In hindsight, Victoria's Secret model Kelly Barr thinks maybe it wasn't such a great idea to accompany her callgirl roommate Chloe to Tony Paradiso's house. The wealthy, eighty-four-year-old retired Motor City lawyer's idea of fun was innocent enough: watching old Michigan football games on TV while a sexy companion shakes her pom-poms and prances around topless in a U of M cheerleader's outfit. On this particular night, though, two killers decide to get into the action, leaving Chloe and "Mr. Paradise" dead in the old man's living room while Kelly is elsewhere with Tony's right-hand man. There is a bright spot, an opportunity for a very profitable score, provided that Kelly can convince the cops she's somebody else. But Homicide Detective Frank Delsa isn't stupid, even if he is lonely, good-hearted ... and about to sign up for more trouble than he ever bargained for.
Elmore Leonard's 40th book, Mr. Paradise, is filled with ironic quotation marks, though he doesn't put them on the page. Tone is everything. How, exactly, can you be sure what the tone is? Well, you can't. Leonard addresses those who think they hear the same music he does, but who are open to questioning the familiar, to listening carefully and seeing when something has a different emphasis. … Mr. Paradise is about deception. People deceive through false identity (appropriating, dissembling), just as they, themselves, have been deceived -- whether by the implied promise of collapsed dot-coms or by positive, false assumptions about family.