is your source for affordable electronic fiction


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of MR. PARADISE by Elmore Leonard (see his website)

    William Morrow, January 2004

    When her friend Chloe Robinette suggests that Kelly Ann Barr join her in a topless cheerleading session for Chloe's aging Mr. Paradise, Kelly finally lets herself get talked into it. She likes Chloe, wants to help her, and a few hundred dollars never hurts. But nasty cheerleading turns into something far worse when gunmen break in and murder the old man. Now Kelly is caught in a trap. If she talks, she might be next. One thing she knows, Mr. Paradise was rich--and there's money in this somewhere.

    Detroit homicide detective Frank Delsa doesn't think it's shock. The beautiful blonde knows more than she's telling. But is she in with the killers, or is she playing some other game. One thing Delsa has learned in his years as a cop--the criminals are always stupid and always make mistakes. Of course cops can make mistakes now and it doesn't take a genius to realize that the instant attraction he feels toward Kelly is dangerous. What, exactly, is her relationship to the primary witness, African-American Montez Taylor? And what motive for murder do either of them have?

    Author Elmore Leonard (see more reviews of novels by Leonard) always writes a fast-paced and interesting book and MR. PARADISE certainly fits the pattern. It's a hard book to put down as Leonard makes you feel like there's another twist coming. For me, though, this was the problem with the book. Unlike many of Leonard's stories, MR. PARADISE lacked the clever twists, the too-smart plans, and the street-smart cleverness of many of Leonard's works. I kept waiting for Kelly's hidden plan to reveal itself--waiting and waiting. I kept waiting for the hidden subtext of the too-spontaneous relationship between Delsa and Kelly. She's a Victoria's Secrets model, after all. What would she see in a bitter and much older cop? I'm still waiting.

    I don't think Elmore Leonard can write a bad book and MR. PARADISE isn't bad. For me, though, it has too many hints of where it could have been a great book--without really delivering. This isn't one of Leonard's masterpieces and that's too bad. But any Leonard novel is worth the read.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 3/06/04

    Ready to buy it now? Click the buy now button.

    Visit to read more reviews or to purchase MR. PARADISE from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for MR. PARADISE from Barnes &

    Buy the eBook version from

    What do you think? Too generous? Too stingy? Or did I miss the entire point? Send your comments to Give me the okay to use your name and I'll publish all the comments that fit (and don't use unprintable language).

    Have a web site? Check out these free services.