I just finished…

…Elmore Leonard’s “Charley Martz and Other Stories.” I was so excited to see a new, though posthumous Leonard, I didn’t see the small print, below the colon. “The Unpublished Stories.”

I love Leonard. I have read all his novels, including “Touch,” which is like having listened to all of Dylan’s albums, including “Slow Train Coming.” I got to Leonard late. “City Primeval” was my first. I didn’t read crime fiction. I would ask people who did, “Who’s as good as Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammitt?” They would tell me Ross MacDonald, Ross Thomas, Robert Parker. They were wrong. Then Harvey, a collector of editions, said Leonard.

But this new one… The earliest are undated. The last is from 1960. It is easy to see why they were unpublished. Not one of them is worth a minute. The only good thing about them is seeing as good as writer as Leonard write stories as bad as these.

Hard work, it turns out, pays off.