Ed Ifkovic taught literature and creative writing at a community college in Connecticut for over three decades, and now devotes himself to writing fiction. A longtime devotee of mystery novels, he fondly recalls his boyhood discovery of Erle Stanley Gardner s Perry Mason series in a family bookcase, and his immediate obsession with the whodunit world. DOWNTOWN STRUT is the fourth mystery in his Edna Ferber Mystery series for Poisoned Pen Press. Previous books are LONE STAR (2009). ESCAPE ARTIST (2011), and MAKE BELIEVE (2012)."
The creative world of late 1927 Manhattan provides the backdrop for Ifkovic's unconvincing fourth mystery to feature author Edna Ferber (after 2012's Make Believe). Amid rehearsals for the musical version of her novel Show Boat and her coauthored play The Royal Family about the Barrymores, Ferber meets friends of Waters, the bright 17-year-old son of her black housekeeper. These talented young men and women have ambitions in the literary and performing arts, but their opportunities are limited in the white-dominated world of show business. After Ferber discovers the body of Roddy Parsons, an aspiring African American writer, in his Harlem apartment, she learns that Jed Harris, the venomous producer of The Royal Family, is lying about his connections to Waters's associates and that they all had reason to resent both him and Roddy. The inconsistent portrayal of the relationship between Ferber and Harris, repetition, and grammatical problems contribute to the implausible atmosphere. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.