Created by A.E. Maxwell (Ann and Evan Maxwell)

Another one-named P.I. who managed quite a following for a while is FIDDLER, whose stomping ground is the sunny climes of southern California. It’s there that he’s set himself up as a somewhat low-key, yet quite lethal troubleshooter and sometime-investigator. He’s a big lug, 6’2″, with a checkered past that includes stints as a journalist, ne-er-do-well and drug smuggler. But when his partner in his drug smuggling days, his beloved Uncle Jake, was killed, Fiddler took that as a sign to leave that particular profession.

He took a steamer trunk full of their ill-gotten gains, and had it invested by his ex-wife and sometime-lover Fiora (aka known as Fiona, thanks to a birth certificate typo), she of the honey-blonde hair and reputation as a shrewd investment banker.

Fiora must have invested wisely, because now Fiddler hardly has to work at all. He only takes cases that interest him. Still, he manages to keep busy. Once upon a time he contented himself trying to become a musician (guess which instrument gave him his nickname?), but now he contents himself with “fiddling with the world’s distribution of good and bad luck.”

Fiddler and Fiora’s home base is in Crystal Cove, just outside of Los Angeles, but they seem to get around, and they usually seem to find trouble wherever they go. Their adventures have taken them to Mexico, Santa Fe and the Pacific Northwest.

A.E. Maxwell is the joint pseudonym used by husband-and-wife writers Evan and Ann Maxwell. Ann (and sometimes Evan) also write romantic suspense as Elizabeth Lowell and Ann Maxwell. In fact, when the Fiddler novels were (finally!) reissued in the 2000s,  they were billed as by “Elizabeth Lowell, writing as A.E. Maxwell.”


  • “Tremendous site; very enjoyable. But relative to the above, some of the comments don’t do the series justice. Although the Maxwells had a tendency toward ad nauseam overkill in Fiddler’s evocation of life’s finer things: his ex-wife’s BMW and Suburban, his Cobra, wine, art, et al; the series on the whole was well-written with an interesting supporting cast. One very important comment: Fiddler’s ex is FIORA, not Fiona, the result of a mistake on her birth certificate. I also think the series should have continued with each book published as “A Fiddler Novel,” rather than, as later marketed, “A Fiddler and Fiora Novel.” Fiddler was better as a violent-yet-compassionate loner, inevitably mixed up with Fiora, than as some yuppie version of Nick and Nora Charles.”
    H. Kelly Levendorf, Ft. Lauderdale, FL by way of Weirton, WV, a one-time stomping ground of Burke)

    • “Damn, you’re right, it’s Fiora, not Fiona. I’ve corrected it, and now I’m off to write it on the blackboard a few hundred times.”
      — the editor
  • “I have fond memories of the Fiddler and Fiora novels, even if former smuggler and sometime private eye Fiddler (whose first name was never revealed, and whose moniker may in fact have derived from his onetime fondness for a certain stringed musical instrument) could be rather inhumanly tough at times; and even though “torchy” Fiora’s evolutionary re-entry into her ex’s life meant that Fiddler’s sexy dalliances with other women ended after a few installments of this series.”
    — J. Kingston Pierce (October 2006, The Rap Sheet)


  • Besides Fiona (Ooops! Fiora) and their on-again, off-again relationship, Fiddler’s only other passion seems to be his 427-cubic inch dark blue Ford Cobra. Vroom, vroom.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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