Leslie, John

Gideon Lowry Mystery
Cover Image Killing Me Softly (1994)
From Library Journal
From the author of Killer in Paradise (S. & S., 1990), this title marks the debut of a series featuring Gideon Lowry, an aging, alcoholic, Key West private detective who sidelines as a piano player. Lowry agrees to investigate the unsolved murder of a flirtatious young beauty that occurred while he was in Korea, but when he begins questioning locals, especially natives ("conchs") like himself, warnings fly and doors shut. Gideon's ongoing battle with the bottle and his nostalgia for a disappearing way of life add human interest to a laid-back narrative style.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Night and Day by John Leslie: Book Cover Night and day: A Gideon Lowry mystery (1995)
From Publishers Weekly
Key West's likable, laid-back sleuth Gideon Lowry, introduced in Killing Me Softly, plays jazz piano, has three ex-wives and doesn't spend too much time lusting after women or shooting a big gun. During an island Hemingway festival, Lowry is hired by a hot new singer named Asia to locate her estranged husband, Frank McGuire, who once wrote about the island's most famous resident. Lowry finds the writer, who has adopted a boozing and brawling Papa-like persona, but the next day learns that McGuire was shot to death at the Hemingway House pool. Subsequent sleuthing connects McGuire to plans for revitalizing the Hemingway Museum and to a suspect oil company, which the dead man had long been investigating and which had a role in Asia's career too. Lowry's loneliness permeates this well-constructed tale, imbuing it with a listless quality of its own. Leslie (Killer in Paradise) depicts the local color with an unexpectedly pale palette; although Lowry seems a true Conch, he doesn't give us a Conch's eye view of his setting. Rights: Loretta Barrett Books.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Cover Image
Love for Sale (1997)
From Library Journal
Gideon Lowry, one of the better sundrenched Florida private investigators, becomes involved in another Key West murder case after meeting a woman through an escort service. The woman turns up dead shortly after telling Lowry about a piece of salvaged Spanish treasure in her possession. The latest installment (since Night and Day, LJ 3/1/95) in a good series.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Cover Image
Blue Moon (1998)
From Publishers Weekly
The fourth Gideon Lowry mystery (following Love for Sale, 1997) follows the Key West PI on a quest to protect a beautiful woman in an adventure as low-key, upright and effective as the piano-playing shamus himself. Lowry may be a portly 60-year-old with colitis, but his affair 15 years earlier with chef Gabriella Wade remains a bright and warming memory. After Gaby asks him to look into the background of her new fiance, Lowry uses all his skills to find out the truth about slick Roy Emerson, whose business is vaguely described as making deals and bringing people together, and to whom the PI takes an instinctive dislike. Meanwhile, someone is trying to buy out the businesspeople and homeowners on Lowry's block to make room for yet another shopping mall. After the Cuban grocery next door is torched by an arsonist and the house Lowry has lived in for 30 years is damaged, he also starts looking for treacherous real estate schemers. Leslie juggles his subplots adroitly, neatly bringing them together in a satisfying conclusion to this tale of rampant tourism and corruption in Key West. Although less frenetic and flamboyant than the Florida noir of Carl Hiaasen, James W. Hall or Elmore Leonard, Leslie's latest delivers an atmospheric, thoughtful South Florida mystery.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Lodestar Project (1986)

Blood on the Keys (1988)
Cover Image Bounty Hunter Blues (1990)
He was the three hundred-pound son of a mobster caught in the beginning of a blood feud. For two days he'd been running broads up to a killer named Brown - then he walked into the middle of a fatal shootout... Bounty hunter Craig Chappell had a personal score to settle with Brown - but the fat boy got in the way. Now the Mob is involved, Brown is on the loose and Chappell has the murdered boy's family to answer to. From the snows of Montreal to the swamps of south Florida, Chappell and Brown are hunters - and the hunted - in a deadly swirl of organized crime gone mad. A strong, beautiful, soul-scarred woman is the only thing that stands between them. Death is all that lies ahead, when you've got the... BOUNTY HUNTER BLUES.

Killer in Paradise (1990)

Damaged Goods (1993)
Former football player and former cop Harry Molina tangles with a fierce killer and some dangerous strangers. By the author of Bounty Hunter Blues and Blood on the Keys.
Cover Image Havana Hustle (1994)
In the land of swaying palms and preying punks, trying to catch a kingpin could mean catching hell... Dealing with criminals his way led Tony Harwood to a parting of the ways with Miami cops. Now he's trying to make it as a private eye in the funky Florida Keys - and gaining a reputation for getting results...his way. Ramon Marquesa has a reputation, too. As the scion of South Florida's most powerful family, and the untouchable brother of a political strongman, he's got a stranglehold on Key West that can't be broken. But now he's frantic to hide the only witness who can prove his guilt in a cold-blooded drive-by shooting. Prosecuting for the State Attorney's office, Kay Fulton needs the Marquesa conviction to keep her from abandoning her own convictions about the law, life, and love. That's why she turns to Tony Harwood. But finding the key witness in Key West will mean penetrating the sun, surf, and sub-machine gun subculture of the island's Cubano community - where everyone, cops included, mambos to Ramon Marquesa's tune. That means Tony Harwood will have to play hardball...or die hard.

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