Up in Honey's Room

Up in Honey's Room

by Elmore Leonard


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Up in Honey's Room by Elmore Leonard

German-born Walter Schoen, now living in Detroit, is a dead ringer for Heinrich Himmler. Walter's American wife, Honey Deal, doesn't know he's a German spy, but she's tired of telling him jokes he doesn't understand—it's time for a divorce. Along comes Carl Webster, the hot kid of the Marshals Service. He's looking for a German officer who escaped from a POW camp in Oklahoma. Carl's pretty sure Walter's involved, so Carl gets to know Honey, hoping she'll take him to Walter. Honey likes Carl and doesn't much care that he's married. But all Carl wants is to get his man without getting shot. It's Elmore Leonard's world—gritty, funny, and full of surprises.

About the Author
Elmore Leonard has written more than three dozen critically acclaimed books during his highly successful career, including the bestsellers The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool, Get Shorty, and Rum Punch. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. He lives with his wife, Christine, in Bloomfield Village, Michigan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062267283
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/13/2013
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 303,696
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Elmore Leonard wrote more than forty books during his long career, including the bestsellers Raylan, Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool, Get Shorty, and Rum Punch, as well as the acclaimed collection When the Women Come Out to Dance, which was a New York Times Notable Book. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. The short story "Fire in the Hole," and three books, including Raylan, were the basis for the FX hit show Justified. Leonard received the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He died in 2013.


Bloomfield Village, Michigan

Date of Birth:

October 11, 1925

Place of Birth:

New Orleans, Louisiana


B.Ph., University of Detroit, 1950

Read an Excerpt

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.

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Up in Honey's Room 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Tasker on LibraryThing 8 days ago
I'll admit it up front - I'm an Elmore Leonerd fan -spending twenty years in the Detroit area doesn't hurt either when the story mentions familiar locations such as the downtown Hudson's, McNichols (Six Mile), Belle Isle and the Ford Rouge. Forget the story and the flowery descriptions of the sky or water, characters and dialogue allowed me to breeze through this book and not make it feel like work or a trip to the dentist.
davidabrams on LibraryThing 8 days ago
Rat-a-Tat-Tat That Falls FlatIf you're going to read an Elmore Leonard novel, some words of advice. Get in. Sit down. Hang on. Shut up. Don't ask where you're going or how you'll get there. You'll arrive before you know it.Leonard is a master at literature-in-transit. By the time you turn to page 1, most of his stories are already careening along with guns a-blazing¿whether that's from the saddle of a horse in his early westerns, or the mean streets of Detroit, or from the back seat of a DeSoto tire-squealing around a corner and machine-gunning (rat-a-tat-tat) federal agents during Prohibition, as we find in his recent novel The Hot Kid.The author, who cut his teeth in the twilight of the pulp era, doesn't slow down for the reader¿he expects us to make a running leap for the open door and get in, sit down, etc. His emphatic, declarative sentences make it easy for us to keep tumbling forward through the pages. We might not grasp everything and the cavalcade of characters might start to blur our eyes, but Leonard's sheer exuberance of language (both inter- and intra-sentence) make everything compulsively readable, front to back. We don't even have to care about the characters; Leonard does and that's all that matters. He loves these flawed, offbeat characters of his. Words lick against their bodies in cool sentences like: "He heard his name called and turned to see a young guy in black holding a big heavy show-off nickel-plate automatic against his leg, the shoulders of his suit wide, zooty, the pants pegged at his light-tan shoes." Elmore Leonard is the kind of writer who knows when a word like "zooty" will fit and when it will not and for that we love him.That kind of charitable forgiveness will carry readers a long way into his newest novel Up in Honey's Room, which turns out to be a rather disappointing, fair-to-middling entry in Leonard's long line of crackling-good yarns. Honey is neither great, nor mediocre. If it was a movie, I'd say, "Wait for it to come out on DVD."The letdown in Leonard's newest novel is amplified by the fact that The Hot Kid (to which this is a sequel of sorts) was a full-immersion pleasure, soaking readers in the sights, smells and sounds of 1930s Oklahoma where U.S. marshal Carl Webster tracks down bootleggers and bank robbers. Barreling through the plot with the determination of Elliot Ness, Carl is a wholesomely appealing character. Smart, funny, and carrying around an over-pumped ego (his trademark line is "If I have to pull my weapon, I'll shoot to kill"), Carl is one of those characters you can't take your eyes off of, even when Leonard is filling up the page with a crowd of thugs, dames and lawmen.Some of that verve, vim and vigor is missing from Up in Honey's Room. Carl's still here, but he's turned into a glass of Coke left out overnight: flat and no bubbles. The one character who really stands out from these pages is a particularly weird, lurid Ukrainian hit man named Bohdan Kravchenko, a trigger-happy cross-dresser with a Buster Brown haircut.It's usually futile to try and describe an Elmore Leonard plot. It's like listing the ingredients of sausage¿there are so many different things packed in there, but all you really care about is how it tastes. Up in Honey's Room is set in 1944 Detroit where Carl has tracked down two German POWs who have escaped from a camp in Oklahoma. The pair are hiding out at a meat-processing farm run by Walter Schoen who is a dead ringer for Heinrich Himmler. Walter's ex-wife is Honey Deal (as in "a honey of a deal") and likes to walk around her apartment topless when Carl shows up to question her about Walter's German friends. She's got "bedroom eyes and that lower lip waiting there for him to bite." Leonard also throws in a spy ring, a plot to assassinate Franklin Delano Roosevelt, ribald jokes, and over-consumption of booze and cigarettes.That's the sausage, but it's Leonard's sma
kcarp on LibraryThing 8 days ago
I'll admit--I picked this one accidentally when in some crazy brain wiring I confused Leonard and Walter Mosley. I've read and enjoyed some Leonard, but this one was something of a disappointment. For one thing, there was never any truly captivating characters (yes, Honey was 'a free spirit'--who cares?) and no real sense of urgency ever developed. Just throwing in Nazis does not a page-turner make!
dougwood57 on LibraryThing 8 days ago
'Up in Honey's Room' details the federal pursuit of a couple of escaped German prisoners-of-war late in WWII. The story plops down in the midst of a pack of oddball pro-Nazis, some German and some American. Leonard brings many of his standard elements to 'Up in Honey's Room'. Deputy US Marshal Carl Webster returns as the outwardly stoic hero figure, a real man's man, but underneath also a real human being. There's the criminal who's not nearly as smart as he thinks and does something incredibly stupid and impulsive. There's the attractive, bold, funny, and slightly dangerous woman and a cast of other memorable characters. Leonard also displays his ear for language as he plays with accents and regional variations. So far, so good. Up in Honey's Room goes badly off track with a couple of jaw-droppingly implausible conversations that lead to equally implausible relationships and decisions. Federal agents spilling the beans to Honey within 5 minutes of meeting her. A transvestite amidst the Nazi cabal barely causes a raised eyebrow. Recommended only for die-hard fans of Elmore Leonard (of which I have been one for a long time).
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Lollypop99 More than 1 year ago
Honey is a peach! What a character. The story is very noir and it is like reading about Bogie and Slim. A must read. I don't want to give the story away, but it occurs after War World II.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elmore Leonard really whips up a good tale with Up In Honey's Room. You're brought back to the 1940's where there are good and bad guys and no gray. Of course, Mr. Leonard creates his own gray area with a likeable Nazi who used to drive Panzers in Africa killing British. Funny and sexy and all Elmore Leonard. I'm surprised it hasn't been made into a movie yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never written a book review so I'll keep this, my first attempt, brief. I purchased in the form of audio book. I typically listen to a book as I go about my errands, to and from work, etc. This book was so much fun that I looked forward to every trip to the grocery store, post office and so on, just to get back to the dry hilarity of the characters and Arliss Howard's voice! No, this isn't a "deep" book, it's light, funny, offbeat, campy and way too short.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
If what draws you to Elmore Leonard is his easy flowing way with characters, you'll love this one. Stay away, though, if you're looking for a tight plot or loads of suspense and action. Most of these characters are audacious to the point of making you laugh out loud, and, while there is risk, danger, and murder, it seems less important than how everyone will work out his relationship with everyone else. I loved it, but I also like his books with more action and thrills.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a quick read for me and it flowed well. It's not Leonard's best, but it's darn good. As usual Leonard has his quirky characters and he has asembled some that won't let you down. This book has suspense, action, sex, and great laugh out loud humor. 'The Hot Kid' federal marshall Carl Webster is back and after a Nazi POW esscapee. Along the way he encounters sexy and smart Honey as well as other characters that compliment each other. I have read most of Elmore Leonard's works and he always entertains.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you've read Leonard before, then you know what to expect: quirky characters, a dialogue-driven story, and one page-turning surprise after another. Honey, briefly married to Walter, a German butcher in Detroit, comes back into his life to help US Marshall Carlos Webster capture two German POW's who escaped from an Oklahoma prison camp. The chase brings them into contact with some of Walter's other pals --- all members of a pro-German spy ring. Of course, the personalities are all in conflict, all a bit bungling, and all out for themselves. An original story, superbly written, with plenty of humor and excitement. A must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Elmore Leonard is losing his touch. This was one of the worst books I have read in a long time, and that is sad to say because I usually enjoy Leonard's books. Mr. Paradise was just ok, and now Up In Honey's Room was outrightly bad. I felt like I was reading a mess. All the characters were a bunch of idiots. The plot shouldn't even be called a 'plot' because it was so boringly slow and all over the place. The characters' personalities were inconsistent. Honey was the only slightly interesting one. I just felt like this book was all over the place, with little suspense or substance to the storyline. It was very unrealistic too. I am not even sure if I will purchase any more of Leonard's new books after reading this last one. It is really too bad.