The Gideon Lowry Key West Mysteries: Box Set

Narrated by: David A. Wood
Length: 26 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Killing Me Softly introduces Key West private eye Gideon Lowry, who moonlights as a piano player at a local jazz club. When Virginia Murphy shows up one night to ask him to investigate her sister's death 40 years earlier, Gideon is led down the darker side of memory lane where secrets linger. Some are buried as deeply as the paradise that was once Key West, now entombed in concrete.

Key West's Hemingway Days is in full swing in Night and Day, when Gideon is pulled into the world of a famous nightclub singer known only as Asia. In search of her estranged husband, Frank Maguire, Asia hires Gideon to find him. A writer, Maguire is lost in the reverie of his obsession with Hemingway. It's the easiest 1,000 bucks Gideon's made, but keeping Maguire alive proves impossible. Caught at the wrong end of a 12-gauge shotgun, Maguire's exit is either suicide of murder. Gideon vows to uncover the truth even if it runs against the tide of the almighty tourist trade.

In Love for Sale, marriage is in the air. First, Just Watson, a reclusive circuit judge and Gideon's distant cousin, announces his wedding. A few days later, an old flame calls Gideon to say that she's also getting married. Amidst all the romance, Gideon is caught up in the death of a young woman who was working for a local escort service. Katy Morgan is a fragile reminder of his long-lost youth. When she's found dead in a seedy trailer park, he seeks justice in a case that will lead him through a tangled web of deceit in the lucrative treasure salvage industry whose poisonous tentacles seem to touch everyone.

Trying to save his home and neighborhood from ruthless developers in Blue Moon, Gideon gets caught up in a case that will take him from Key West to the Wild West. After a suspicious fire nearly destroys his home, Gideon suspects that real estate magnate Fred Pacey may have resorted to arson. Pacey's right-hand man is Roy Emerson, a newcomer to Key West, who has a history of marrying rich women who later die in questionable accidents. And when Emerson pursues Gideon's old friend, Gabriella Wade, the hunt is on to find out the truth before Gaby can become Emerson's next prey. A trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, reveals Roy's MO, and Gideon returns to Key West in time for Fantasy Fest in a desperate effort to save Gaby.

©2018 John Leslie (P)2018 John Leslie

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Atmospheric private detective mysteries..........

This box set of Gideon Lowry mysteries consists of four stories featuring a private detective living and working in Key West, Florida in the early 1990's. Although each book features a different mystery for Gideon Lowry to solve, they build on each other in both the character development and the overall mood of the Keys during that period of history. Gideon Lowry is a very complex man haunted by the sins of his past. The first book in the series is especially dark due to Lowry's rampant alcoholism, but the following three books each get a little lighter in tone as he becomes sober and, consequently, less depressed.

In addition to the atmospheric and quaint descriptions of both Key West and the multiple-generation locals that are Lowry's neighbors and friends, the author pens four intriguing mysteries. I was surprised in all four books by the motives, guilty parties and outcomes. If you are a fan of the fairly gritty, Southern Gothic mystery genre, this box set is a must listen.

David Wood does an amazing job with the narration. His performance was absolutely flawless, and his portrayal of Lowry couldn't have better suited his personality. Wood used the perfect level of emotion for all moods and scenes of the books, and his voice made these great books even more enjoyable.

I received a copy of this audiobook at my request in exchange for this honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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Riveting!

My favorite of the 4 books was Blue Moon. It was tense throughout. Well-written.

David Wood did an excellent job of narrating! He IS Gideon Lowry.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Meet Gideon Lowry - Private Detective in Key West

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I enjoyed this audiobook box set during my drive times to and from work. The books are quick and entertaining. Gideon manages to solve the mystery no matter what curve balls come at him.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gideon Lowry Key West Mysteries: Box Set?

I was caught off guard by the backstory on Roy, Gaby's finance. I never suspected he might be involved in the untimely deaths of his past girlfriends and wives.

Which character – as performed by David A. Wood – was your favorite?

Gideon Lowry was my favorite character - with Gaby being a close second. David A. Wood gives the aging detective a rich, strong voice with a tone that hints at the battles he's faced throughout his life.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

From the first story.....I kept thinking......

“This author writes similar to J.L.Burke, but not with the same nuanced flair J.L.B. has.”


Then in the last story he mention Detective Dave Robicheaux…sooo…uuuhhhhh…..J.L.B…is this YOU??????
The author does a pretty good job with his narrative of New Orleans, if you read J.L.B. at all….you'll get the gist of my thought process here, ha ha.

If you are a J.L.B. fan, there's a pretty good chance you will find this collections worth the listen.


I really enjoy an author who can describe a local and nail it like they know it as they weave the rest of the story. This author has to be at least semi familiar with the Keys and Keys West. He's got a well informed and interesting bird's eye view of the Conch community a/k/a Key West natives.

I have spent a considerable amount of time in the Keys, some time in Key West and he has nailed the area and the people, sadly this is the late 90’s version of Key West which no longer exists and that really is sad. If you read this and go looking for the Key West “Bud” lives in…it ain’t there no more.

He does a superb job fleshing out the Hemingway fervor /furor but even that has waned over the years.

Fantasy Fest is something else. Having stumbled into the event by accident one year, then going back the next year cuz we had such a good time by accident, I had chuckled every time “Bud” talks about that shindig. It is a site to be seen and experienced ( but only by the brave of heart and a really open mind...but hey that's Key West overall!!)

He may not have J.L.B’s nuance skills, but he does have a fairly vivid knack for capturing a Key West that used to be.

Something about the narrator annoyed me, I felt like he had the same voice of the voice-over guy from the film strips I had to sit thru in school, back in the 70's. Not so much it kept me from listening, tho.


Overall the stories in this collection are okay, not great, but not so bad I regret using the credit. I listened while I was having to make some trips from New Orleans to North Mississippi over a couple of weeks, helped 19 hours total drive time I had to make, pass quicker.

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Key West Noir Mysteries

What a wonderful set of mysteries! Low-key and well-narrated by voice artist David A. Wood, the mood of Key West is captured over a period of growth and change from a sleepy fishing village into tourist dreams. While knowledge of previous books is useful for the larger arc of the characters, each tale stands alone.
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***Killing Me Softly (Gideon Lowry #1)***
Set in the '90s, author Gideon Lowry manages to turn his Key West Conch, piano-playing detective into a noir figure, evoking the redneck underbelly overlayed by the touristy glitter made even more popular by Jimmy Buffet.
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***Night and Day (Gideon Lowry #2)***
The legendary Ernest Hemingway and the Key West writers' colony become characters as our noir detective Gideon comes to terms with his alcoholism while discovering who killed his client's husband.
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***Love For Sale (Gideon Lowry #3)***
With each story I become more enamored of Gideon "Bud" Lowry and his personal sense of fair play. Voice artist David Wood has become Bud while providing distinctive tones for each of the other characters as one becomes immersed in the narrative. In this tale we discover some of the intricacies of treasure hunting and modern pirates as we explore the nuances of various family relationships.
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***Blue Moon (Gideon Lowry #4)***
Could the suspect be a serial killer? A greedy developer doesn't want to wait to take over Duvall Street, including Gideon's house and office.

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Great stories series about detective.

Great series well written and narrated. I hope there are more books coming. My favorite genre, mystery thrillers .

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These Are My People

These series was incredibly well written and the narration was fantastic!

The series begins by sharing with you about Gideon Lowry, aka Butch, who is a private detective in Key West, who sometimes plays the piano in the evenings at some local bars, to help supplement his income. The Lowry family as known as "conchs" since they are originally (at least his father was) from Key West and not a transplant. Butch feels a loyalty to "his people" those who are originals in his area and doesn't like the change that is going on around him. One night, while playing piano in a bar, he meets Ms. Virginia Murphy, who comes to hire Lowry to find out who killed her sister many years previously.......as Gideon gets closer to the truth of this death, the less he likes what he sees. This also comes to light in the next couple of books, as each person that he knew, loved and trusted is not what they seem.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom

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Fast paced and gritty !

Great thriller with lots of twists and turns. The characters were well-developed. The story line moved quickly and was easy to follow. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

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Compelling Private Investigator Series

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily leaving this review and all opinions expressed herein are my own.

This series is written for lovers of Sam Spade, Phillip Marlowe, Mike Hammer -- detectives who are a bit self-destructive, have a good heart and always morally on the right side. Gideon Lowry has a talent for playing the piano in a Key West bar -- a small town where everyone knows everyone. Gideon, a veteran of the Korean War and multiple marriages, is also a hard drinker who is a part-time private investigator.

The first book is Killing Me Softly. Gideon is approached by Virginia, the sister of one of his high school classmates. She asks Gideon to investigate her sister's death, which occurred 40 years ago. The book takes place in the early 90's, so this is a really cold case. As Gideon begins to investigate, his trip down memory lane causes him to revisit his own family history and come to terms with some of the causes of his own shortcomings. This is a somewhat dark moody book -- where you can literally picture yourself sitting at the bar in Key West as Gideon is tickling the ivories. I also enjoyed the several literary references - and of course, Ernest Hemingway gets a mention. There is tremendous growth of Gideon's character from the beginning of the book to the end of the book. The mystery is very interesting and keeps you guessing until the end.

The second book is Night and Day. Gideon is working at a piano bar in Key West when Asia, a famous singer but completely unknown to Gideon, walks in and sings with him. She then hires him to find her long lost husband so that she can obtain a divorce. But, as soon as Gideon locates him [during an Ernest Hemingway festival], he gets murdered and Asia is a possible suspect. This book is atmospheric and really transports you to another time. It is well written and moves along at a good pace. I really like Gideon, character flaws and all.

The third book is Love for Sale. Gideon learns that his former GF [or maybe just the person who got him through a tough time] is getting married and not to him. So, he turns to a paid female companion to get him through the night. She then hires Gideon because she has a chalice which was recovered from a shipwreck. When Gideon arrives for their appointment, he finds her dead. On top of this, Gideon's friend Justice is also getting married but ...who is this the bride? and is she right for Justice? This series continues to deliver and is just so good. It is atmospheric -- where you can imagine you are sitting in a smokey bar room and listening to this story as you listen to some smooth jazz from the piano and drink a nice dry martini.

The fourth book is Blue Moon. This is the last book in the Gideon Lowry series and in my opinion, although I enjoyed them all, this one was the best and wrapped up the series well. Gideon's Key West is changing. The street where he lives and has his office is up for redevelopment to accommodate the tourist trade. Gideon's long ago love interest Gabby has gotten engaged but, oddly, her fiance Roy will not consent to be tested for a genetic disease which would be passed to their children, if he is also positive. Gabby wants to be sure about Roy and to find out his reasons for not testing so she asks Gideon to do some snooping. Just as he is about to start investigating Roy, his office and the market next door burn down in a suspected arson.

I really enjoyed the character development of Gideon throughout the series. The stories, tone and atmosphere of the books are compelling with interesting supporting characters [conchs] and of course, Key West - a character on its own.

The narrator, David Wood, is the voice of Gideon. His deep voice just sings and resonates perfectly with this hardboiled detective story. As he began to narrate, I immediately pictured Humphrey Bogart [Sam Spade] in the Maltese Falcon. As Sam Spade said, "When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it." And like it, I did.

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GREAT READ!

Killing Me Softly, my first read from author John Leslie & the first book in The Key West Mysteries.
Night & Day my second read from author John Leslie & the second book in The Key West Mysteries.
Love For Sale My third read from author John Leslie & the third book in The Key West Mysteries.
Blue Moon my fourth read from author John Leslie & the fourth book in The Key West Mysteries was well-written & enjoyable, a tale well-woven over the entire length of the book, the suspense building throughout. An enjoyable series, I look forward to reading the next book in it. Over 1000 pages & more than 26 hours of narration, narrator David Woods’ narration adds greatly to the enjoyment of the series. I was given an Audible copy of this box set & am voluntarily reviewing it. (RIP Marley January 20, 2014 - July 24, 2018).