“Gideon Lowry inhabits a world of endings. Killing Me Softly is a dark walk under the Florida sun.”
--Barry Gifford, Wild at Heart
Gideon Lowry -- full-time Conch, part-time piano player, and sometime P.I. -- delves once again into the treacherous undercurrents of his native Key West when an untimely murder rocks the town's most spirited literary festival, Hemingway Days.
Key West P.I. Gideon Lowry plays the piano to make ends meet. When a client meets a violent end, however, he plays a different tune -- and murder is only the first note.
John Leslie's mysteries featuring Key West P.I. Gideon Lowry have been hailed for their "lively pacing" (Chicago Tribune) and "riveting twists" (Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel). Now, as the sultry Florida sun sets in the fourth suspense-charged novel, romance and intrigue heat up -- and someone's going to get burned.
The sunsets are spectacular. The parties are notorious. The nights are deadly. A tough Chicago cop in a millionaires' ghetto -- tracking a serial killer.
Craig Chappell had a personal score to settle, but a three hundred-pound son of a mobster got in the way. From the snows of Montreal to the swamps of south Florida, Chappell and the killer 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.

Quick Links


Hail to the Chief
Hail to the Chief – a political thrill ride as current as today’s headlines. President-elect Maggie Mathews—the first woman voted into the nation's highest office—is felled by a ruptured brain aneurysm just 10 days before her inauguration. While she lies in a coma, her vice-president-elect attempts to conceal his past, and with help from chief of staff Bruce “Skeeter” Jamison, he gambles he can keep his dark secret from coming to light. But Maggie's husband, the former secretary of state who schemes to seize the reins of power for himself, has other ideas.

Killing Me Softly
As Raymond Chandler did with Los Angeles, and Dashiell Hammett with San Francisco, John Leslie re-creates the town of Key West through the jaded sensibilities of an unforgettable P.I. – in this case, Gideon Lowry, a Conch with a penchant for rum and soda, inhabited by his own poignant sense of the past.

Night and Day
A Gideon Lowry Key West mystery

Love For Sale
A Gideon Lowry Key West mystery

Blue Moon
A Gideon Lowry Key West mystery

Damaged Goods
In a land of randomness and sun, mangroves and sizzling highways, the heat is on. Key West after sunset will be deadly dark, and unless Harry takes fast action, no one will make it through the night alive.

Killer in Paradise
Patrick Bowman is a nationally famous homicide detective with one foot in the world of Chicago street crime and another in the glamorous Key West swirl of literary cocktail parties and dangerous upper class liaisons. He's married to a knock-down beautiful fashion model and socialite who loves the Keys -- and now he's come south to recuperate from a nasty gunshot wound.

But amidst the decadent wealth and moonlit beaches, Bowman will have no rest. Someone is murdering runaway girls in Key West, and the police deparment is crumbling from the top. Bowman fins a famous writer with a taste for kinky action, an underworld of teen-age hustlers, a society killing that's too close to home, and the tranvestite sone of the police chief. The grisly deaths are piling up, and suddenly Bowman's got too many people trying to get in his way, and a wife he can no longer trust...

Bounty Hunter Blues
Miami bounty hunter Craig Chappell chases his brother's killer from sunny South Beach to Montreal's snowy streets. The shadow of mafia boss Meyer Lansky hangs over the bloody trail.