Here are the two books starring gangster-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer. Written by Elmore Leonard:
GET SHORTY (1991)
Loan shark Chili Palmer didn't say anything when Ray Bones stole his leather jacket from Vesuvio's in Miami. He just went to Ray's house, broke his nose, took the jacket, and left. Twelve years later, on account of his boss getting whacked, Chili finds himself working for Bones and ordered to collect on a bad debt from Leo Devoe, a guy who died in a plane crash. But it turns out Leo isn't dead; he's in Las Vegas with the $300,000 the airline paid to his wife. So Chili follows him to Vegas and then on to Hollywood, where he hooks up with movie producers, actors, and studio execs. Getting Leo becomes a movie pitch unfolding in a city where every move you make is a potential scene, and making it big isn't all that different from making your bones: You gotta know who to pitch, who to hit, and how to knock 'em dead.
BE COOL (1999)
The sequel to Chili Palmer's hit movie Get Leo tanked and now Chili's itching for a comeback. So when a power lunch with record-label executive and former associate Tommy Athens ends in a mob hit, he soon finds himself in an unlikely alliance with organized-crime detective Darryl Holmes and the likely next target of Russian gangsters. But where others see danger, Chili Palmer sees story possibilities.
Enter Linda Moon, a singer with aspirations that go further than her current gig in a Spice Girls cover band. Chili takes over as Linda's manager, entering the world of rock stars, pop divas, and hip-hop gangstas. As he wings his way to success in the music business with his trademark cool, Chili manipulates his adversaries and advances his friends, all the while basing the plot of his new film on the action that results. Be Cool is rife with drama, jealousy, and betrayal, and all Chili needs to do is survive to make a new box-office hit.
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