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Elmore Leonard - Author

About the Author

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.

 

Elmore leonard rules for writingClick 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."

Featured books by Elmore Leonard

Charlie Martz and Other Stories The Unpublished Stories of Elmore Leonard

Charlie Martz and Other Stories The Unpublished Stories of Elmore Leonard

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/06/2015

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.

Be Cool

Be Cool

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/03/2010

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.

ebook of the month
Tishomingo Blues

Tishomingo Blues

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/03/2010

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.

ebook of the month
Get Shorty

Get Shorty

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/11/2009

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...

ebook of the month
Out of Sight

Out of Sight

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/06/2008

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.

ebook of the month
Rum Punch

Rum Punch

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/12/2004

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.

ebook of the month

Other books by Elmore Leonard

The Complete Western Stories

The Complete Western Stories

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2007

A bull's-eye of a short fiction collection that spans the master's career. In 1950, fresh out of college and keen to make his name as a writer, Elmore Leonard decided he needed to pick a market, a big one, which would give him a better chance to be published while he learned to write. In choosing between crime and Westerns, the latter had an irresistible pull - Leonard loved movies set in the West. As he researched deeper into settings, Arizona in the 1880s captured his imagination: the Spanish influence, the stand-offs and shoot-outs between Apache Indians and the US cavalry. This is a fantastic collection of over five decades' worth of stories.

Stick

Stick

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2007

Ex-cons, armed robberies and scams in Miami - another classic crime thriller from the masterful Elmore Leonard. After serving time for armed robbery, Ernest 'Stick' Stickley is back on the outside and trying to stay legit. But it's tough staying straight in a crooked town - and Miami is a pirate's paradise, where investment fat cats and lowlife drug dealers hold hands and dance. And when a crazed player chooses Stick at random to die for another man's sins, the struggling ex-con is left with no choice but to dive right back into the game. Besides, Stick knows a good thing when he sees it - and a golden opportunity to run a very profitable sweet-revenge scam seems much too tasty to pass up

Maximum Bob

Maximum Bob

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2007

The New York Times bestselling author of Be Cool and Get Shorty When someone delivers an alligator to Judge Bob Gibbs' porch, there's no shortage of suspects - hard-sentencing, womanising redneck 'Maximum Bob' is pretty much the most unpopular man in Florida. Throw into the mix the Crowe clan - about as primitive and aggressive as any alligator - a doped-up doctor on early release with a tag, quick-witted probation officer Kathy Baker, a mermaid and a long-dead slave girl called Wanda, and things get a tad complicated. And inevitably, they don't work out the way you might expect'

Split Images

Split Images

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2006

Robbie Daniels is a Palm Beach playboy. He's the kind of guy who gets away with everything - even murder - until a vacationing Motown cop, Bryan Hurd, starts asking questions. When this millionaire reptile reveals the psychopath beneath his slippery skin, Hurd finds out this is one helluva way for an out-of-town lawman to spend his vacation.

La Brava

La Brava

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2006

A vintage title by Elmore Leonard - The New York Times bestselling author of Be Cool and Get Shorty Photographer Joe LaBrava specialises in capturing the soul of Miami's street life - and since he used to do dirty jobs for the Government, he understands his subject very well. So when his friend Maury enlists his help to sort out a problem with an ex-film star Joe fell for when he was twelve, the low-grade hustlers behind a ransom scam would need to be a lot smarter than they seem to pull it off. But there's a surprise in the bag for Joe - some people really are smarter than they seem.

The Hot Kid

The Hot Kid

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2006

Gun molls, speakeasies, bank robbers and murder ... Another fantastic thriller from the grandmaster of US crime fiction. Set in Oklahoma during the 1930s, THE HOT KID is a powerfully entertaining story and introduces Carl Webster, one of the coolest lawmen ever to draw on a fugitive felon. At 21, Carl Webster's on his way to becoming the most famous Deputy US Marshal in America. He has shot and killed notorious bank robber Emmet Long and is now tracking Jack Belmont, the no-good son of an oil millionaire with dreams of becoming Public Enemy Number One. True Detective writer Tony Antonelli is following the story, and this one's big, full of beautiful women, Tommy guns and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice. THE HOT KID is an exhilarating story played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition.

The Hunted

The Hunted

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2006

'Wonderful . . . razor-sharp' LA Times Al Rosen was doing just fine, hiding out in Israel - until he decided to play Good Samaritan and rescue some elderly tourists from a hotel fire. Now his picture's been published in the press, and the guys he's been hiding from know exactly where he is. What's more, they're coming to find him - crooked lawyers, men with guns and money, and assorted members of the Detroit mob who are harbouring a serious grudge. Playtime in paradise is officially over; Rosen's a million miles from home but with a bull's-eye on his back. His only ally is a US marine who's been looking for war ... and has now found one.

Unknown Man Number 89

Unknown Man Number 89

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2006

Tough guy Jack Ryan goes looking for a missing lowlife and finds himself in a whole lot of trouble... Motor city process server and ex-thug Jack Ryan is very good at finding people - especially people who don't want to be found. now he's being offered large bucks to locate a lost lowlife named Robert Leary, aka Bobby Lear. But this hunt is leading Ryan back into very bad company - and into beds where he doesn't belong. Then suddenly he's on someone's hitlist for some undisclosed reason, with all the big money numbers adding up to double-cross. And if Jack doesn't watch his back, he's going to find himself missing...permanently.

Glitz

Glitz

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2006

'The night Vincent was shot he saw it coming...' After being shot by a mugger, Lt. Vincent Mora is convalescing in Puerto Rico. There he meets Iris, a beautiful young woman who is bored and frustrated, looking for excitement and a new life. Then she is offered a job as a 'hostess' at a casino in Atlantic city by Tommy Donovan. But Vincent figures out there is more to this job than Iris realises and he decides to pay Donovan a visit. To complicate matters, Iris isn't the only one interested in Vincent - he is being stalked by a man he sent down seven and a half years before, a man out to get his revenge.

Hombre

Hombre

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2005

A classic tale of the American west from the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author. John Russell has been raised as an Apache. Now he's on his way to live as a white man. But when the stagecoach passengers learn who he is, they want nothing to do with him. That is, until outlaws ride down on them and they must rely on Russell's guns and his ability to lead them out of the desert. He can't ride with them, but they must walk with him or die...

Last Stand at Saber River

Last Stand at Saber River

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2005

A nail-biting, tough-talking classic western from the author of GET SHORTY and JACKIE BROWN. In LAST STAND AT SABER RIVER, a Civil War veteran returns home to find a Yankee's private army living on his land, while another enemy waits to strike... Paul Cable has fought - and lost - for the Confederacy but when he returns home he finds that his own war is far from over. The Union Army and two brothers - and a beautiful woman - have taken over Cable's spread and are refusing to give it back. But Cable is determined that no one is going to take his future away - not with words, not with treachery, and not with guns.

Valdez is Coming

Valdez is Coming

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2005

No writer chronicles the battles of misfits, underdogs and renegades like Elmore Leonard ... VALDEZ IS COMING is a stunning stale of morality and justice in which a simple, honest man is transformed into a killer - and begins a long journey of revenge against those who scarred his soul for ever. Elmore Leonard's Western novels stand as some of the most vivid writing of his career. With all of his trademark sharp dialogue and set against a beautifully evoked landscape, this is a classic work that captures the wild and glorious spirit of the American West.

Mr Paradise

Mr Paradise

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2005

Mr Paradise pays Chloe and Kelly to play cheerleaders. To dance while he watches reruns of Michigan's finest football games. At least that's the story that hired-help Montez Taylor tells cop Frank Delsa. Delsa's called in to investigate a double homicide: old man Paradise and a girl dressed as a cheerleader. He's got a witness - a second cheerleader - but she can't decide whether her name's Chloe or Kelly. Nobody it seems is playing it straight - least of all the two trigger-happy hit men cruising Detroit's mean streets. But with a beautiful witness who might or might not want his protection, Delsa's ready to play for time ... Elmore Leonard is in top form with Mr Paradise which is set right back in his home town of Detroit, Motor City, scene of many of his greatest books.

Hot Kid

Hot Kid

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: eBook Release Date: 10/05/2005

Carl Webster, the hot kid of the marshals service, is polite, respects his elders, and can shoot a man driving away in an Essex at four hundred yards. Carl works out of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, federal courthouse in the 1930s, the period of America's most notorious bank robbers. Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, those guys.Carl wants to be America's most famous lawman. He shot his first felon when he was fifteen years old. With a Winchester.Jack Belmont wants to rob banks, become public enemy number one, and show his dad, an oil millionaire, he can make it on his own.With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition, The Hot Kid is Elmore Leonard -- the true master -- at his best.Performed by Arliss Howard

City Primeval

City Primeval

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/03/2005

'As gritty and hard-driving a thriller as you'll find . . . The action never stops, the language sings and stings' Washington Post Clement Mansell knows how easy it is to get away with murder. The crazed killer is back on the Detroit streets - thanks to some nifty courtroom moves by his lawyer - and this time he's feeling invincible enough to execute a crooked Motown judge. Homicide Detective Raymond Cruz thinks the 'Oklahoma Wildman' crossed the line long before this latest outrage, and he's determined to see that the psycho does not slip through the legal system's loopholes a second time. But that means a good cop is going to have to play somewhat fast and loose with the rules - in order to manoeuvre Mansell into a showdown that he won't be walking away from.

Cat Chaser

Cat Chaser

Author: Elmore Leonard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/03/2005

A lean and mean thriller about one man and the Mob from 'the crime laureate' INDEPENDENT. The last time Florida motel owner George Moran was in the Dominican Republic he was in a uniform and people were shooting at him. Years later he's back looking for a girl he lost - and finding one he'd be better off without. Mary de Boya may be beautiful, but she's also the wife of a former death squad general in exile with mob connections. So much for the trip down memory lane - now Moran finds himself in a cat's cradle of drug deals, swindles, vengeance and murder. 'Dialogue like broken glass, sharp and glittering, and a raft of low-lifes individualised in primary colours like hard-edged pop art' Independent