening in Soyopa. And if Flynn and his young associate choose the wrong allies -- and the wrong enemy -- they won't be getting out alive.
'Another gem . . . a masterpiece of duplicity' Washington Post 'Leonard provides the fizziest and cleverest dialogue in crime fiction. A total delight' The Times Every prison inmate needs a Road Dog - someone to watch their back, someone they can trust on the inside and out. For wealthy Cuban criminal Cundo Rey, that person is Jack Foley: charmer, ladies' man and infamous bank robber. With the services of a shark attorney and a whole heap of cash, Cundo engineers his buddy's early release, and Jack is soon living large in Cundo's house in Venice Beach, enjoying the attentions of his sexy wife, Dawn. But Dawn has ulterior motives and a plan: to relieve her husband of his considerable fortune... and she needs Jack's help. But with Cundo's release imminent and rogue FBI agent Lou Adams on his tail, just who can Jack trust if he's to pull off the biggest score of his life...?
Miracle or scam...? An exhilarating tale from the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of ROAD DOGS. Ginny Worrel was blind but now can see after being touched by a young man called Juvenal. Suddenly the kid with the healing hands is flavour of the month in downtown Detroit. Bill Hill, a former minister turned RV salesman, has dollar signs in his eyes and a get-rich-quick scheme; the priests at the Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Centre want Juvenal to soothe the brows of their alcoholic inmates; and beautiful baton-twirler Lynn Faulkner simply wants him to soothe her. But with a slew of cash-hungry hucksters on his back, Juvenal's got a trick or two up his sleeve that nobody sees coming...
Leonard is tops in his field. New Orleans Times-PicayuneThe great Elmore Leonard, Americas pre-eminent crime fiction writer (Chicago Tribune), takes readers back to Prohibition days in the back hills of Kentucky in a rollicking story of guns, greed, and illegally brewed corn liquor. The Moonshine War is a tale of the chaos that ensues when a gang of city slickers sets out to steal thousands of dollars-worth of homemade whiskey from a hell-raising country boywho is anything but the easy mark they were expecting. A rediscovered Elmore Leonard classic, The Moonshine War is a wild ride bursting with the authors hallmark delights: the twisty plot, the gripping suspense, the wit and, of course, the razor-sharp dialogue. Its no wonder that the creator of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givenslately the star of the hit TV series Justifiedis always listed among the mystery and crime fiction elite, including John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Robert Parker, and often at the very top of the list.
The hell called Yuma Prison can destroy the soul of any man. And it's worse for those whose damning crime is the color of their skin. The law says Chiricahua Apache Raymond San Carlos and black-as-night former soldier Harold Jackson are murderers, and they'll stay behind bars until they're dead and rotting. But even in the worst place on Earth, there's hope. And for two hard and hated inmates -- first enemies, then allies by necessity -- it waits at the end of a mad and violent contest ... on a bloody trail that winds toward Arizona's five most dangerous men.
Brendan Early and Dana Moon have tracked renegade Apaches together and gunned down scalp hunters to become Arizona legends. But now they face each other from opposite sides of what newspapers are calling The Rincon Mountain War. Brendan and a gang of mining company gun thugs are dead set on running Dana and the People of the Mountain from their land. The characters are unforgettable, the plot packed with action and gunfights from beginning to end.
A wild ride through Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Miami HeraldNot only his finest novel but one that transcends the limits of its genre and is worthy of being evaluated as literary fiction. Houston ChronicleBefore Grand Master Elmore Leonard earned his well-deserved reputation as the best writer of crime fiction alive (Newsweek), he penned some of the finest western fiction to ever appear in print. (The classics Hombre, Valdez is Coming, and 3:10 to Yuma were just a few of his notable works.) With his extraordinary Cuba Libre, Leonard ingeniously combines all of his many talents and delivers a historical adventure/caper/western/noir like none other. The creator of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, star of Raylan, Pronto, Riding the Rap, and TVs Justified, spins a gloriously exciting yarn about an American horse wrangler who escapes a date with a Cuban firing squad to join forces with a powerful sugar barons lady looking to make waves and score big in and around Spanish-American War-torn Havana in 1898. Everything you love about Leonards fictionand moreis evident in Cuba Libre. No wonder the New York Times Book Review enthusiastically declared him a literary genius.
Before there was Raylan, there was Sisco... U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco is on the hunt for world-class gentleman felon Jack Foley in Out of Sight, New York Times bestselling author Elmore Leonards sexy thriller that moves from Miami to the Motor City.Based on Miami, Floridas Gold Coast, U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco isnt about to let a expert criminal like Jack Foley successfully bust out of Floridas Glades Prison. But theres a major score waiting for him in Detroit, and a shotgun-wielding marshal isnt going to stop Foley from getting it.Neither counted on sharing a cramped car trunkor on a sizzling chemistry thats working overtime. As soon as Sisco escapes, Foley is already missing her.Sisco cant forget Foley eitherand she isnt about to let him go. Too bad the next time their paths cross, its going to be about business, not pleasure.
Pagan Babies is classic crime fiction from the master of suspense, New York Times bestselling author Elmore Leonard.Father Terry Dunn thought hed seen everything on the mean streets of Detroit, but that was before he went on a little retreat to Rwanda to evade a tax-fraud indictment. Now the whiskey-drinking, Nine Inch Nails T-shirt-wearing padre is back trying to hustle up a score to help the little orphans of Rwanda.But the fund-raising gets complicated when a former tattletale cohort pops up on Terrys tail. And then theres the lovely Debbie Dewey. A freshly sprung ex-con turned stand-up comic, Debbie needs some fast cash, too, to settle an old score. Now theyre in together for a bigger payoff than either could finagle alone. After all, it makes sense...unless Father Terry is working a con of his own.
Wicked and irresistible.Elmore Leonard is a literary genius. New York Times Book ReviewBefore U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens began electrifying TV viewers across America (in the hit series Justified), he starred in Elmore Leonards Riding the Rapan explosive, twisty tale of a brazen Florida kidnap caper gone outrageously wrong. Chock full of wildly eccentric and deliciously criminal charactersincluding a psycho enforcer with a green thumb, a Bahamian bad man, and the beautiful, unabashedly greedy psychic Reverend DawnRiding the Rap dazzles with Leonards trademark ingenious plot turns and razor-keen dialogue. Gripping, surprising, and unforgettable, it is a crime fiction gem that any thriller writerfrom past masters John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, and James M. Cain to the bestselling mystery auteurs of todaywould be thrilled to call his own.
An excellent read.Concrete evidence of a master crime writer still at the top of his game.Russel D. McLean, author of The Good SonThe reigning King Daddy of crime writers (Seattle Times), Elmore Leonard first introduced quick-triggered legendary lawman Carl Webster in the New York Times bestseller, The Hot Kid, and brought him back for an encore Up in Honeys Room. In Comfort to the Enemy and Other Carl Webster Stories, the loose cannon U.S. marshal struts his stuff once more in three electrifying new tales. Comfort to the Enemy is more indisputable proof that Elmore Leonard is indeed, as Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island) puts it, The greatest crime writer who ever lived.
Speedy, exhilarating, and smooth. Nobody does it better. Washington PostThe man knows how to grab youand Pronto is one of the best grabbers in years. Entertainment WeeklyFans of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens of the hit TV series Justified are in for a major treat. The unstoppable manhunter with the very itchy trigger finger stars in Pronto, a crime fiction gem from the one and only Elmore Leonard, the greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever (New York Times Book Review). The Grand Master justifies the overwhelming acclaim he has received over the course of his remarkable career with an electrifying thriller that sends the indomitable Raylan racing to Italy on the trail of a fugitive bookie whos hiding from the vengeful Miami mob. The legendary Leonard, whom the Seattle Times lauds as the King Daddy of crime writers, proves that all comparisons to American noir icons John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, and James M. Cain are well deserved with this tale of very dirty doings and extremely dangerous men coming together in the birthplace of Puccini, Garibaldi, and La Cosa Nostra.
Wonderfulrazor-sharp. Los Angeles Times Book ReviewExcellent.A plot and a chase as good as anything he has ever written.Bergan RecordIn Elmore Leonards The Hunted, crime fictions greatest living practitioner (Washington Post) carries the action far from his usual Detroit, Miami, and Los Angeles milieus, all the way to the Middle East. There no lack of excitement and suspenseand the trademark Leonard dialoguein this superior tale of a fugitive hiding under the radar in Israel, until a well-publicized Good Samaritan act attracts the unwanted attention of well-armed Motown mobsters who are now coming to get him. The author who introduced the world to U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (in his novels Pronto and Riding the Rap, before the lawman became the star of the hit TV drama Justified), the Grand Master shows why the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel calls him the all-time king of the whack job crime novelists, and goes on to say that Elmore Leonard tops them allincluding John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, Robert B. Parker, and quite possibly every major mystery writer the U.S. has ever produced.