-Ashok Shenolikar, Author of What Did You Say Your Name Was?
Leonard Seet brings his intelligence and wit and gifts as a writer to a broader audience in "Magnolias in Paradise" in a gritty, realistic novel... narrative style... reminiscent of the narrative technique of "As I Lay Dying" and "Charming Billy." Mainstream audiences will appreciate the intelligence of the narrative of this book in this genre, which is so often short-changed by lesser lights just out to make a buck. Seet has reinvented himself as a writer in his evolution from his deeply rich, engaging and inspirational books about spirituality to the rough ride on the mean streets of "Magnolias in Paradise." ...you'll definitely be engaged by this novel.
-David Lentz, author Bloomsday: the Bostoniad
In Paradise, No One is Innocent
Ernst arrives at the Paradise train station with fifty-thousand dollars to ransom his sweetheart, and while looking among the crowd for the young man with a magnolia, a beggar seizes his bag of cash and escapes through the revolving door. Chasing after the rascal, he slams into his contact--his girlfriend's lover in town. Now, he must beat his love-rival to the money and rescue her before the deadline.
Magnolias in Paradise, which writer David Lentz compared to William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, is a crime novel and the first in a potential series. As in Larry Brown’s Father and Son, good confronts evil in a southern town. And as in Joe R. Lansdale’s Cold in July, an ordinary man gets sucked into a conspiracy, with psychopaths terrorizing a small town and FBI agents going after a corrupt sheriff. In the end, the man must take the law into his hands. But in this case, ending in tragedy. Here, he combined Will Christopher Baer’s surreal settings and mentally unstable villains, with Brian Evenson’s literary minimalism and heroes cursing their knowledge.