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Mr. Paradise Hardcover – Jan 13 2004

3.5 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 291 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / Fiction; 1 edition (Jan. 13 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060083956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060083953
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,611,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"'CARL lit a cigarette. He picked up his drink saying, 'This old man isn't a criminal. Avern said we'd be shooting bad guys.'"
What a dull place this world would be without Elmore Leonard to liven things up.
In the peerless Leonard's blackly comic crime thrillers, felons argue over trifling details, police walk the walk and talk the talk, hired assassins have consciences, and no one is near as clever as they think.
It's entertainment for entertainment's sake, a three-ring circus of amorality, with the bestselling author of Out of Sight, Tishomingo Blues and almost three dozen other novels as the ultimate ringmaster.
After earning a grand master award from the Mystery Writers of America, Leonard, 78, could almost be excused for sleepwalking his way through a few efforts.
Indeed, his latest fiction, Mr. Paradise, is a leisurely stroll in the park for a man of his talents, a slight tale of murder and confusion, almost a romantic comedy rather than a gritty homicide novel. But while the plot may be minor, Leonard is by no means resting on his laurels.
Mr. Paradise is Tony Paradiso, an elderly Detroit defence attorney who satisfies his peccadillos by hiring prostitutes to perform cheerleading routines while he views old Michigan football games.
Unfortunately, the finale of one such evening leaves two dead bodies, two bewildered hit-men, a wily witness, and one frustrated detective with too much on his plate.
As with any Leonard opus, the real draw for fans and newcomers alike is his dialogue, big, crunchy riffs that read like the poetry of the jaded and dispossessed.
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Format: Hardcover
Elmore Leonard's usual deft touch is missing from "Mr. Paradise". While the characters are familiar and the dialog reminiscent of his other work, the novel feels more like a collection of scenes than a cohesive work. The story meanders along, then seems to lose its way and eventually comes to a flat conclusion.
As is customary in Leonard's work, "Mr. Paradise" entwines the lives of various mismatched characters, adds some hidden agendas, some dumb moves and lets the plot unfold. In this case, the formula produces something more like an episode of "Cops" with unrelated events, people who come-and-go and a wish for more answers.
More than once I could not suspend my disbelief, asking myself "why doesn't he (or she) just...?". The purpose and relationship of several characters eluded me often. And I still don't know what the "chainsaw" subplot was for.
Mr. Leonard has written many superior crime and caper novels. This time he lost his touch.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Academy Award nominee Robert Forster is just the man to deliver the snappy phrasing and cool dialogue that has won Elmore Leonard legions of fans. While this is an 8 hour Unabridged version it's over far too soon leaving listeners thoroughly entertained yet eager for more.
With "Mr. Paradise" Leonard returns to Detroit and environs. Anthony Paradiso (Mr. Paradise) is an 80+ retired lawyer who gets his jollies from watching reruns of old University of Michigan football games. But, what's a Wolverine game without cheerleaders?
For $5,000 a month Paradiso hires escort Chloe Robinette to provide the sis-boom-bahs as only she can. All is well until the evening Chloe invites her friend, Kelly Barr (who is equally lithe and lovely) to join the fun. Before half time two hit men have broken in and done in Paradiso and Chloe.
Kelly assumes Chloe's identity to gain access to the late lawyer's safety deposit box. Enter Frank Delsa, determined Detroit homicide detective. He falls for Kelly and she falls for him........or, would she rather have the contents of the safety deposit box?
If you know Leonard you can guess how this ends, but what a treat it is getting there!
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Format: Hardcover
Elmore Leonard seems to run hot and cold in my eyes. But with "Mr. Paradise," he is definitely hot. Frank Delsa, acting lieutenant of Squad Seven, Homicide Section, Detroit Police Department has a couple of new murders to handle. An old rich guy with a penchant for young female playmates - and one of those very playmates who had the misfortune to be right there when Mr. Paradise was on the receiving end of a bullet. She gets one too for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Whodunnit? Well, Delsa first has to figure out who got it. The young hired girlfriend? Or her lookalike friend who came to the house that night and just happened to be upstairs at the time of Mr. Paradise's accelerated exit from this world.
It's a good police story. Characters drift in and out, each adding a little bit of necessary information to the story. None of them will ever win a Nobel Prize, but they kind of remind me of Daman Runyon's people; the dumb folks who think they are smart and wind up wearing orange jumpsuits or buying the Brooklyn Bridge.
The story moves nicely; the few loose ends don't rattle too much and there's a pleasant ending, at least for Frank Delsa.
It's a fun read, a good story.
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