Books by Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard has written more than three dozen books during his highly successful writing career, including the national bestsellers Mr. Paradise, Pagan Babies, and Get Shorty. Many of his novels have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of

Released: June 16, 2015

"Not by any means apprentice work—Leonard's first four novels appeared over the same period as these stories—but interesting mostly for the signs and promises of the author's future laconic command of dialogue and action and his knowing, lazy, wryly amused trademark voice."
Fifteen mostly unpublished stories—Westerns, war stories, dispatches from Detroit—written in the 1950s. Read full book review >
RAYLAN by Elmore Leonard
Released: Jan. 31, 2012

"A master's valedictory canter around a familiar track—an unimpressive job of carpentry that's still treasurable for Leonard's patented dialogue and some truly loopy situations handled with deadpan brio."
Raylan Givens, the U.S. Marshal who brought law and order to Pronto (1993), is back in a series of three interlinked stories disguised as a novel. Read full book review >
DJIBOUTI by Elmore Leonard
Released: Oct. 12, 2010

"Not your father's anti-terrorism yarn. Leonard's characters make James Bond look fidgety."
Leonard's company of stock character types—the veteran law enforcer, the savvy professional woman, the seen-it-all sidekick, the horny billionaire—are so cool that they can confront international terrorism without batting an eyelash. Read full book review >
COMFORT TO THE ENEMY by Elmore Leonard
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"The ritualistically extended final story, originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine, marks Leonard's shaggiest hour to date. Not that there's anything wrong with that."
Two curtain-raisers and one extended tale bring back Deputy U.S. Marshal Carl Webster, the hero of The Hot Kid (2005) and Up in Honey's Room (2007). Read full book review >
ROAD DOGS by Elmore Leonard
Released: May 12, 2009

"What works best are the matchless incidental pleasures Leonard's world always provides, from lightning-fast descriptions to bull's-eye dialogue, as when Cundo complains about Dawn's nagging: 'Eight years inside I dream about her. I come out, she acts like she's my wife.'"
Leonard throws together three battle-hardened survivors from his earlier capers, with predictably unpredictable results. Read full book review >
UP IN HONEY’S ROOM by Elmore Leonard
Released: May 8, 2007

"Despite constant threats of violence and occasional doses of same, the lazy plot is almost an afterthought to the spectacle of a bunch of 'useless spy ring guys' as compulsive as windup toys, and about as consequential."
Tulsa deputy U.S. Marshal Carl Webster, his hell-raising reputation secured by The Hot Kid (2005), tangles with Nazis in a slow-motion dance in wartime Detroit. Read full book review >
THE HOT KID by Elmore Leonard
Released: May 10, 2005

"The whole sepia-toned caravan, in fact, is so relaxed that even the most violent felonies may leave you smiling. Leonard's gentle epic is as restorative as a month in the country."
Leonard's 40th novel sweetly revisits the Depression, when every Oklahoma kid dreamed of growing up to be a lawman or a gangster. Read full book review >
A COYOTE’S IN THE HOUSE by Elmore Leonard
Released: June 1, 2004

"Good fun. (Fiction. 9-13)"
The author of Get Shorty turns to children's books with a character study of three very different types. Read full book review >
MR. PARADISE by Elmore Leonard
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

"This time, in fact, the hero and heroine have a pretty easy time of it. Nice for them, anyway."
Leonard (Tishomingo Blues, 2001, etc.) returns to his Detroit roots for another unlikely romance amid the thorns of crime. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2003

"Fresh evidence why it's a mistake to pigeonhole Leonard as a writer of westerns or crime novels. Like his mentor, John D. McDonald, the man's interested in everybody who relishes a good fight, whether it's with sharp-tongued words or shotguns."
Rummaging through Leonard's attic via these nine stories revives some fond memories and turns up a couple of forgotten treasures. Read full book review >
TISHOMINGO BLUES  by Elmore Leonard
Released: Feb. 1, 2002

"Laid-back lowlifes struggle for power, survival, and their 15 minutes of fame in a plot as busy and chaotic as the original battle of Brice's Cross Roads."
Leonard's 37th backs smooth and easy into Tunica, Mississippi, site of the shaggiest crime tale he's spun since Maximum Bob (1991). Read full book review >
PAGAN BABIES by Elmore Leonard
Released: Sept. 5, 2000

"A riotous several hours with guys whose idea of a suitable endearment to their latest bedmate is a heartfelt 'Honey, you could be a pro.'"
Unlikely cons are a Leonard specialty, but his first 35 novels never offered a more unlikely pair than this year's jilted girlfriend and the African missionary she hooks up with. Read full book review >
BE COOL by Elmore Leonard
Released: Feb. 9, 1999

Nine years after his farcical conquest of Hollywood in Get Shorty, former loan shark Chili Palmer aims to scale equally unlikely new heights as a music producer. Read full book review >
THE TONTO WOMAN by Elmore Leonard
Released: Sept. 8, 1998

"Still, these lean and stirring action stories are among the best of Leonard's long career."
Superb rawhide shoot-'em-ups from Leonard's early years that not only stand tall beside his bestselling crime fiction (Out of Sight, 1996, etc.) but might even revive the moribund western literary genre. Read full book review >
CUBA LIBRE by Elmore Leonard
Released: Feb. 15, 1998

"Top entertainment from the pro's pro (Out of Sight, 1996, etc.): a million greedy schemes with time-outs for war and sex."
Leonard goes back to his mots, and modern America's, in this rollicking Cuban western/suspenser, to be published on the 100th anniverary of the U.S.S. Maine's explosion. Read full book review >
OUT OF SIGHT by Elmore Leonard
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"A master coasting is still a master, but nobody will take this for top-drawer Leonard."
Leonard's criminal farces tend to get derailed when his hero is a lady (Maximum Bob, 1991, etc.), and it happens again in his 33rd novel, a sweetly meandering fantasy spun out of the cutest meeting on record. Read full book review >
PRONTO by Elmore Leonard
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"Spaghetti western a la Leonard—full of gusto and not to be missed."
Leonard toys with the crime genre now like an old tomcat with a favorite ball—batting it around with languid, skilled strokes, putting on nifty new spins. Read full book review >
RUM PUNCH by Elmore Leonard
Released: Aug. 3, 1992

"Like the title says, it's a heady brew."
Leonard's 30th novel—a thicket of sting and countersting—finds him in fine fettle, his piquant characters aging along with him but losing none of their edge as they look for that one big score before death shuts them down. Read full book review >
MAXIMUM BOB by Elmore Leonard
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"Gibbs rolls around like a loose wheel, and the whole affair seems more like a pale Carl Hiaasen imitation than true-blue Leonard: It's all a big disappointment after Leonard's crackling last, Get Shorty (1990)."
Leonard returns to the Florida coastline for his weakest novel since Touch (1987)—a bumpily humorous but unfocused seriofarce about a probation officer and the eccentric judge she gets entangled with. Read full book review >
GET SHORTY by Elmore Leonard
Released: Aug. 16, 1990

"Very smart and twisty and funny: a Leonard classic."
Leonard's solid-gold pen squirts acid all over Hollywood—for which he's written several screenplays—in this multilayered, superbly entertaining crime thriller. Read full book review >
KILLSHOT by Elmore Leonard
Released: April 21, 1989

"One of Leonard's best, then, and certainly his finest since Glitz."
Leonard's 27th novel, and his old mastery glows as he offers yet another variation of his popular formula that pits quirky psychos against offbeat heroes. Read full book review >
FREAKY DEAKY by Elmore Leonard
Released: May 16, 1988

"And, crucially, at bottom this is formula Leonard—a well-done variation, sure, but of a theme that's beginning to lose its bloom, if not its commercial appeal."
All the Leonard fans who wisely boycotted last year's old dog of a parable, Touch, can rest easy: this—as the high-hip title announces—is vintage (if not stellar) Elmore, another edgy tale of crime and punishment in Detroit's outer limits that crackles with cool street-smarts and dark-humored urban ironies. Read full book review >
TOUCH by Elmore Leonard
Released: Sept. 28, 1987

"And the result is sporadically diverting but unsatisfying all around—too offhand (or simple-minded) for the religious-fiction audience, too feebly fanciful for Leonard's usual readership."
Rejected by more than a dozen publishers in 1977, this non-suspense novel by thriller-man Leonard now—thanks to his current hot-property status—makes its way into print. Read full book review >
BANDITS by Elmore Leonard
Released: Jan. 14, 1986

"So, though in some ways inferior to similar concoctions by Ross Thomas and Donald E. Westlake, this lesser Leonard effort should provide his new-won fans with sturdy—if not compelling—entertainment."
Few suspense writers have gone from underappreciated to overrated as quickly as Leonard has—and this thin, quirky, mildly involving heist-farce is a strong reminder of the weaknesses (in plot and character) that often go along with Leonard's zesty, visceral strengths. Read full book review >
GLITZ by Elmore Leonard
Released: Feb. 28, 1984

Like so many other talented suspense writers—Ross Macdonald, Dick Francis, P. D. James, Ruth Rendell—Leonard has won mainstream acclaim late in his career, with some of his earlier work (e.g., Unknown Man No. 89, 1977) outclassing his recent, much-touted output. Read full book review >
UNKNOWN MAN #89 by Elmore Leonard
Released: June 1, 1977

"Bullet-holes and body-blows abound (Perez has some brutal, good ol' boy muscle; Ryan enlists Leary's murderer), but they're a convincingly integral part of the landscape, as are the drained faces, the sleeping hotel clerks, and the bars and streets where Leonard's highly watchable, not-so-dumb shows take place."
Like G. V. Higgins and R. B. Parker, Leonard shadows the urban crime scene (his city's Detroit—the pits) while looking over his talented shoulder at Ross Macdonald and Raymond Chandler. Read full book review >
SWAG by Elmore Leonard
Released: March 8, 1976

"Flat and familiar—a Fifty-Two Pickup letdown."
Teaming up as business partners are car salesman Frank Ryan and Ernest Stickley, Jr., the unemployed cement-truck driver who had the gall to rip him off right on the lot. Read full book review >
52 PICKUP by Elmore Leonard
Released: April 15, 1974

"Mitchell is one of those stubborn, unintimidatable types who likes to handle things alone without benefit of counsel or the police and the story Leonard tells is new enough to be different — an armtwisting pageturner of considerable excitement."
Mitchell, a man of wealth even if it's all tied up in his automobile accessory plant, commits one of those meaningless indiscretions after 22 years of marriage in the form of Cini whom he picks up in a bar-brothel. Read full book review >
THE MOONSHINE WAR by Elmore Leonard
Released: July 11, 1969

"EWSLUGOK on screen than in print where there's been better fussin' and feudin' for more tolerable reasons."
"Son" Martin ran the kind of still that got raided twice a month. . . by a thirsty congenial cop and happy deputies. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1956

"Flying fists and bullets."
A prisoner at Five Shadows, a territorial penal institution, is offered the chance, by Karla, to try for acquittal by law, or to gamble on escaping, by Lizann, with a gun. Read full book review >
THE LAW AT RANDADO by Elmore Leonard
Released: June 15, 1954

"A lean, laconic entertainment which wastes not and wants not."
Deputy Sheriff Kirby Frye, young in years but resolute, finds that the law has been taken out of his hands when some local citizens- headed by Phil Sundeen- set up a court and lynch two cattle thieves. Read full book review >