Cover image for Up in Honey's room : a novel
Title:
Up in Honey's room : a novel
Author:
Leonard, Elmore, 1925-2013.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, 2007.
Physical Description:
292 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780060724245
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The odd thing about 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. They even share the same birthday.

Honey Deal, Walter's American wife, doesn't know that Walter is a member of a spy ring that sends U.S. war production data to Germany and gives shelter to escaped German prisoners of war. But she's tired of telling him jokes he doesn't understand--it's time to get a divorce.

Along comes Carl Webster, the hot kid of the Marshals Service. He's looking for Jurgen Schrenk, a former Afrika Korps officer who escaped from a POW camp in Oklahoma. Carl's pretty sure Walter's involved with keeping Schrenk hidden, so Carl gets to know Honey, hoping she'll take him to Walter. Carl then meets Vera Mezwa, the nifty Ukrainian head of the spy ring who's better looking than Mata Hari, and her tricky lover Bohdan with the Buster Brown haircut and a sly way of killing.

Honey's a free spirit; she likes the hot kid marshal and doesn't much care that he's married. But all Carl wants is to get Jurgen Schrenk without getting shot. And then there's Otto--the Waffen-SS major who runs away with a nice Jewish girl. It's Elmore Leonard's world--gritty, funny, and full of surprises.


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

Leonard doesn't write series novels, but every now and then, he brings back a favorite character, much to his fans ' delight. Here we're treated to the return of Carl Webster, the mythic marshal who starred in The Hot Kid (2005). It's the waning months of World War II, and Carl, no longer on the trail of Dust Bowl bank robbers, is tracking down a couple of escaped German POWs. The trail leads to Detroit, where it appears the POWs, Jurgen and Otto, are being hidden by a German-born butcher, Walter Shoen, who just happens to look exactly like Heinrich Himmler. Also involved are Walter's ex-wife, Honey Deal, who has no time for a bunch of Nazis who don't laugh at her jokes, and Vera Mezwa, a real-life German spy with a taste for the finer things, including her houseboy, the faux transvestite Bohdan. The happily married marshal hopes to use Honey as a way of getting at the Nazis through Walter, but his legendary single-mindedness takes a jolt when Honey starts to flirt. This being a Leonard novel, the dialogue flows as fast and as smooth as any words ever uttered in service of a story. It's as if the best of Mel Brooks and Quentin Tarantino were refined into something altogether finer and purer. And, in Honey Deal, Leonard has created yet another of his smart, ballsy, sexy, take-no-prisoners females. If there is a little more slapstick and a little less crime here than usual, it hardly matters. The talk's the thing. Leonard hooks you with his first quotation mark. --Bill Ott Copyright 2007 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in the waning days of WWII, bestseller Leonard's disappointing 40th novel finds gunslinging U.S. marshal Carl Webster, introduced in 2005's The Hot Kid, on the trail of Jurgen Schrenk and Otto Penzler, German POWs escaped from their Okmulgee, Okla., detention camp. The pair wind up in Detroit in the care of Walter Schoen, a butcher and Himmler look-alike, with whose ex-wife, wisecracking bottle-blonde Honey Deal, Carl soon finds himself smitten. While married Carl contemplates breaking his marriage vows (Honey does anything but dissuade him), Otto disappears and a dysfunctional German spy ringùled by hard-drinking Vera Mezwa and her cross-dressing manservant, Bohdanùcozies up with Jurgen. Vera and Bohdan, meanwhile, are secretly planning to disappear, but Bohdan wants to put in the ground anyone who could later give them up to the Feds. Leonard's writingùline by lineùis as sharp as ever, but the plotting is uncharacteristically clunky and the pacing is stuck in low gear. Leonard has written a lot of great books, but this isn't one of them. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Set in the Midwest during the last year of World War II, this book brings back Carl Webster, the U.S. marshall whom Leonard introduced in The Hot Kid. This time Carl is on the trail of two escaped German prisoners of war, one of whom aspires to be a real cowboy while the other runs off with a Jewish woman. Carl himself gets tangled up with Honey, a beautiful young woman once married to a German American butcher who prides himself on being a dead ringer for Nazi SS commander Heinrich -Himmler. Carl's investigation eventually leads him to an inept Nazi spy ring and a nest of bizarre characters who could form the nucleus of a promising freak show. Compared with Leonard's other novels, Up in Honey's Room is slow moving and doesn't have a particularly satisfying resolution. Nevertheless, its quirky characters and interesting period setting should fascinate many listeners, who will also enjoy Arliss Howard's laconic narration. Recommended for libraries with established 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

Up in Honey's Room A Novel Chapter One Honey phoned her sister-in-law Muriel, still living in Harlan County, Kentucky, to tell her she'd left Walter Schoen, calling him Valter, and was on her way to being Honey Deal again. She said to Muriel, "I honestly thought I could turn him around, but the man still acts like a Nazi. I couldn't budge him." "You walked out," Muriel said, "just like that?" "I valked out," Honey said. "I'm free as a bird. You know what else? I won't have to do my roots every two weeks. Dumb me, I spent a whole year wanting him to think I'm a natural blonde." "He couldn't tell other ways you aren't?" "Anytime Walter wanted some, he'd turn out the light before taking off his pajamas. He was self-conscious about being skinny, his ribs showing, so it was always pitch-dark when we did it. He said American food, all it did was give him gas. I had to learn to cook German, big heavy dinners, sauerbraten with red cabbage, bratwurst. For the first time in my life I had to watch my weight. Walter didn't gain at all. He still passed gas, only now it was okay, it was German gas. He'd cut one, aiming his finger at me like it's a gun? I'd have to pretend I was shot." "And fall down?" "If I was near the sofa. Or stumble around holding where I was shot. The first time, I did it on my own, acting goofy? But then every time he cut one and I heard it, I had to pretend I was shot." "You and hubby having fun." "Except he never laughed or even smiled. I'd see him aiming at me . . . " Honey let a moment of silence go by. "Tell me how my brother's doing. Is he working?" "He's back in jail. Darcy got in a fight he swears he didn't start. Broke his foreman's jaw and it violated his parole. Darcy has to finish the sentence he got for making moonshine and do time for assault. He's working in the kitchen as a butcher making five cents an hour while I'm trying to live on tips." Muriel's voice turned pouty saying, "'What do I have to do, get you boys to have another round?' Here're these hotshots with coal dust in their pores saying things like 'How about showing us your goodies?' I roll my eyes and act cute, it's worth about a buck and a half. But hey, I want to hear about your situation. Walter hit you and it woke you up or what? You were only married to him about a year." "One year to the day I walked out," Honey said, "November the ninth. I brought him a plate of Limburger and crackers, he won't eat American cheese. Walter's sitting by the radio, the volume turned up. I said, 'You happen to know what anniversary today is?' He's listening to the news, the German Army going through Poland like rhubarb through a tall woman. France is next and England's getting ready. I asked him again, 'Walter, you happen to recall what anniversary falls on November the ninth?' It was like I lit his fuse. He yells at me, ' Blutzeuge , the Nazi Day of Blood, idiot.' He's talking about the day Hitler started his takeover in 1923 that didn't work and he ended up in prison. But that date, the ninth of November, became a Nazi holy day. It's why he picked it for our wedding. 'The Day of Blood.' Only Walter called it 'the Night of Blood' as we're going to bed together for the first time. I let him think I was still a virgin, twenty-five years old. He climbed on top, and it was like a one-minute blitzkrieg start to finish. He never asked if I was okay or checked the sheet, he was through. Anyway, I said to Walter, standing by the radio with his cheese and crackers, 'Dumb me, I thought you'd remember the ninth as our wedding anniversary.' He didn't bother to look up, he waved his hand at me to get away, stop bothering him. I took that as my cue and walked out." Muriel said, "You didn't hit him over the head with the cheese plate?" "I thought about it but went upstairs and took twelve hundred dollars, half the money he kept stuck away in the bedroom closet. He didn't think I knew about it." "Is he on the lookout for you?" "Why, 'cause he misses me? We had so much fun together?" She told Muriel, now that she wasn't keeping house for the Kaiser she had an apartment in Highland Park and was back at J.L. Hudson's doing what she called "tit work," fitting brassieres on big foreign women who'd come here to work. "Some of 'em, you have to hold your breath or their B.O.'ll knock you unconscious." She told Muriel she ought to come to Detroit and stay with her, get a real job while Darcy's doing his time. Next, she had to ask about her mom. "How's she doing at the home?" "I doubt she knows where she is," Muriel said. "I walk in and kiss her, she gives me a blank look. It's pitiful, your mom not being that old." "You sure she isn't faking, playing 'poor me'? Remember I came here I asked her to live with me? She says oh, it's too cold up north. Afraid she'll slip and fall on the ice and break her hip." "The other night," Muriel said, "they showed an Errol Flynn movie and your mom got excited, she thought Errol Flynn was Darcy." Muriel put on a slow tone of voice and was Honey's mom, wanting to know, "'What's Darcy doing in this movin' pitcher? When'd he grow a mustache?' But anytime Darcy came to visit, her only living son, your mom didn't have a clue who he was. I told Darcy how she got him confused with Errol Flynn, Darcy says, 'Yeah . . . ?' Like, what else is new? He thinks he's a dead ringer for Errol Flynn except for the mustache. You want to bet he isn't growing one this minute, sitting in his prison cell?" She said, "You see a resemblance, Darcy and Errol Flynn?" Up in Honey's Room A Novel . Copyright © by Elmore Leonard. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Up in Honey's Room: A Novel by Elmore Leonard 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.