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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, June 29

Dutch Leonard, RIP

Dutch is dead. He died yesterday morning, probably of natural causes, just another way of saying the machine decided to shut down naturally. How sad. How not sad for him but sad for me. He was 87 and had a good, productive life. “Dutch” Elmore Leonard is the latest of my literary idols to bite the bullet. Already on that Green Ripper list: Dick Francis, John D. MacDonald, Ed McBain, and Robert B. Parker. Whom do I now have still writing, still kicking? John Sandford of the Prey series, Lee Child of the Reacher series, Robert Crais of the Elvis Cole series, James Lee Burke of the Dave Robicheaux series, Lawrence Block of the Matt Scudder series, and Jeffrey Deaver of the Lincoln Rhyme series. There’s still Stephen King and Dean Koontz, both of whom I’ve read over the years, but neither is on my favorites list. I think back on all the books Leonard wrote that were turned into movies. There were around two dozen: Mr. Majestyk with Charles Bronson, Hombre with the young Paul Newman, Stick with the young Burt Reynolds, Get Shorty and Be Cool with John Travolta, Out of Sight with George Clooney, Last Stand at Sabre River with Tom Selleck, and then reaching way back for The Tall T with Randolph Scott, Valdez Is Coming with Burt Lancaster, and Joe Kidd with Clint Eastwood. And those are less than half the films developed from Leonard novels. Dutch’s writing is distinctive for his macabre humor, his accuracy of dialects. I don’t think anyone ever captured the flavor and cadences of dialogue better than he did. For anyone not familiar with Elmore Leonard, find all the episodes of Justified with Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins, and just listen to that Harlan, Kentucky, twang. Ah, Dutch, I’m really going to miss you.
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