For a fun breezy read from the master of the Crime Fiction genre Mr. Elmore Leonard (RIP)
Chili ‘look at me’ Palmer, the ex-wise guy (okay so he was ‘loosely connected’) ex-loan shark from Brooklyn by way of Miami Beach, is in Los Angeles now where he has re-invented himself as a movie producer whose in dire need of material for a new film project. And he gets one; at a lunch meeting with a shady record producer which opens the book with a bang.
Intrigued by this music business thing, he meets a lovely and talented singer by the name of Linda Moon who wants to be in a band of what she describes as a ‘rock ‘n roll with a twang’ thing, but she can’t follow this dream because she’s currently in another band under contract for a pimp by the name of Raji doing Spice Girls covers (This and many other pop culture touch stones’ like CD’s, MTV music videos, etc. Makes the book feel a bit dated)
Soon enough Chili becomes the target of the Russian mob, the pimp and his 250 pound gay Samoan bodyguard by the name of Elliot Wilhelm whom for some reason is in the habit of arching his eyebrows. Amid such hostile environment Chili keeps his cool and wits about him. He’s like a talkative version of a hero in a Sergio Leone Western.
This is a fun, breezy read and—as always—Elmore has a way of delivering huge chunks of the plot by way of witty dialog like nobody else in the business. Whenever I’m in need of inspiration in my own ‘literary’ endeavors I always turn to the works of Elmore Leonard for a jolt of inspiration. Which reminds me I should re-read: Tishomingo Blues, City Primeval, Hombre, La Brava…etc., etc., etc.