The Fiona FitzGerald Mysteries
Who is Fiona FitzGerald?
She is the heroine of Warren Adler’s acclaimed mystery series, which began with American Quartet, chosen by the New York Times as best in its genre for the year it was published.
Since then she has appeared in:
- American Sextet
- Immaculate Deception
- Senator Love
- The Witch of Watergate
- The Ties That Bind
- Death of a Washington Madame
Fiona FitzGerald is the daughter of Senator FitzGerald (D-N.Y.). She is in her mid-thirties and a Sergeant in the Homicide Division of the Metropolitan Washington Police Department.
She has been raised in the heady social circles of the Washington establishment and is familiar with all the important players in government, the Congressional and White House crowd, Ambassadors, and the hard-core members of Washington’s upper crust. Her childhood friends and schoolmates have become important political players. These wide ranging contacts give Fiona enormous access into the behind-the-scenes action that lies beneath the surface of the power structure.
It is a mystery to many of her peers why she has chosen a “blue collar” profession in a mostly black police force. But to her, the reasons are clear. It is her way of fighting injustice and penetrating the facade of chicanery and manufactured imagery that characterizes many in the Washington establishment.
Fiona is also single, though she has had numerous love interests and her relationships between lovers are continuously dissected and explored. She is attractive and tough enough to cope in a macho racist male-dominated world and can operate with equal dispatch in all layers of Washington’s highly structured “class” society. She has not, as yet, been able to establish a truly satisfying relationship with a man, although she is constantly searching for such a permanent relationship.
She is a woman driven by strong passions, both physically and intellectually. Nor does she suffer fools with toleration. She is often outspoken and opinionated and is constantly battling the intrigues of male domination in both her work and social life.
She lives in a beautiful house in Washington and is in demand as a date by important Washington types. Because of her political background, she has enormous insight into the machinations of “power-people” — their foibles and motivations, their obsessions and vulnerabilities– insight that assists her enormously in her crime solving activities.
Because she is so tied in with the establishment, she is, invariably, charged by her superiors to solve those crimes which deal with people in high places. She has had a number of partners, both male and female, all richly characterized. She has a special relationship with her boss, the over-worked “eggplant,” whom she both admires, reviles, and ultimately respects. Her closest friend and confidant is the Chief Pathologist of the Washington MPD, an older black man and a widower, who helps her deal with and understand her deeper impulses.
In American Quartet, she unravels the mystery of a serial killer, an important society figure, whose modus operandi is to replicate the assassinations of four American Presidents. It ends in a pulse tingling climax in the Kennedy Center as the killer attempts to imitate the killing of President Lincoln.
In American Sextet, she discovers that a journalist is manipulating a young woman into blackmailing members of the power structure, including a Supreme Court Justice, a Congressman, Senator, and a high White House official. The young woman is found dead at the foot of the Duke Ellington Bridge, one of Washington’s landmarks.
In Immaculate Deception, she discovers the truth about an apparent suicide of a pregnant and soon-to-be divorced Senator who is an important pro-life voice in America. Her investigation not only takes her behind the scenes in Washington but takes her into the world of corrupt Boston politics.
In Senator Love, she finds herself romantically entangled in the life of a charismatic womanizing Senator whose mistresses are being mysteriously murdered.
In The Ties That Bind, she discovers that a Supreme Court Justice with a penchant for Sado-Masochistic sex play has inadvertently murdered the daughter of a prominent political ally.
In Death of a Washington Madame, she investigates the death of a prominent Washington Grande Dame whose son has become Governor of Virginia through the publicity generated by marrying a famous actress.
Fiona, will have many adventures in the future, which could make her one of the most vivid and important figures, male or female, in American detective fiction.
- The background of Fiona FitzGerald has changed radically between American Quartet, American Sextet, and subsequent novels. In Quartet and Sextet, she is the daughter of a New York cop. Subsequently in the other novels, she miraculously becomes the daughter of a deceased Senator. The author apologizes for his intervention and promises to cease making such changes in Fiona’s antecedents. It is important to note, however, that the character of Fiona and all of the supporting characters remain exactly as portrayed in every novel. And as the Lifetime Network is currently producing a pilot and (hopefully) a potential series based on Fiona FitzGerald, readers should expect some changes in the cast of characters as Fiona makes her way from the page to the little screen. I do not expect, however, that her individuality, motivation, and point of view will be altered in any way. Her character is indomitable and the lynchpin of any series in which she is featured. The author will, however, keep readers informed in advance of any expected changes, however radical.
See Mystery Scene: Fiona FitzGerald, and article by Warren Adler from April, 1991.