A major loss for American literature here; Elmore Leonard's crime fiction were marvels, character studies of folks at the margins of society who , we found, had personalities more complex and subtle than he we might first suppose. His writing was clean, uncluttered, moving with a virtuoso's ease through the wonderfully engineered ironies and odd twists his strange world forces upon its self-directed inhabitants. No one wrote funnier, wittier, more natural sounding dialogue than Elmore Leonard, and no one could tell a tightly plotted thriller as well as he . His genius lay in his ability to become invisible as an authorial personality while his richly askew crime capers unfolded. After reading novels like "Pagan Babies", "Get Shorty" or "Rum Punch", I would at times stare at the print on the page and just appreciate the absolute brilliance of a master at work.