Tuesday, February 17, 2009


*sigh* At long last, the first book of one of my all-time favorite series is back in print! We've just received copies of A. E. Maxwell's Just Another Day in Paradise (978-0-9792709-6-3; paperback; $13)... if you've preordered copies through your favorite booksellers, they should have them in about a week. Along with David Handler's Stewart "Hoagy" Hoag series and the someday-I'll-be-reprinting-it crime masterpiece Stone City (by Mitchell Smith), Maxwell's exciting private eye series is one of the reasons I created Busted Flush Press in the first place... I had to see them live again! Now, as you've probably noticed, I've been a tad slow at getting these (and other) books out... but I seem to have my act together for a change, and the next three Fiddler novels will be published over the next 12 months.

One year after John D. MacDonald's passing and a few years before Randy Wayne White would publish Sanibel Flats, husband-and-wife writing team Ann & Evan Maxwell (under the nom de plume A. E. Maxwell) created failed violinist-turned-P.I. Fiddler. When friends need his special brand of help, he "fiddles" with their problems, aided by his gorgeous financial wizard ex-wife, Fiora, and his electronics genius best bud, Benny... always with, through Fiddler's eyes, insightful musings on Southern California society & culture of that time. Originally published in the late '80s/early '90s -- first by Doubleday, then by Villard -- these books have not been in print for about 15 years. Ann Maxwell has since gone on to recreate herself as best-selling suspense novelist "Elizabeth Lowell" -- with a few of those books echoing the feel of the Fiddlers -- and there hasn't been a Fiddler / Fiora novel since the eighth, 1993's Murder Hurts... but for those of you (especially fans of MacDonald, White, T. Jefferson Parker, Don Winslow, Robert Ferrigno, and Robert Parker!) who haven't yet discovered these Southern California crime novels, here's your chance!

And now, the synopsis of the series debut, Just Another Day in Paradise...

Looking out his window, Fiddler can’t help thinking that California’s Gold Coast is pretty damn close to Paradise, even if that is a cliché. But he’s about to catch a glimpse of the shady side of this sun-drenched Eden, thanks to his ex-wife Fiora, a honey-blonde with a body that won’t quit and a mind to match.

Even though Fiora’s sheets are being warmed by an utterly charming European these days, there are still plenty of times she wants Fiddler by her side. Like when a couple of agents from the U.S. Customs Department start grilling her about the Silicon Valley export business owned by her suddenly unavailable-for-comment twin brother. Danny’s into electronics—the kind that come in miniature chips—but it seems he’s also been dabbling in other, more dangerous, enterprises. With Fiora’s soft spot for her twin offset by Fiddler’s hard head and matching muscles, the pair swing into action, knowing they don’t have much time to save Danny from the feds, from his enemies and, most of all, from himself.

And a few words on the series...

“Fiddler is to California what Spenser is to Boston and Travis McGee is to Florida. Tough, smart guys who know that sometimes, what looks like paradise, is pure hell.”—Paul Levine, best-selling author of Solomon vs. Lord and Illegal
“Unlike too many other fictional PI’s, Fiddler has aged well. So has his ex-wife and occasional bedmate, Fiora, one of the smartest, toughest, sexiest broads in crime fiction. The plots are well-hewn, the dialogue crackling, the bad guys among the very baddest. But the real payoff is A. E. Maxwell’s gimlet-eyed take on California circa 1980s. From the yachty Newport crowd and the oenophiles of Napa to the dream-seeking denizens of L.A., Maxwell’s books provide a sort of literary amber, capturing the scene and saving it for posterity.”—Bob Morris, Edgar Award-nominated author of The Deadly Silver Sea

“A. E. Maxwell wrote one of the smartest, most consistent PI series in recent memory. Big plots, great villains, and a kickass private eye with plenty of humanity. The toughness of Robert B. Parker’s early Spenser novels blended with the wry humor and scope of Ross Thomas. Wholly original, endlessly entertaining. The books of A. E. Maxwell are a forgotten treasure.”
Tim Maleeny, best-selling author of Greasing the Piñata and Jump

“The writing is lean and restrained, and Fiddler... gives Travis McGee a real run for his money.”—Los Angeles Times

“Weary of dreary police procedurals, morally ambiguous cold warriors, hypersensitive and much-too-introspective private eyes? Then you may just be man or woman enough to ride shotgun with A. E. Maxwell’s Fiddler.”—Los Angeles Herald Examiner

“If there is a ‘new’ macho, the epitome would be Fiddler, whose self-possession, subtle wit, electrifying speech, and personal honesty spell good news for mystery readers.”—The Washington Post

Coming soon: An excerpt from Just Another Day in Paradise, an interview with the authors, and more!


Keith Raffel said...

I'm game, David. Will check in with Ed at M is for Mystery.

David Thompson said...

Thanks, Keith!

Neil said...

These are gorgeous covers. Makes me want to read. Save me some and I'll pick em up when I'm down there for my signing in June!