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Mr. Paradise by Elmore Leonard

Mr. Paradise (original 2002; edition 2005)

by Elmore Leonard

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6451414,998 (3.47)7
Title:Mr. Paradise
Authors:Elmore Leonard
Info:Harper Torch (2005), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library

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Mr. Paradise by Elmore Leonard (2002)



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Kelly Barr agrees to help her roommate play Michigan cheerleader for her 84 year-old boyfriend, Tony Paradiso, but a couple of killers spoil the party. Detective Frank Delsa isn’t sure what Kelly is up tp, but he likes her style. Another smooth tale from the master, Elmore Leonard. You can’t go wrong with any of his books.

Published in mass-market paperback by HarperCollins. ( )
  mmtz | May 26, 2012 |
It's a fairly quick read, with loads of dialogue that in themselves help describe the characters and oh yeah there's a fine array of characters all of whom are introduced are a good rate and each and everyone of them somehow or other manage to fit in and out of this odd and reasonably well woven story. ( )
  nikon | Jan 7, 2011 |
I picked this one out 'cause my gradfather loved Elmore Leonard. I can *sort* of see why, though this was rather violent and full of strong language - I wouldn't think my grandfather would stand for it!

Lieutenant Frank Delsa is smart and tough, and I really enjoyed his character. The writing is a fast patter, much like the way many of the characters speak, and this plays like a comedy of errors involving dumb and violent criminals.

Feels a bit old-school-tough-guy - Recommended! ( )
  kayceel | Aug 26, 2009 |
Elmore Leonard has been called the 'Dickens of Detroit' because of the way he portrays his characters from that area. On wikipedia there is a quote from Martin Amis claiming that he once told Elmore Leonard his prose "made Raymond Chandler look clumsy". I might not quite agree wholeheartedly with that but Leonard does have an ear for gritty dialogue that Chandler would certainly appreciate.

In this story, again set in Detroit, we have Mr Paradiso, a very wealthy retired no-nonsense lawyer, murdered in his own home watching an American football game with two call girls acting as cheerleaders. One of the cheerleaders is shot dead along with Mr Paradiso but is the other one who they claim to be and which witness is telling the truth as to what happened? Frank Delsa is the detective in charge of the investigation trying to get to the truth and also trying to get the girl ... but is she helping him or herself? In this fast paced and tense novel (all of the action happens in less than one week) no-one is quite what they seem to be!

As with other Elmore Leonard books I have read the emphasis is less on the 'whodunnit' aspect of the investigation and more with the style with which the detective sorts through the clues and lies. This is not a detective story where we watch the hero piece together the story from obscure and seemingly irrelevant clues but a full blooded charge into a very believable look at a world on the wrong side of the tracks with dismembered gang members, guns for hire and lawyers using the system for their own gains. Leonard skilfully guides us around this seedy underbelly with sharp 'gunfire' prose, sharp action and style so sharp you could shave with it. His advice to young writers has always been to try and cut out the parts you think that readers will skip and in this story he's certainly heeded his own advice. if you have not yet read an Elmore Leonard novel I would certainly recommend this book as a starting point and if you have read Elmore Leonard before ... well I'm sure you won't need a recommendation from me to pick this up. ( )
  yosarian | Aug 24, 2009 |
Fast moving with great dialogue and memorable characters--vintage Elmore L. ( )
  Gary10 | Nov 25, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060083964, Mass Market Paperback)

It's a dubious proposition from the outset, destined to lead to trouble: Chloe Robinette, a high-end former Detroit call girl, asks her lingerie model roommate, Kelly Barr, to help her entertain a wealthy octogenarian trial lawyer named Anthony Paradiso. By "entertain," she means donning a cheerleader's skimpy skirt, but going topless, and doing rah-rah routines beside a TV set while Paradiso--"Mr. Paradise"--watches videotaped football games. A bit kinky for Kelly's taste, but she finally goes along--only to be caught in the middle of a contract hit on Paradiso and Chloe. Rather than tell what little she knows of these crimes, Kelly buys into a scheme, concocted by Paradiso's right-hand man, Montez Taylor, that could lead to a huge payoff from the lawyer's estate. But only if the 27-year-old Kelly can convincingly assume Chloe's identity ...

Elmore Leonard, who's made his career writing about not-too-bright bad guys, fills Mr. Paradise with several memorable specimens of that breed. In addition to Montez, who'd resented his politically incorrect boss for cutting him out of his will, there's also a bottom-feeding defense attorney, Avern Cohn, who runs a murder-for-hire operation on the side, and his well-armed employees of the month, "tough monkeys" Carl Fontana and Arthur Krupa. Less credibly and entertainingly crafted is Frank Delsa, the widowed homicide detective whose hunt for Paradiso's killers is complicated by his attraction to the curvilinear Kelly. This romantic subplot is overly predictable and deflates early expectations that the cunning young model is playing some deeper game here, working an angle that neither Delsa nor Montez anticipates.

After penning a string of character-propelled novels set in Florida (including Glitz, Out of Sight, and the particularly winning La Brava), it's good to see Leonard exploiting the Detroit backdrop again, as he did so expertly in a few of his earlier successes (City Primeval and Killshot, for instance). Yet while Mr. Paradise is rich with comic dialogue and cop-shop color, it never goes beyond the expectations of a Leonard work. This author is too good not to take more chances. --J. Kingston Pierce

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:00 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When party games involving a beautiful escort, her model roommate, lawyer Tony Paradiso, and his aide Montez Taylor go murderously wrong, Detroit detective Frank Delsa finds himself with a double homicide on his hands.

(summary from another edition)

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