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University of Detroit Mercy
Elmore Leonard dies at 87; master of the hard-boiled crime novel
Elmore Leonard dies at 87; master of the hard-boiled crime novel

Elmore Leonard populated his novels with con men, hustlers and killers, with names like Chili, Stick and Ordell. He plunged readers into a sea of urban sleaze, spiking his tales with mordant humor and moral ambivalence.In stories often set in Detroit or South Florida, he betrayed a love for down-and-out characters and pitch-perfect dialogue. A line from his novel “Be Cool” makes a point in typical Leonard style: “`Chili Palmer's a talker,’” Nick said. “ ‘That's what he does, he talks. You should've hit him in the mouth.’ ”Leonard’s dozens of novels and short stories helped raise the genre of crime fiction to a literary level, winning a global audience and inspiring such popular films as...

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