Mr. Paradise

Mr. Paradise

3.6 13
by Elmore Leonard

View All Available Formats & Editions

Roommates Kelly and Chloe are enjoying their lives and their downtown Detroit loft just fine. Kelly is a Victoria's Secret catalog model. Chloe is an escort, until she decides to ditch her varied clientele in favor of a steady gig as girlfriend to eighty-four-year-old retired lawyer Tony Paradiso, a.k.a. Mr. Paradise.

Evenings at Mr. Paradise's house,

See more details below


Roommates Kelly and Chloe are enjoying their lives and their downtown Detroit loft just fine. Kelly is a Victoria's Secret catalog model. Chloe is an escort, until she decides to ditch her varied clientele in favor of a steady gig as girlfriend to eighty-four-year-old retired lawyer Tony Paradiso, a.k.a. Mr. Paradise.

Evenings at Mr. Paradise's house, there's always an old Michigan football game on TV. And when Chloe's around, there's a cheerleader, too, complete with pleated skirt and blue-and-gold pompoms. One night Chloe convinces Kelly to join in the fun, along with Montez Taylor, Tony's smooth-talking right-hand man.

But things go awry and before the end of the evening there will be two corpses, two angry hit men, one switch of identity, a safe-deposit box full of loot up for grabs, and, fast on the scene, detective Frank Delsa, who now has a double homicide — and a beautiful, willful witness — to add to his already heavy caseload.

With a cool cast, snappy dialogue, and all the twists and turns fans crave, Mr. Paradise is Elmore Leonard at home in Detroit and sharper than ever.

About the Author

Elmore Leonard has written more than three dozen books during his highly successful writing career, including the bestsellers Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool, Get Shorty, and Rum Punch, and his most recent critically acclaimed collection of short stories, When the Women Come Out to Dance. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. He is the recipient of the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives with his wife,Christine, in Bloomfield Village, Michigan.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Ann Beattie
Elmore Leonard's 40th book, Mr. Paradise, is filled with ironic quotation marks, though he doesn't put them on the page. Tone is everything. How, exactly, can you be sure what the tone is? Well, you can't. Leonard addresses those who think they hear the same music he does, but who are open to questioning the familiar, to listening carefully and seeing when something has a different emphasis. … Mr. Paradise is about deception. People deceive through false identity (appropriating, dissembling), just as they, themselves, have been deceived -- whether by the implied promise of collapsed dot-coms or by positive, false assumptions about family.
— The New York Times
Michael Dirda
If a writer lives long enough or produces a steady output of good books, there comes a point when he or she passes beyond mere criticism. Readers grow simply grateful. We'd rather have any new Patrick O'Brian or Iris Murdoch or Dick Francis or Elmore Leonard than none at all. Sometimes this allows us to excuse all sorts of weakness. But in the case of Mr. Paradise we don't have to settle for mere gratitude. We can rejoice. It is unputdownable, packed with excruciating suspense and I couldn't stop reading it. Oh yes, it's also polyphonic and a masterpiece of progression d'effet.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Leonard (Tishomingo Blues, etc.) has long been the master of sparse, precise language. Consequently, his prose and dialogue have evolved over the years to the point of having a rhythm and style unique unto themselves. Fortunately, Forster falls neatly into sync with the author. His clear, matter-of-fact recitation is perfectly suited to drawing the listener into a world where violence, deception and death are simply a practical side of doing business and delivered with as much passion as a Detroit police report. The story follows the investigation sparked by the death of an 84-year-old millionaire-the Mr. Paradise of the title. Leonard brings together an eclectic mixture of pragmatic cops, working-class hit men, crooked lawyers, con men and gangbangers, all brought to life through Forster's smooth, understated delivery. If there is any flaw in the performance, it is that by keeping his reading so low-key and laconic, there are a few sections of dialogue where the listener may be confused as to which character is speaking. But it is this same delivery that enhances the humor in the book, often with laugh-out-loud results. So, even though it would have been nice if Forster gave the characters' voices a bit more inflection, this is a small criticism of an overall fine production. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins hardcover (Forecasts, Nov. 24, 2003). (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
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 Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Leonard (Tishomingo Blues, 2001, etc.) returns to his Detroit roots for another unlikely romance amid the thorns of crime. Chloe Robinette used to be a call girl, but now she takes calls only from Anthony Paradiso, the 84-year-old lawyer who's paying her $5,000 a week to do pretty much as he'd like. She's done such a good job making him happy that she lives in hope of being mentioned in his will, or coming into something a little special that Mr. Paradiso's left in the care of Montez Taylor, his longtime retainer. One night Mr. Paradiso, who enjoys live entertainment along with his University of Michigan football videotapes, asks Chloe to bring another cheerleader with her, and Chloe obliges with her roommate, lingerie model Kelly Barr. Wanting to make a nice gesture to Montez, Mr. Paradiso offers him one of the girls for his own use and tosses a coin to determine which one. Things would be simple, though amusing in Leonard's most laid-back manner, if the nod went to Chloe. But Kelly, who doesn't much like this stranger, retires upstairs with him-a fateful stroke of luck that creates unexpected complications when, shortly thereafter, gunshots shatter the stillness of Mr. Paradiso's house. In no time at all the survivors are talking to Acting Lt. Frank Delson, of Detroit Homicide, and not long thereafter, one of them is falling for him. Leonard, who's too cool to simply recycle the salt-and-pepper romance of Out of Sight (1996), crowds his canvas with the survivors and interested parties to another massacre across town and brings the two crimes to a slow boil-definitely a cool tactic, but one that entangles him with lowlifes who are a lot less interesting than his romantic leads. Thistime, in fact, the hero and heroine have a pretty easy time of it. Nice for them, anyway. First printing of 200,000; author tour
San Jose Mercury News
“It’s a blast.”
Detroit Free Press
“The dialogue and the characters crackle ...MR. PARADISE is a perfect crime caper from a master.”
New York Times Book Review
“You will love this excellent book.”

Read More

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >