Top 20 Best Elmore Leonard Books 2024: Shorty, Maximum Bob, Rum Punch, Pronto, Riding the Rap

Top 17 Best Elmore Leonard Books of All Time Review 2020
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You’re looking for the Best Elmore Leonard Books in order? Not sure which model to pick? Then you NEED to see this list.

Elmore Leonard was The King of Crime Composing and among the greats of contemporary fiction. Some reviewers called him Dickens of Detroit due to the vast collection of his personalities.

Writing enough good novels to generate a variety of their most acceptable 10 is a beautiful achievement for any writer. Leonard wrote over 40 books, and they were somewhere between excellent and reasonable.

When there was one certainty at a reading life, it had been once a year; you would be shown a gripping book filled with great characters and excellent dialogue.

Leonard introduced numerous theories, for example, the vigorish, or The Vig, which can be American underworld slang for curiosity, always at an extortionate rate, on financing. Who knew that payday lenders were Elmore lovers?

His books frequently touch on social problems. Pagan Babies has the foundation of the Rwandan civil war massacres; you will find references to racism from all areas; in most of his novels, the justice system is most often regarded as corrupt.

They’re no more and no Political Correctness at an Elmore Leonard novel. He is the definitive reporter, putting down what people say instead of what the writer might consider what they state.

He was 87 when he died and wrote good things. His last published novel, Raylan, nearly made my top 10. A bunch of those novels here was printed in the 1990s if Elmore Leonard struck a gold streak with getting Shorty, Maximum Bob, Rum Punch, Pronto, Riding the Rap, Out of Sight, Cuba Libre, and Be Cool.

Top Rated Best Elmore Leonard Novels To Read

Top Rated Best Elmore Leonard Books Ranked

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A thriller succeeds as it keeps us on the edge of the chair. Literature follows when it reveals and allows us to sense humanity where we are least expecting it. My favorite Elmore Leonard novel, Killshot, isn’t widely considered his very best thriller, but it’s humankind in spades.

In its center is a blue collar couple composed so real, you forget a writer is manipulating them. (Since most authors are, if we are honest, ivory tower forms, this alone sets him apart) However, he goes one better: the offenders are sympathetic.

Blackbird, a killer for hire (who we meet in Toronto’s mythical dip, the Waverley Hotel), daydreams about his Ojibway grandma, his youth, and life beyond crime, but he is not a character awaiting salvation that will be too simple. He is essentially a jerk. His conclusion, as it comes, feels deserved and dreadful at precisely the same moment.

Killshot, like a lot of other of his books, was a film. As entertaining as some movie versions are, they exude the viewer of immersion from Leonard’s fantastic prose.

Below are Elmore Leonard’s best books Pennbook recommended for you:

Moonshine War

The narrative is set in rural Kentucky, and it is a kind of alternative literary house for Elmore Leonard. The protagonist Son Martin aka Alda creates moonshine whiskey, which is illegal in prohibition era Kentucky.

Frank Long, an old army acquaintance, turned Internal Revenue representative, can’t strike a bargain with Son, and attempts to steal his prohibited booze by recruiting a couple of exceptionally violent regional goons.

However, as things turn over Long’s mind, he turns to Son with nobody else made to rescue his life. This publication was adapted into a film directed by Richard Quine.

“The war started the first Saturday in June 1931, when Mr. Baylor delivered up a boy to Son Martin’s place to tell him that they had been coming back to raid him nevertheless.” – Internet

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Frank Ryan, the auto salesman, and Ernest Stickley, the jobless cement truck driver team up as business partners in the new enterprise of prosecution.

Even though it ends up exciting at first, things turn sour when they opt to reach Detroit’s largest department store. In Swag, among the most thrilling Elmore Leonard novels, he provides us with two personality types in offenders.

One is loud mouthed but not intelligent. Another is suspicious of everything, near mouthed as well as challenging. Coupled with the rapid pace, the innovative, wry twist, in the end, makes it more exciting for the viewers.

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La Brava

JOE LABRAVA is an intelligent and demanding former Internal Revenue officer in South Miami. He takes up pictures after his stint as a government worker. He gets tied up with a film actress with whom he had been moonstruck if he was 12 to learn that two thugs are harassing her.

The writer puts a varied group of personalities into this milieu, such as a hustler who awakens upon girls and psychopathic Cuban refugees. This Elmore Leonard’s classic is a 1984 Edgar Award Winner.

Freaky Deaky

This Elmore Leonard’s Novel, Freaky Deaky, places ahead of us cops and bombers narrative within an urban background. This was accommodated to some crime fiction humor thriller movie by Charles Matthau.

Chris Mankowski, a former bomb squad member, currently serving as a cop, comes into conflict with single time revolutionaries looking for revenge who create bombs. According to Detroit, this publication is full of dialogues of the neighborhood taste and the crime fiction genre.

Get Shorty

Get Shorty Is a rare find in Leonard’s bibliography. It doesn’t end well.

Even a mobster and loan shark, Chili Palmer, chases a debt to Hollywood to find that the movie company is much the same as his present occupation. His interview with Harry Zimm, to whom Chili describes his film program and the following story that unfolds, uses humorous humor packed with components like a Mexican drug deal.

“When Chili first came to Miami Beach twelve years ago, they were having one of the off and on chilly winters: thirty-four degrees the day he met Tommy Carlo for lunch at Vesuvio’s on South Collins and had his leather jacket ripped off.” – Internet

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This publication concentrates on a US Deputy Marshal’s personality, Raylan Givens, who also appears in a few of Leonard’s previous books. As bud becomes the largest cash crop in Kentucky, Dickie and Coover Crowe opt to take it up as a business enterprise.

Marshal Raylan decides to prevent them from kicking a crime fiction thriller where a nurse called Layla goes because of his uterus. The poor men and principal characters are mostly women now round, which comes as a little surprise for the readers.

Out Of Sight

Adapted to a crime fiction comedy movie by Steven Soderbergh, this is the first of the many collaborations involving Soderbergh and actor George Clooney. Jack Foley, a career bank robber, and a U.S Marshal, Karen Sisco, discuss a car trunk in extraordinary conditions.

Ripley, a company man who whined to Foley in prison, is all going to sponsor the two Foley and Miller, who’s also a very long time robber. The interlude between Foley and Sisco at a Detroit Hotel is undoubtedly the hit of this lot.

“Foley hadn’t ever seen a prison where you could walk up to the weapon without getting taken.” – Internet

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(Best Elmore Leonard Western Novels)

Elmore Leonard is well known for his crime ridden mysteries and deservedly so. However, the guy also composed Westerns such as that he was the bastard son of Charles Portis and Sergio Leone.

Hombre, Leonard’s fifth novel, received heaps of praise as it was printed in 1961 and is now considered a classic Western civilization.

The publication follows a half Apache guy called John Russell who, following his stagecoach, is attacked by outlaws, should choose whether to rescue himself or the bunch of whites he is traveling with, all of whom resent him because of his half blood.

A traditional literary narrative rife with external and internal battles, Hombre first made me note the Western genre as a young reader. Everything else pales in comparison.

“Initially, I was not convinced at all where to start.” – Internet

If you happen to be interested in other best selling authors, go check out Best Jack Reacher Books of All Time Review 2024 or Best Louis L’Amour Books 2024 of All Time before reading on.

52 Pickup

Harry Mitchell does not get mad. He gets.

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That is among those loglines out of Leonard’s eleventh book, a thrilling thriller about a Detroit businessman (Mitchell) who discovers himself cheating on his wife for the very first time.

Just so happens some creeps have filmed the event and attempted to blackmail Mitchell to get a hundred grand. But while the tagline states.

In case Hombre is a traditional literary narrative, this is a timeless Elmore Leonard narrative: straightforward storyline, sharp dialogue, compelling characters, and even murder.


One of Leonard’s more accessible books, in which the heroes are only a suburban couple on the run by a set of deranged con-artist hitmen. It seems familiar, but Leonard’s prose proves differently.

“The Blackbird told me he had been drinking too much because he lived in this hotel, and the Silver Dollar was shut downstairs.” – Internet

Pagan Babies

A high point in American crime fiction. Following his incredible sequence of winners in the 1990s, Elmore Leonard took a new turn for this 2000 book, which begins with the history of this gruesome aftermath of the Rwandan civil war.

Terry Dunn, a priest who is not a priest, is handing out the Hail Marys before returning to Detroit in an attempt to raise cash for help from an undercover mobster.

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Maximum Bob

Florida judges Bob Gibbs’s palms down heavy sentences; therefore, a few felons plan to take their revenge. The cast comprises probation officer Kathy Baker, the judge’s spouse Leanne with the multiple personality syndrome, Leonard’s favorite low rent household, the Crowes, along with an alligator. It is somewhat Carl Hiaasen but a fantastic book nonetheless.

“Dale Crowe Junior informed Kathy Baker, his probation officer, he did not see where he’d done anything wrong.” – Internet

Riding The Rap

Raylan Givens makes his second appearance in an Elmore Leonard book, having been released in Pronto, in which a lot of this activity is put in Rapallo, Italy. Also, he looks in a novella, Fire in the Hole, which eventually became the foundation for the TV series Justified. A lousy cover, however.

“Ocala Police picked up Dale Crowe Junior for weaving two o’clock in the morning, crossing the center line and using a busted taillight.” – Internet

A Coyote’s in the House (2004)

This is uncharacteristic since it’s a children’s book, where Antwan, a metropolitan L.A. coyote, and Buddy, an older film staür puppy, meet, make friends and, finally, conspire to exchange areas. Nevertheless, it is also a feature in its sharp dialogue, smart humor, and tight storytelling. A kids’ book that’s eminently appropriate for adults.

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Cat Chaser

Adapted to a film by Abel Ferrara, this book, written by Elmore Leonard, is about a retired US soldier, George Moran, who’s looking for a Dominican girl who saved his life.

Meanwhile, he starts a relationship with Mary DeBoya, the rich, unhappy wife of a former Dominican general. Moran intends to tear off the overall with a few of his pals, which kicks off the storyline.

“Moran’s the very first impression of Nolen Tyler: He seemed like a higher risk, the type of man who falls asleep smoking in bed.” – Internet

Rum Punch

This book doubled on double dealing and was my pick to No 1. Jackie Burke is Leonard’s most outstanding female guide. She is a flight attendant who carries hot cash into Florida in the Bahamas for gun dealer Ordell Robbie.

Sunday morning, Ordell chose Louis to see the white power protest in downtown Palm Beach.

Young skinhead Nazis, Ordell stated. Look, even small Nazigirls marching down Worth Avenue. What do you think about it? Coming now, you’ve got the Klan, not too many here now. A few in green have to be the coneheads’ fresh spring color. Behind them, it seems like a few Bikers for Racism, much better called the Dixie Knights. We are going to proceed forward, fight through the audience, Ordell stated, bringing Louis along.

Be Cool

The yield of Chili Palmer from getting Shorty. Chili has been stalked by a hitman while attempting to have a movie deal collectively. It is probably Leonard’s funniest publication

“They sat at one of the sidewalk tables at Swingers, on the side of the coffee shop along Beverly Boulevard: Chili Palmer with the Cobb salad and iced tea, Tommy Athens the grilled pesto chicken and a bottle of Evian.” – Internet

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Pronto (1993)

Elmore Leonard wrote the crime book Pronto, which was released in 1993. Three primary individuals are introduced by Leonard, who then sets them up to compete with one another. Harry can’t stop thinking back on World War II.

Tommy has a photo of the former mob leader Frank Costello in his wallet. U.S. Marshal Raylan is a cowboy, hat-clad individual. The inclusion of the Ezra Pound tales also deepens our comprehension of Harry and the motivations for his decision to settle in Rapallo, Italy.

Pronto was adapted for television in 1997, starring James LeGros, Glenne Headly, and Peter Falk. Later, LeGros’ Raylan Givens would take on the role of the main character in the television series Justified.

Glitz (1985)

Elmore Leonard’s 1985 book Glitz tells the tale of Detective Vincent Mora. He is being pursued by Teddy Magyk, the serial rapist he arrested. Jimmy Smits starred in a 1988 TV movie adaptation of it.

Stick (1983)

After being released from jail, Stick Stickley, who has returned from Swag, is ready to start again. However, he unintentionally becomes involved in a heroin trade that goes horribly wrong and must cope with the dealer.

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Friday Fun Facts: Elmore Leonard

Friday Fun Facts: Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard, an American criminal writer (11 October 1925 – 20 August 2013), has passed away. While his first books were westerns, Mr. Leonard was an expert at creating absurd circumstances for officers and criminals to escape in crime fiction.

  1. In the 1950s, Mr. Leonard began writing western fiction while working at an advertising firm in Detroit. He eventually sold more than 30 short stories to publications.
  2. Emil “Dutch” Leonard, a journeyman pitcher in the big leagues, inspired Mr. Leonard’s nick moniker.
  3. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque was a significant source of inspiration for Mr. Leonard.
  4. Mr. Leonard was in the American Navy for three years.
  5. Never having possessed a computer, Elmore Leonard.
  6. Leonard spent much time with Detroit murder investigators while writing City Primeval.
  7. Mr. Leonard followed a strict writing routine for years and years, commencing at 09:30 and finishing at 18:00.
  8. Elmore Leonard could write a page in an hour when he first began, but he slowed to four pages a day as time went on.
  9. A literary agency previously advised him not to quit his day job.
  10. The author was dubbed the “Dickens of Detroit” by Newsweek.

FAQs About Author Elmore Leonard

elmore leonard westerns

Did Elmore Leonard like Justified?

Leonard was unimpressed by most Hollywood adaptations of his work, but he fell in love with “Justified.” He enjoyed the program, which took its cues from his Raylan-centric short tale “Fire in the Hole.” And the show grew to like him.

Why was Elmore Leonard called Dutch?

After being turned down by the Marines due to poor vision, he promptly enlisted in the Navy and served with the Seabees for three years in the South Pacific. He graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1943. (gaining the nickname “Dutch”, after pitcher Dutch Leonard).

Why did Elmore Leonard start writing westerns?

No more than the dentist Zane Grey, born in Ohio, was Leonard, initially a man of the West. He was intrigued by Westerns, as most people were in the 1930s and 1940s when he was a young boy in Detroit. Western fiction seemed a good genre he could work in when he became interested in writing while in college.

What are your favorite Elmore Leonard’s best books? Leave us the name in the remarks.


Elmore Leonard’s books are an entertaining and thought-provoking collection that explore the gritty realities of modern life. His characters are complex, his dialogue is sharp and witty, and his writing style is highly engaging. For readers looking for a unique and thrilling story to get lost in, Elmore Leonard’s books are sure to provide hours of entertainment.