Night and Day

John Leslie, Author, William Grose, Editor
John Leslie, Author, William Grose, Editor Atria Books $20 (256p) ISBN 978-0-671-86422-4
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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. (Apr.)
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