Leonard, who was 87, suffered a stroke three weeks ago. His passing ends a formidable literary career, whether you look at the small things (Leonard knew how to craft a sentence) or the big ones (engrossing plots, unforgettable characters). I can't say I read all of him, but I read a lot, and i don't remember a stinker in the bunch.
Leonard's way with a story led to a great TV series ("Justified") and, when in the right hands, some terrific movies ("Out of Sight," "Get Shorty," "52 Pickup"). But those all started with his ideas, and his words, with decent men and women who had a lethal side, and others who were just plain lethal. Even when I knew where he was taking me (and that didn't happen all that often), I loved the taking.