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Gatsby's Vineyard

Overview

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

“Maxwell manages a slam-bang climax...and the California wine business background is unusual and entertaining.”—Publishers Weekly

“Evokes with grace, elegance and love the colors, smells and sounds of Napa Valley wine-making.”—Vanity Fair

“By far [Maxwell's] ...

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Overview

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

“Maxwell manages a slam-bang climax...and the California wine business background is unusual and entertaining.”—Publishers Weekly

“Evokes with grace, elegance and love the colors, smells and sounds of Napa Valley wine-making.”—Vanity Fair

“By far [Maxwell's] best, a California thriller with very realcharacters and dialogue and a violent, unexpected ending you won't soon forget.”—Palo Alto Times Tribune

Back in print, the third Fiddler & Fiora crime novel.

Five months into their rekindled relationship, Fiddler and his blonde dynamo of an ex-wife Fiora find themselves in Napa Valley wine country. It's there that Fiddler gets drawn into former flame Sandra's vineyard woes. A run of bad luck and bad business might seem like coincidence, but when a rare and deadly parasite suddenly infests all the best vineyards—Sandra's included—the entre valley's industry is counting on Fiddler and Fiora for help.

A. E. Maxwell is the pseudonym of Ann and Evan Maxwell. Ann is now best known as New York Times bestseller Elizabeth Lowell.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Private eye Fiddler (The Frog and the Scorpion is back in another dandy caper. When his marriage fell apart some years back, Sandra AutreyNapa Valley vinter, cook and lover extraordinaireknew how to put him back on his feet. Now Sandra is in terrible trouble. She's mortgaged the family wine business to the hilt in order to finance a restaurant venture, and things are going very wrong: the help is robbing the till, a chef turns out to be a hepatitis carrier and an arsonist nearly burns the place down. It adds up to a deliberate campaign, Fiddler thinks. Then the phylloxera root louse (the parasite that wiped out the French wine industry a century ago) turns up in the Autrey vineyard, the newspapers broadcast the threatwhich has the potential to destroy Napa Valley's viticultureand the bank threatens to foreclose. But by this time, Fiddler, whose specialty once was the violin and now is fiddling around in other people's business, has taken a hand in the game. Maxwell manages a slam-bang climax here, and the California wine business background is unusual and entertaining. (June 5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385237123
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/1987
  • Series: Fiddler and Fiora Series
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 240

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Lowell

"A. E. Maxwell" is the pseudonym of husband-and-wife writing team, Ann and Evan Maxwell. Ann also writes New York Times best-selling suspense novels under the name "Elizabeth Lowell," most recently, Blue Smoke and Murder.

Biography

Extensive and versatile, Elizabeth Lowell's résumé of titles (in almost every genre) is as long as the list of her various pen names. She's written science fiction, mystery and romance. She's also penned historical fiction and collaborated on a movie novelization. So prolific is Lowell that she and her husband, Evan Maxwell, have had to create a whole raft of pseudonyms for her books.

Her earliest work, from the 1970s, is science fiction and is written under her actual name, Ann Maxwell. The romances she and her husband began writing together in the early '90s are under the same name, because their publisher wanted a female author’s name on the cover. Their Southern California mystery series featuring the divorced lovers Fiddler and Fiora are written under A. E. Maxwell (Ann and Evan), while their joint novelization of the 1992 Val Kilmer movie Thunderheart is under the name Lowell Charters (his middle name and her maiden name.)

Her biggest solo success, the romance novels that have taken her repeatedly to The New York Times bestseller list, are credited to Elizabeth Lowell -- a combination of the couple’s middle names.

Lowell’s romances are noted for their sass and, of course, their sex. But her characterizations, particularly, draw high marks. "Elizabeth Lowell's talent is enormous," wrote The Romance Reader in its review of 1984's Forget Me Not. "She has made a well-deserved name for herself by crafting likable, plucky heroines and enigmatic but intelligent heroes." And, in 1996 the Chicago Tribune wrote, "The protagonist she has chosen for her hardcover debut, Winter Fire could give a Navy SEAL lessons in survival."

Lowell embarked on a popular series in 1997 with the publication of Amber Beach, which introduced readers to the Donovan family, titans in the menacing world of precious gemstones who must dodge murderers, thieves, and power-hungry governments to protect their business. Of the first in the series, Kirkus Reviews wrote, "A romance that offers all the sexual tension, adventure and squishy clichés that fans of the genre could possibly want."

When Lowell was getting started as sci-fi writer Ann Maxwell, she was writing on legal pads while caring for her two young children. Evan was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, covering international crime. In the early 1980s, after he had already collaborated on three mystery novels with Lowell, Maxwell decided to quit daily journalism and write fiction full-time.

The couple has since become a cottage industry of genre fiction operating out of their Seattle-area home. They collaborate on some projects, go solo on others. Lowell has described a seven-day-a week work packed with deadlines, an organized effort that starts out with book outlines that typically take about a month to draft as well as character sketches. Then the writing begins.

"My fiction deals with problems of strength rather than problems of weakness," she told Contemporary Authors. There is no appeal or purpose for me in reading -- or writing -- fiction that portrays incessant, excruciating, and pointless pain in the lives of characters."

Good To Know

Readers are surprised to find out that the books Lowell writes with her husband are true collaborations. "In fact, a lot of people, once they know, say, 'Oh, I know who did this in the book, and I know who did this,' and they're almost invariably wrong," she told the Los Angeles Times.

Two of the most intriguing time periods for Lowell are medieval England and the post-Civil War period in the American West. "In both cases it was a time of expanded possibilities for individuals, regardless of birth or heritage, to create a better life and, ultimately, a better world, from chaos," she told Contemporary Authors.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Ann Maxwell; A .E. Maxwell; Annalise Sun; Lowell Charters
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 5, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      B. A., University of California, 1966

Table of Contents

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