Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The Carl Webster Saga
Raylan Givens is not Elmore’s only U.S. Marshal character. Meet Carl Webster. Star of three novels, in a story that stretches from the early Twenties to the end of World War II. Now that’s a saga.
The Hot Kid
Carlos Webster was fifteen in the fall of 1921 the first time he came face-to-face with a nationally known criminal. A few weeks later, he killed his first man—a cattle thief who was rustling his dad’s stock. Now Carlos, called Carl, is the hot kid of the U.S. Marshals Service, one of the elite manhunters currently chasing the likes of Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd across America’s Depression-ravaged heartland. Carl wants to be the country’s most famous lawman. Jack Belmont, the bent son of an oil millionaire, wants to be public enemy number one. Tony Antonelli of True Detective magazine wants to write about this world of cops and robbers, molls and speakeasies from perilously close up. Then there are the hot dames—Louly and Elodie—hooking their schemes and dreams onto dangerous men. And before the gunsmoke clears, everybody just might end up getting exactly what he or she wished for.
Comfort to the Enemy
The “Hot Kid” of the U.S. Marshals Service, Carl Webster maintains the law with a cool, showdown attitude. He’s one of the richest creations in Elmore Leonard’s half century of delivering the goods. From his appearances in the critically acclaimed novels The Hot Kid and Up in Honey’s Room, Carl returns to lay down the law in a novella that originally appeared as a serial in the New York Times Sunday Magazine.
The title novella—plus two Carl Webster short stories—traces Carl’s career from his run-in with 1930’s gangsters to his investigation of a murder at a German POW camp in Oklahoma. This time it’s Carl against war-seasoned Afrika Korps Nazis. With its pitch-perfect dialogue, compelling characters, and classic charm, Comfort to the Enemy is vintage Leonard.
Up in Honey’s Room
Sweet Honey Deal’s not sure what compelled her to marry Walter Schoen, possibly the most boring man on Earth. So she quickly rectified the situation by leaving the dour German-born butcher to start a new life. A good thing, too, now that America’s at war with Adolf Hitler and Walter’s loyalty to his adopted country was always questionable. Even better, now U.S. Marshal Carl Webster wants to come up to Honey’s room for an official “chat” . . . and for something more intimate, if Honey has anything to say about it.
The feds’ legendary “Hot Kid,” Carl’s hunting two German POWs who escaped from an Oklahoma internment camp. Maybe Honey’s estranged hubby knows something. Maybe Honey knows something. Maybe Carl can stay faithful to his wife. Or maybe they’re all about to get tangled up—along with a sultry Ukrainian spy and her transvestite manservant—in a nutty assassination plot that can’t possibly succeed . . .