Cover image for Mr. Paradise
Title:
Mr. Paradise
Author:
Leonard, Elmore, 1925-2013.
Personal Author:
Edition:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
New York : HarperLarge Print, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
357 pages ; 23 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780060589660
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"Sharp as an ice pick....You will love this excellent book."
--New York Times Book Review

Elmore Leonard is the undisputed master, the "King Daddy of crime writers" (Seattle Times), in the august company of the all-time greats of mystery/noir/crime fiction genre: John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, et al. The creator of such unforgettable classics as Stick, Out of Sight, and Get Shorty--not to mention the character of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, lately of TV's hit series Justified--Leonard is in fine form with Mr. Paradise. A riveting Detroit-based thriller enlivened by Leonard's trademark razor-sharp dialogue, Mr. Paradise follows a smart Victoria's Secret model's attempt to score big after surviving a double murder in a millionaire's mansion...with a lonely cop acting as spoiler.


Author Notes

Elmore John Leonard, Jr. 10/11/25 -- 8/20/13 Elmore John Leonard, Jr., popularly known as mystery and western writer Elmore Leonard, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 11, 1925. He served in the United States Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1946. He received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Detroit in 1950. After graduating, he wrote short stories and western novels as well as advertising and education film scripts. In 1967, he began to write full-time and received several awards including the 1977 Western Writers of America award and the 1984 Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe award. His other works include Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Hombre, Mr. Majestyk, 3:10 to Yuma, and Rum Punch. Many of his works were adapted into movies.

Library of America recently announced plans to publish the first of a three-volume collection of his books beginning in the Fall of 2014. Leonard died on August 20, 2013 from complications of a stroke he had earlier. He was 87 years old.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It's time for Elmore Leonard to be outted. He is not a noir writer and hasn't been one since his early Detroit novels ( City Primeval). What he does write is a violent, hard-boiled, streetwise brand of romantic comedy, usually starring a hero and heroine who, through an unfailing ability to think on their feet, find their way out of an outlandish mess. Happily-ever-aftering, unimaginable in real noir, remains a tempting if hard-won possibility in Leonard's world. So it is in this tale of a Detroit cop who falls for a sort-of suspect in the double murder of a high-class hooker and an elderly millionaire who likes to watch tapes of University of Michigan football games while a couple of twentysomething beauties, clad in cheerleader outfits, perform cheers with dirty lyrics. Harmless enough, until the game is interrupted by two slow-witted hitmen who kill the millionaire and one of the cheerleaders and--in a quintessential Leonard moment--steal a bottle of vodka. It's left for Detroit cop Frank Delsa to solve the murder and fall in love with cheerleader number two, who can't quite decide if she's committed to the cop or to getting her hands on whatever might be inside the millionaire's safety-deposit box. There's the matter of the loose-cannon hitmen, too, but Frank and his cheerleader think very well on their feet, and if they can just catch a break, might be in line for a little happily-ever-aftering of their own. Leonard virtually invented this genre with Stick (1983), and he's been doing it effortlessly ever since. Pure entertainment. --Bill Ott Copyright 2003 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Fifteen years after his last Detroit novel, Killshot, Leonard (whose most recent effort was Tishomingo Blues) returns to Motor City for another exemplary crime thriller. Chloe Robinette, an escort, is on a $5,000 monthly retainer from wealthy, retired octogenarian lawyer Anthony Paradiso; her duties include dancing topless in a cheerleader's outfit for him as he watches videos of old University of Michigan football games. On a night she persuades her roommate, Kelly Barr, a Victoria's Secret model, to join her in the dancing, Chloe and Paradiso, aka Mr. Paradise, are shot dead in Paradiso's mansion by two middle-aged white thugs. The hit has been set up by Paradiso's right-hand man, Montez Taylor, who's angry at Paradiso for cutting him out of his will; Montez then asks the shocked Kelly to impersonate Chloe in order to scam valuables from Paradiso's safe deposit box, to which Chloe had a key. Enter Frank Delsa, a Detroit homicide cop, who smells a rat and falls for Kelly while sorting matters out. She falls for him, too, but will the hit men and/or Montez take her out, since she can identify them as conspirators? Like the best crime thrillers-which means like most of Leonard's work-this novel is character-driven, and in its wonderfully rich, authentically human cast the story finds its surprises. The prose, as expected from Leonard, is perfect-in 304 pages, there's not a word that doesn't belong exactly where he's placed it. Brilliantly constructed, wise and tough, this book, like so many recent Leonards, offers a master class in how to write a novel. (Jan.) Forecast: With major ad/promo including a six-city author tour and simultaneous large print edition and cassette/CD audiobooks, this title will settle comfortably on national bestseller lists. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

This novel marks Leonard's return to the Detroit cop genre that he popularized two decades ago. Det. Frank Delsa investigates the contract murder of wealthy octogenarian Anthony Paradiso (Mr. Paradise), who is shot while watching a taped college football game as a hooker dressed as a cheerleader entertains. As in other Leonard books, Mr. Paradise is populated with stupid criminals and endearingly quirky characters including Paradiso's slick assistant, Montez Taylor and has a number of satisfying plot twists. However, its main twist is Frank's disappointingly predictable romance with a Victoria's Secret model who may be involved in the crime. By the standards of the author's more recent work, this is a lackluster effort and is not strengthened by actor Robert Forster's comparatively languid narration. Recommended only for libraries with exceptionally avid Leonard fans. R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Mr. Paradise LP Chapter One Late afternoon Chloe and Kelly were having cocktails at the Rattlesnake Club, the two seated on the far side of the dining room by themselves: Chloe talking, Kelly listening, Chloe trying to get Kelly to help her entertain Anthony Paradiso, an eighty-four-year-old guy who was paying her five thousand a week to be his girlfriend. Now Chloe was offering Kelly a cigarette from a pack of Virginia Slims, the long ones, the 120's. They'd made their entrance, the early after-work crowd still looking, speculating, something they did each time the two came in. Not showgirls. More like fashion models: designer casual wool coats, oddball pins, scarves, big leather belts, definitely not bimbos. They could be sisters, tall, the same type, the same nose jobs, both remembered as blonds, their hair cropped short. Today they wore hats, each a knit cloche down on her eyes, and sunglasses. It was April in Detroit, snow predicted. Now they were lighting the cigarettes. The waitress, a young blond named Emily, came through the room of white tablecloths and place settings with their drinks, alexanders straight up, with gin. She said as she always did, "I'm sorry, but you're not supposed to smoke in here. It's okay in the bar." Kelly looked at Emily in her black pants and starched white shirt. "Has your boss said anything?" "He hasn't yet." "So forget about it," Chloe said. "He likes us." She brought a Ritz-Carlton ashtray from her coat pocket and placed it on the table, Emily watching. She said, "They're always from a different hotel. I like the one, I think it's from the Sunset Marquis?" "It's one of my favorites," Chloe said. "Next time I'm in L.A. I'll pick up a few more." Emily said, "Cool hats," and left. Kelly watched her moving through the empty tables. "Emily's a little weird." "She's a fan," Chloe said. "Fans are weird." "I'll bet anything she comes back with a catalog." "What're you in this month?" "Saks, Neiman Marcus -- she'll have Victoria's Secret." "Remember she asked if I modeled," Chloe said, "and I told her now and then but mostly I did hands? She said, Oh." "You called it hand jobs. Show her your Playboy spread, she'll freak," Kelly said, and saw Emily coming back through the tables with a catalog, holding it to her breast with two hands, Victoria's Secret, a look of pain on Emily the waitress's face, hesitant now as she stood before Kelly. "I hope you guys don't think I'm a pest." "I don't mind," Kelly said. "What page?" Emily gave her the catalog and a Sharpie. "Sixteen, the Second Skin Collection. Could you sign it like right above your navel?" "I'm in the Seamless Collection," Kelly said, "Second Skin's the next page," and wrote Kelly in black over bare flesh. "I'm in another one somewhere." "Page forty-two," Emily said, "the new low-rise bikini. And on the next page, the low-rise v-string and low-rise thong?" Kelly turned pages until she was looking at herself in white panties. "You want each one signed?" "If you wouldn't mind. I really appreciate it." Chloe said to her, "Which one do you have on?" Emily made a face, clenching her teeth. "I'm trying the v-string." "Feels good?" Emily squirmed a little. "It's okay." "I can't wait to get them off," Kelly said. She handed Emily the catalog. "I kinda like the way a thong grabs you," Chloe said, "but haven't worn one lately, and if you want to know why, ask the old man." Emily left. And Chloe said, "Aren't you glad you're not a waitress?" "Yeah, but I think I'd be good at it," Kelly said. "I'd take orders for a table without writing anything down. The woman with blue hair, the whitefish, the scotch drinker, pickerel. And I wouldn't call them 'you guys.'" "Your style," Chloe said, "make it look easy. But you fly to New York to work instead of living there." "The traffic," Kelly said. "You spend most of your time waiting for it to move." "So what? You're sitting in a limo." "I like to drive." "You could work for Vicki's full-time, make a lot more money." "I do okay." "Go to parties with movie stars --" "Who want to jump you." "What's wrong with that?" "I have to be in love. Or think I am." They sipped their alexanders and smoked their cigarettes and Chloe said, "Hon ... I desperately need you." "I can't, I have to take my dad to the airport." "He's still here?" "Playing the slots all day and giving me advice at dinner. He thinks I should get a new agent." "Isn't he a barber?" "He has time to think about things." "Get him a taxi." "I want to be sure he makes the flight. My dad drinks." "Can't we work around it? I'm talking about three hours, max. By midnight the old guy's asleep in his chair. He even nods off while we're talking, drops his cigar. I have to watch he doesn't set himself on fire." "Not tonight," Kelly said, but then began to let herself give in a little because they were good friends and had been sharing a loft the past couple of years, Kelly saying, "If I did go with you sometime, would I have to do anything?" She wouldn't mind getting a look at Mr. Paradiso. The way Kelly understood the arrangement, the old man was laying out five thousand a week to have Chloe available, all to himself. It was a lot for not having to do much, almost twice what Kelly made in her underwear ... Mr. Paradise LP . Copyright © by Elmore Leonard. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Mr. Paradise by Elmore Leonard, Braman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.