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    Review of WHEN THE WOMEN COME OUT TO DANCE by Elmore Leonard

    William Morrow, 2002

    Author Elmore Leonard (see more reviews of books by Leonard) is best known as a novelist, but his spare and edgy style is well suited to the short story format as well. WHEN THE WOMEN COME OUT TO DANCE is an intriguing and sometimes powerful mix of contemporary and historical stories. Some grab the reader with emotional intensity (TENKILLER and THE TONTO WOMAN), some tease with implications (WHEN THE WOMEN COME OUT TO DANCE), and others show the hard-nosed action that is a Leonard trademark (TENKILLER and FIRE IN THE HOLE).

    Fans will be intrigued to see minor characters from Leonard novels as lead characters in their own stories as well as intriguing historical western stories by the master.

    The stories in this collection are somewhat uneven. I found TENKILLER, in particular, to be an especially strong tale. Others, such as HANGING OUT AT THE BUENA VISTA, serve more as brief character sketches than as complete stories.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 1/16/03

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