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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2008
Mr. Paradise, real name Anthony Paridiso, is a retired personal injuries attorney. He's eighty-four years old, healthy for his years and he gets his kicks watching video tapes of his favorite Wolverines' football games. Well, he sort of spices up the video with a dancing hooker whose services cost him a paltry five grand a week. But then again there's nothing like a topless cheerleader with a blue M painted between her breasts with a magic marker, especially if she's not wearing any panties underneath her pleated cheerleader skirt.

Montez Taylor is Mr. Paradise's chief factotum and gopher. He's black and criminal, a wannabe operator who cruises around the city, acting smooth and slick and he's just been left out of the old man's will.

Chloe Robinette is twenty-seven, has a loft on the riverfront she paid $400,000 cash for, back when she hadn't slimmed her client list down to only the spunky Mr. Paradise.

Kelly Barr is Chloe's roommate. She's a Victoria's Secret model and just about a dead ringer for blond and blue-eyed Chloe.

Chloe recruits Kelly to assist her one night in the cheerleading routine and two hit men hired by Montez, because he's upset about the will thing, crash the party, leaving Paradise and Chloe dead. Fortunately for Kelly she was upstairs with the smooth and slick operator at the time. Montez needs Kelly because Paradiso had signed over some to Chloe that's worth big money and it's lodged in a safe-deposit box in Montez's name. Montez wants Kelly to pose as Chloe, so he can collect on it.

Then along comes Homicide detective Frank Delsa who finds himself attracted to Kelly who finds herself attracted to him as well. And so it goes in this rip roaring read that I just loved to pieces. There are many pretenders out there but nobody does Elmer Leonard like Elmer Leonard. He pulls you right into the story, right into the heads of his characters, right out or your problems and cares as you eagerly devour his work and MR. PARADISE is one of his best.

Review submitted by Captain Katie Osborne
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 May 2007
This is around the 12th or 13th Leonard novel I've read, and it's been several years since I really enjoyed one from start to finish. Happily, his latest Detroit-set caper is pitch perfect and a ton of fun. Things kick off with typical Leonard oddballness: retired and ultra-wealthy lawyer Mr. Paradiso likes to watch tapes of old University of Michigan football games, and pays an escort $5,000 a month to dress up as a topless UM cheerleader for these sessions. One night she talks her model roommate into coming along for a special twin cheerleader session, and of course that's the night two hit men come to whack Mr. Paradiso.

As in so many of Leonard's books, the criminals don't really have their acts together. The hit was supposed to be called off for the night, but the hit man's wife didn't pass along the message, and so the escort is added to the body count, complicating things. However, things get even more complicated when the old man's personal assistant strong-arms the model into swapping identities with the dead escort -- and soon Detective Frank Delsa is on the scene, smelling a rat. It's one of those crime capers where the suspense comes not from knowing who did what (that's all cut and dried), but how it's all going to play out, and how Delsa is going to put the pieces together. There's a host of highly entertaining and distinctive supporting characters, including the two hit men, a smalltime snitch, the assistant, an seemingly-decrepit butler, Paradiso's family, and a crooked lawyer.

The plotting is both intricate and seemingly effortless, as the story unfurls in a breezy, unhurried tone with plenty of humor and violence. Tonally, it's very very similar to "Out of Sight", with everyone playing angles, the cop who knows what's what but is letting it play out, and the flirty romance between Delsa and the model, and plenty of sly dialogue. It's nice to see the master can still knock one out of the park.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Tony Paradiso, otherwise known as Mr Paradise, enjoys watching old football matches on television with live entertainment - sexy cheerleaders dressing and undressing for his pleasure. And since he's a wealthy man, there's no shortage of attractive young women happy to entertain him.

But for Chloe Robinette, Mr Paradise's favourite, playing dress-up ends badly when she's caught in the crossfire of a contract assassination. Chloe's roomate Kelly is a witness to the murder, but as long as she can convince people she's Chloe then she'll be in line for a chunk of Mr Paradise's estate. And that's when things start to get really complicated.

Originally published in 2004, Mr Paradise was hailed at the time as a return to form. Many people will be aware of Leonard from the Hollywood adaptations of his novels Get Shorty and Jackie Brown, and Mr Paradise crackles with the same type of energy, wit and violence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Elmore Leonard is the man behind two of the best films of the 1990's - Get Shorty and Jackie Brown - but this one falls pitifully short of those standards. He probably wrote it faster than I could read it !

So the author demands respect, he's up there with the greats but "Mr Paradise" is not the book he will be best remembered for. It's about two girls, Chloe and Kelly, who spend an evening with a wealthy man (Mr Paradise) at his mansion for the sole purpose of entertaining him in whatever way he chooses, and they know they will get highly paid for it. But something goes terribly wrong, and two people end up dead. Much of the ensuing story relates to why Mr P was killed, and who will benefit in his last will and testament.

This is a very 'talky' novel, not what I had expected from an author who has in the past been so skilled at describing the atmosphere of places and events, and the way that different and often interesting characters inter-act with each other. This story, by comparison, is lacking in that famous Elmore Leonard spirit, it's a by-the-numbers account of an investigation into a contract killing and one in which the cop falls for the beautiful key witness, his first romantic encounter since the death of his wife a year or two earlier. Ho-hum. Nothing radical here, it reads like a kind of soap opera or TV movie, and it would be sad if you buy this book and form an impression of the writer if this is to be your first encounter with him. Believe me, he's much, much better than this. Try Rum Punch to see what I mean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 18 April 2006
I was very surprised to read the negative reviews here for "Mr Paradise". Judging this novel against his other recent works I found it one of the more interesting stories. If there are any doubts of his talents this novel puts him back on track - high on atmospherics and the usual killer dialogue, it also had a great range of varied characters and enough 'cool' to almost match "Get Shorty".

I highly recommend this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2014
Another first-rate Elmore Leonard crime thriller. He really did have that special quirky touch which distinguishes outstanding crime fiction from the rest.
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on 28 June 2013
A rich old man, a case of mistaken identity, two hired guns and a cop who falls for a suspect! This has got the lot Elmore Leonard at his best if you like his stuff you can't go wrong with Mr Paradise. It was the first Elmore Leonard book I had read and did read within a number of days, I now have a collection of his books, all as good as this
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on 20 November 2012
Another GOOD book from the Elmore Leonard stable,He keeps writing,I keep buying and reading,all good books ,so far!and as usual I will be looking to see if any more of this writers handiwork is on offer from my only book supplier,AMAZON,of course.
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on 9 July 2014
funny guy Mr Paradise but then it's an Elmore Lenoard book so why am I surprised
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2006
Thank God that Elmore Leonard has found his form again, this is old school Elmore at his best, the thing about his books is that the dialogue and characterisations are so slick. He has this uncanny knack of creating a character without being physically descriptive. This book is set back in his old stomping ground of Detroit and has his trademark complexity.

Keep going Elmore, you've shown the chasing pack a clean pair of heels again!
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