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Leather Maiden

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,329 ratings  ·  149 reviews
A masterly new thriller from the Edgar Awardwinning writer who has a folklorists eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteurs sense of pace (The New York Times Book Review).

After a scandalous affair costs him his job in Houston, Cason StatlerGulf War veteran and Pulitzer Prizenominated journalistreturns home to the small east Texas town of Camp Rapture. Cason is a
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Knopf (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,329 ratings  ·  149 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Cason Statler has come home to the small east Texas town of Camp Rapture. He saw military action in the Gulf War and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize at a newspaper in Houston. He pissed his chance at the big time away when he was bonking his editor's wife and step-daughter (she was of age). So he applies for a job at the local newspaper and is hired on. Cason has a tad bit of a problem with being obsessed with an ex-girlfriend who live in town.
"I'm obsessed. That I have problems from the
Dan Schwent
Jun 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lansdale, hick-lit
For me, a Joe Lansdale novel is like a visit from that foul-mouthed uncle your parents wish you wouldn't talk to when he comes to family gatherings. The stories he tells are outside your normal sphere and often make you uncomfortable.

Leather Maiden is about an Iraq war veteran who returns to his home town and starts a job writing for the local paper. He finds out about an unsolved missing person case that happened while he was gone and writes a story about it. Not long after, a mysterious
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Another fantastic novel from Lansdale!
Anthony Vacca
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
After loving the badassitude of Cold In July, I figured Id go straight to the movies source and read a novel by Joe Lansdale. But Leather Maiden was not the brutally violent and slick redneck neo-noir that I was hankering for. Besides loving the books cover, I found the rest of the reading experience like waiting for an undercooked meal to get better. There were a lot of promising ingredients piled into the proverbial crock pota haunted Iraq veteran returning to his small town hometown, his ...more
Jonathan Janz
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Joe R. Lansdale is one of the greatest writers alive. He's a genre all his own, and LEATHER MAIDEN is another excellent entry into his diverse canon of work. The protagonist (Cason Statler) is an emotionally-wounded, self-sabotaging Iraq war vet who's a good deal smarter and tougher than the reporters, professors, and lowlifes he encounters. Until, that is, he encounters a couple of villains so diabolical that you begin to fear for Cason and everyone he loves. There's hilarious dialogue, a truly ...more
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
A brutal redneck crime story with memorable villians and plenty of dark humor. In other words, another Joe Lansdale book.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
The book got interesting at about page 96 then went character bizarre a-la a Dan Brown novel by page 124. Tarzan shows up around the time the Zombie vampires put in an appearance. I think it would have worked better if Cheeta' had called Tarzan instead of him just showing up. It could have been a good mystery without the over-the-top freakish personages.
Shemp DeYoung
Aug 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Reading this book was a peculiar experience for me. It was a page-turner. There was a really clever mystery that was solved. But in the end, I felt more that a little less than satisfied. I'm not entirely sure why though.

I think I'm going to have to let my thoughts simmer a little bit and write more later.

* OK, I took a shower (I do some of my best thinking in there) and I think that I have it. *

** Possible SPOILERS **

When I finished this book, I felt hollow inside. I had witnessed a fast-paced
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Do not read this if your favorites are cozy mystery. This is probably closer to the exact opposite in the overall mystery genre. It's a man's story, a troubled Iraq vet comes home to Texas. And there are a few characters in this one that do not even think in a language that does not contain 5 bleeps a sentence. So it will certainly not be for anyone who cannot tolerate that for a good story.

And beyond that, the violence is also horrific. Closer to a Scandinavian or mob mess than to a shoot em
The first Lansdale book I read was The Bottoms. That book doesnt contain much of the authors signature humor, so I was glad to see it in this book. Unfortunately it pretty much peters out after the first 50 pages or so. The story was good though, if a bit predictable at times. Its essentially the story of a mysterious murder that has ever-widening aftershocks for the townspeople of Camp Rapture, TX, and for the protagonist, in particular. Cason is an ex-writer, ex-soldier who has come home ...more
Nathan Flamank
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is Lansdale at his very best: gritty, barbaric, funny, shocking and compulsive. Lansdale is head and shoulders above his peers and in this novel he has created another dark slice of pure Texas mayhem.
The characters are believable and the dialogue crackles along like a bush-fire with some of the funniest lines ever to be printed.
This is the perfect example of what Lansdale does best and is the perfect example of why, in my opinion, he's currently the best crime writer in the States.
Daniel Sevitt
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the reasons I like a series is that there is an understanding, for the most part, that the good guys will still be alive at the end of the book. When you read a standalone like this there is a sense of dread that anything can happen, anyone can die. At least with a first-person narrator there's one guy you feel sure will make it. It it's still scary. I enjoyed this, sense of dread notwithstanding. Not quite as funny as other Lansdales, but just as disturbed.
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Joe writes up a pretty good mystery with The Leather Maiden. Stir that in with plenty of very dry and sometimes biting humor and this one comes out like a nice Frito pie. And just like Frito pie, Joe himself is a Texas specialty that may rub some folks in the wrong way. I happen to enjoy his writing style and really enjoyed the easy smooth pace of this tale. Some things may be a bit obvious and the ending may be a bit scripted but I am always happy to sit down to a nice big helping of Lansdale ...more
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-fiction
Normally I enjoy Lansdales books, but this one disappointed me. It was too gruesome in some places, and Im afraid the psychotic friend who loves weapons and pops up just in time to help the protagonist has been done to death in crime fiction books. Also the authors excessive use of "down-home" similes was getting to me after a while. The story itself was fine, but I dont think the author developed the main characters enough. Good enough for a quick read if you like this type of story, but ...more
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it
A down and almost out newspaper journalist is looking for a job. He lost a good job in Houston as the result of his screwing up royally. He returns to his hometown in east Texas and finds a job as a reporter at the local newspaper. While going through his predecessor's notes he learns of an unsolved cold case murder. It piques his interest and as he follows the trail it leads into a quagmire of inexplicable events. Mr. Lansdale has a fertile mind and introduces us to some very interesting ...more
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ah-deadly, yikes
Aha! All the books I've read lately haven't been too great, and here I thought it was my poor attitude that made it so. Turns out I just haven't been reading the right books! I sat down with this around five in the afternoon and didn't put it down til I finished it around 10:30. This book is gruesome & hilarious, if a book can be both things simultaneously. Thank you, Joe Lansdale, for breaking my slump.
Lee Thompson
I went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars on this one. I'll go with 3.5. The first 60 pages are slathered in clichés. But after that the story really starts rolling. It's a predictable story if you pay attention, but the pacing is great and it's pretty funny in spots.
Karin Wollina
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I`ve listened to the audiobook. That was an breath-stealing book with psychopaths you wouldn`t believe. But it cements my opinion once more that Mr. Lansdale is an autobuy for me.
highly recommendable !
Travis Heermann
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
No one has mastered the sweet spot of laugh out loud funny mixed with cringe-worthy grotesquerie better than Joe Lansdale. I laughed a lot and ate this book up.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was awesome seeing where some great side characters from Hap and Leonard (Booger being one of my favorites) came from. Great tight mystery/suspense novel.
Robert Beveridge
Joe R. Lansdale, Leather Maiden (Knopf, 2008)

I love Joe Lansdale's work. Have for almost thirty years, since I first started reading his stories in the long-defunct Twilight Zone magazine. But every once in a while I forget how enjoyable his work is and don't pick up a Lansdale for three or four years. Then I read one and wonder how I ever let myself go that long without his stuff. I just finished Leather Maiden last night, and what do you know, there's that feeling again.

Cason Statler is a
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Like most of Lansdales book it's a keeper. He can really turn a page and this is a good example of his work. I liked it very much and everyone should read it. Not going to get into the story but trust me if you like a good book this is one.

May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lansdale delivers every time with a great story, story and interesting characters. Some evil bad guys keep you on your seat. Humor jumps out at you unexpectedly and makes you laugh out loud. Great author.
Newton Wise
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Boy, do I love Lansdale. I started reading this with a hangover, meaning only to check out a couple of pages, and ended up putting everything else on the back burner. just the right amounts of pulp and noir and mystery and action.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In all of my Joe Lansdale reviews, I comment that he can really spin a tale. I have read "The Bottoms' and "Thicket' and enjoyed them both. Lansdale's strength is his character development and his sense of place in the Southern noir landscape. "Leather Maiden' is my favorite Lansdale book so far. While the other Lansdale books I have read were set in Depression era rural Texas, "Leather Maiden " is a contemporary piece, but once again set in a rural Texas college town. The protagonist, Cason ...more
Suz Jay
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
...Everyone loses but the rats and the cockroaches and humankind continues its slow march to oblivion, but with a wide variety of ice-cream flavors and television shows to choose from What would really straighten the human race out is a good plague.

Cason left the military with a ton of mental scars and his own personal psychopath in best buddy Booger. After a series of poor decisions leave him jobless, he returns to his hometown to drown his sorrows, attempt to win back the heart of an
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great mystery but kind of tame for Joe R. Lansdale. This one falls more into the "traditional" style than most of Lansdale's stuff, other than some smart alecky comments from the main character (Iraq war vet Cason Statler) and some colorful turns-of-phrase it doesn't have the usual absurdist quality of most of the author's other work.

The cliche of the cranky small town newspaper publisher who has seen it all is brilliantly turned on its head by making the character a hard-nosed old woman who is
Grumpy Old Man
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-killer
Not one of the best Lansdale books, but an entertaining one nonetheless. The story is captivating and you want to find out more. The characters are likable enough specially Booger who I knew already from other Lansdale books. But I didn't like the ending. There was no real suspense to it and was a bit too fast in my opinion (view spoiler). All in all it was another ...more
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another solid, well-told murder mystery from Joe R. Lansdale.
This one reminds me of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels: war vet protagonist with a head full of nightmares and a drinking problem, a bigger-than-life sidekick who enjoys sticking it to the bad guys without much regard for the law, and some innocent, sympathetic characters who, of course, come close to meeting their ends at the hands of brutally violent, profoundly deranged killers.
It's a time honored mix that provides a
Rob Ail
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
From what I've read you have to set aside reality and just go with it with Lansdale. There's always plot holes and people act in very unbelievable ways. This one is a little too out there. A very slow beginning that was hard to get through. The ending was just too much; if you make it that far I'm not sure how you can't laugh at it.
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Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in more than two dozen short-story collections, and he has edited or ...more

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