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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.
My favorite Leonard book.He writes the way Hammett and Chandler might write today, if they sharpened their senses of ironic humor and grew better ears for dialogue. Dallas Morning NewsThe best writer of crime fiction alive. NewsweekDangerously eccentric characters, razor-sharp black humor, brilliant dialog, and suspense all rolled into one tight packagethats The Switch, Elmore Leonards classic tale of a kidnapping gone wrongor terribly right, depending on how you look at it. The Grand Master whom the New York Times Book Review calls, the greatest crime writer of our time, perhaps ever, has written a wry and twisting tale that any of the other all-time greatsDashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, John D. MacDonald, James M. Cain, Robert Parkerevery noir author who ever walked a detective, cop, or criminal into a shadowy alleywould be thrilled to call their own. Leonard, the man who has given us U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (currently starring in TVs Justified) is at his storytelling best, as a spurned wife decides to take a rightfuland profitablerevenge on her deceiving hubby by teaming up with the two thugs he hired to abduct her.
Lean, mean, darkly funny. Boston Globe A zingy thriller by the master of hard-boiled suspense. Dallas Morning NewsElmore Leonard may be the greatest crime novelist in the world, declares the Seattle Times, and truer words have never been written. Just follow the Grand Master of mystery and suspense to Floridas Gold Coast and youll quickly discover that its so. In this classic Elmore Leonard thriller, a beautiful mafia widow stands to lose everything her late mob boss husband left her if she succumbs to her desire for an attractive Detroit ex-conso the two conspire to outwit the thugs the dead capo assigned to make sure she stays chaste. Superior crime fiction in the vein of John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Robert Parkerchock full of the eccentric characters, black humor, and razor-sharp dialogue for which the acclaimed creator of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (of TVs Justified) is justifiably famousGold Coast is gold standard Leonard.
Splendidentirely engrossing.Los Angeles TimesFirst-ratean excellent thrillerwell-plotted and smoothly writtencrackles with suspense.Bergan RecordA classic crime novel, Mr. Majestyk is vintage Elmore Leonardan edgy, dark, fiendishly compelling tale of a quiet man making a whole lot of noise. The best writer of crime fiction today (USA Today)the acclaimed author who brought the world Raylan Givens, the trigger-happy U.S. Marshal who lights up TV screens across America in the hit series JustifiedLeonard makes a big noise himself with this timeless noir tale of personal justice and brutal vengeance. When a war veteran Arizona farmer loses everything, ruined by the local mob, he decides to fight back in this masterful crime fiction thrillerearly proof that Leonard not only belongs in the company of John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, Robert B. Parker and the other great names in American mystery and suspensehe is, in fact, The King Daddy of crime writers (Seattle Times).
An ex con, an ex nun and an ex cop form an unlikely dreamteam of bandits in this enthralling tale from the grandmaster of American crime fiction. Reformed jewel thief Jack Delaney was going straight - until he met sexy ex nun Lucy Nichols. Jack's in the funeral business and when he's sent to collect a body from a leper hospital, he finds it in Sister Lucy's care - and very much alive. Lucy's on a goodwill mission, hoping to smuggle the 'deceased' away from her dangerous ex, a Nicaraguan colonel with guns and goons aplenty. And it just so happens the colonel's also got several million dollars that could aid Lucy's quest to help mankind. With a crazy plan in hand and ex cop Roy Hicks on board, they plot to rob the colonel's coffers, and they're sure to make out like bandits - if they live that long...
A trio of short stories featuring legendary lawman Carl Webster - star of THE HOT KID. 1940s' Oklahoma. Germans in a stateside POW camp have murdered one of their own and US Marshal Carl Webster, back from a tour of duty in the Pacific, is called in to investigate. Among others, he comes across a Jewish gangster bent on revenge for the Holocaust; a rodeo bull rider turned lawman; and a former Nazi guard who is a persistent runaway. Befriending the escapee, Carl becomes embroiled in a tale of gangsters' molls, enemy lines, espionage, double-crossing and a lovers' wartime promise that could to more trouble than he ever imagined...
An explosive thriller from the 'greatest living writer of crime fiction' [NEW YORK TIMES]. Way back when revolution was the thing, bombs were Robin Abbott and Skip Gibbs's bag - until they were sent to prison. Now they're out and looking to put their skills to profitable use. Their target: Woody Ricks - who Robin thinks ratted them out to the Feds. But Motown cop Chris Mankowski has his eye on Woody, and as a former golden boy of the bomb squad, it's only fitting he'll be around when the nasty stuff starts going down? or blowing up.
Road Dogs is terrific, and Elmore Leonard is in a class of one.Dennis Lehane, author of Shutter Island and Mystic RiverYou know from the first sentence that youre in the hands of the original Daddy Cool....This onell kill you.Stephen KingElmore Leonard is eternal. In Road Dogs, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award winner and Americas greatest crime master (Newsweek) brings back three of his favorite charactersJack Foley from Out of Sight, Cundo Rey from La Brava, and Dawn Navarro from Riding the Rapfor a twisting, explosive, always surprising masterwork of crime fiction the San Francisco Chronicle calls, a sly, violent, funny and superbly written story of friendship, greed, and betrayal.
'Wicked and irresistible . . . Leonard is a genius' New York Times Palm Beach playboy Chip Ganz needs money - fast. He has spiralling debts, and his mother's gravy-train has just derailed. So he has a plan: he's going to find somebody rich, and take them hostage. With the help of an ex-con, a psycho gardener and the beautiful psychic Reverend Dawn, he chooses bookmaker Harry Arno as the lucky victim. The trouble is, Harry can scam with the best of them. And that's not the only problem. US Marshal Raylan Givens is sleeping with Harry's ex girlfriend, Joyce, and she wants Harry found...
'America's greatest crime writer' (Newsweek) brings his genius for characterisation, his rich ear for dialogue, and his piercing psychological insight to a gripping story set in an era he's never before explored: the years of the Second World War. The odd thing about Walter Schoen is he's a dead ringer for Heinrich Himmler. Walter is a member of a spy ring that sends US war production data to Germany and gives shelter to escaped German prisoners of war. Honey Deal, Walter's American wife, has given up trying to make him over as a regular guy. She decides it's time to stop telling him jokes he doesn't understand and get a divorce. Along comes Carl Webster, the Hot Kid of the Marshals Service, looking for an escaped POW. Carl uses Honey to meet Walter, who Carl believes is hiding the POW. Honey's a free spirit; she likes the hot kid marshal and doesn't care much that he's married. But all Carl wants is to do his job without getting shot...
A vintage roller-coaster ride from 'the hottest thriller writer in the US' [Time] Father Terry Dunn thought he'd 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 orphans of Rwanda. But the fund-raising gets complicated when a former tattletale cohort pops up on Terry's tail. And then there's 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 they're 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.
A tale of taut suspense from 'the best writer in crime fiction today' [USA Today] Harry Arno runs a South Miami Beach gambling operation. To protect his position, he was forced to cut a deal with the local muscle, Jimmy Capotorto (Jumbo Jimmy Cap), an even fifty-fifty split. For years Harry had been padding his own stake by skimming off the top. Now a couple of local detectives - wise to sticky fingers - try to bag Jimmy by putting the squeeze on Harry. U.S. Marshalls deliver Harry to court to testify at Jimmy's trial. Even though he's a step slower than he used to be, Harry's no fool - he slips out of the country pronto. With Jimmy Cap's men following and the Feds close behind, the three sides end up in Italy, watching their own backs while keeping abreast of Harry's. But it's not until the chase leads back to Miami that the real winners and losers are revealed ...
The New York Times bestselling author of BE COOL and GET SHORTY. War in Cuba isn't Ben Tyler's concern. Still, sailing mares and guns into Havana harbor in 1898 - right past the submerged wreckage of the U.S. battleship Maine - may not be the smartest thing the recently prison-sprung horse wrangler ever did. Neither is shooting one of the local Guardia, though the pompous peacock deserved it. Now Tyler's sitting tight in a vermin-infested Cuban stockade waiting to face a firing squad. But he's not dying until he gets the money he's owed from a two-timing American sugar baron. And there's one smart, pistol-hot lady at the rich man's side who could help Ben get everything he's got rightfully coming...even when the whole damn island's going straight to hell.
A gripping mob thriller from the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of BE COOL and GET SHORTY. Gorgeous widow Karen DiCilia just found out what it really means to be married to the mob. Her Mafia husband Frank left her millions and a Florida Gold Coast mansion. He also left orders that she'd lose everything the day she slept with another man. With his boys as enforcers, Karen was soon a lonely lady. Then she met Detroit's Cal Maguire, a sexy, street-smart ex-con with a scam to get Karen her money and her freedom - or get them both killed.
Best-selling author Elmore Leonard launched his career as a writer of Westerns. This classic story is the basis for the 1957 film starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin, and the 2007 film starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.
The New York Times bestselling author of Be Cool and Get Shorty Killer man Vincent Majestyk had his belly-full of killing in Asia. It was his job and he was one of the best, but when he stripped off his uniform he never wanted to go back to it. Now he works under the open skies of the American Southwest, growing melons on his farm, where nobody knows about his past. And that was why a cheap crook named Kopas, a hard-nosed cop named McAllen, and a big-time, high-priced hit man named Renda all figured Majestyk was another local yokel to be pushed around. Majestyk was about to go to war again...
The Odd Thingabout Walter Schoen, German born but now running a butcher shop in Detroit, he's a dead ringer for Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and the Gestapo. Honey Deal, Walter's American wife, doesn't know that Walter is a member of a spy ring and gives shelter to escaped German POWs. But she's tired of telling him jokes he doesn't understandit's time for a divorce.Along comes Carl Webster, the Hot Kid of the Marshals Service. He's looking for Jurgen Schrenk. Carl's pretty sure Walter's involved with keeping Schrenk hidden so he gets to know Honey, hoping she'll lead him to Walter. Honey likes the hot kid marshal and doesn't much care that he's married. But all Carl wants is to get Jurgen without getting shot. Next, Carl meets Vera Mezwa, the Ukrainian head of the spy ring, and her lover Bohdan, with a sly way of killing. And then there's Ottothe Waffen-SS major who runs away with a nice Jewish girl. It's Elmore Leonard's worldgritty, funny, and full of surprises.