The New York Times
Leaving Out the Parts Readers Skip
BYLINE: By JANET MASLIN
Elmore Leonard’s latest book features a cool operator with a laid-back style, a wry, sneaky observer of human nature. He enjoys inhabiting the world of crime. He’s a smoothly calculating guy who plays all the angles. And if he takes his time getting what he wants, the important thing is that he knows how to get it.
That describes a character named Robert Taylor, the principal conniver in “Tishomingo Blues.” But of course we’re talking about the author, too. Mr. Leonard, sharp as ever, has concocted another deft, funny book about dueling miscreants, and this time he has staged the duel in costume-party style. There are ways to explain where this fits into the wide panorama of his earlier work, and why this book is a particular success. But Mr. Leonard has stated, in a list of suggestions to other writers, that it’s smart to leave out the parts that readers skip.