Though it had to be, what a shame to end the series on such a downbeat note, with Steve Carella's little April, once the apple of his eye, turning into a gang girl, and her opposite number, the boy twin, becoming a snitch, a rat, of the worst description, telling on April as soon as it's convenient. Those twins once were the highwater mark of cute kids in the detective novel, now they're just like slimy movie kids. Their mother seems incapable of keeping up with the changes puberty brings. Yes, she can sign "No drugs!" as loudly as she can, and it may work the first time, but eventually the kids will do their own thing, rebelling against the unusual home setup (obsessed cop dad and signing Mom) and wanting to be like other more normal families.
However, Ed McBain's tragic death deprives us of resolution, and I expect something in the man delighted in this, for he had a pretty good opinion of himself and, much like you and I, considered himself one of the great American novelists. Irreplaceable. I for one don't want any V C Andrews scam occurring to the 87th Precinct series. We loved him for his writing pure and simple.
FIDDLERS is pretty good and it's miles better than that wretched book where Ollie Weeks was writing a novel, remember that? Its lame parody of bad writing, presented in standard 87th Precinct facsimile form? Yikes was that awful. This one is much better, and although the actial revenge plot borrows quite a bit from Cornell Woolrich's two 1940s thrillers THE BRIDE WORE BLACK and RENDEZVOUS IN BLACK, the addition of the red-headed prostitute, Reggie, turns the human interest up a notch, so we become interested in the unlikely pairing of serial killer and call girl.
Why "FIDDLERS" though? OK, the first victim played the violin. Maybe there's some larger, overarching metaphor here. Funny thing that FIDDLERS should be Ed McBain's last book, while FIDDLERS THREE was the last play that Agatha Christie wrote. Nothing but a coincidence, but I'm just saying.