Friday, January 07, 2022

Edna Ferber, Detective (Ed Ifkovic Mystery Series)


That so many of my favorite book blogs are authored by fans of series crime fiction has resulted in me now following/reading something near two dozen such series. And because more than a few of those series were several years old by the time I finally became aware of them, the backlists involved are lengthy enough to provide me with years of fun reading to look forward to.

Even so, there's always room for one...or several...more, and that's why I want to ask if any of you are currently reading the "Edna Ferber, Detective" series featured in the latest Mystery Scene magazine (number 170). Ed Ifkovic began using author Edna Ferber as a fictional detective in 2009 and has averaged almost a novel per year since then:

  • Lone Star (2009)
  • Escape Artist (2011)
  • Make Believe (2012)
  • Downtown Strut (2013)
  • Final Curtain (2013)
  • Cafe Europa (2015)
  • Cold Morning (2016)
  • Old News (2017)
  • Mood Indigo (2018)
  • Run Cold (2019)
  • Indian Summer (2020)


Series Author Ed Ifkovic

According to the Mystery Scene article, the novels jump back and forth between the various decades of Ferber's life and career, so it doesn't sound as if there is any particular benefit to reading them in order. That said, I did decide to take a look at the series via its first book because that one is set during the filming of Ferber's novel Giant in 1955. Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and others involved in the movie are included as characters in Lone Star, but the primary focus is on actor James Dean because the murder victim in the story is a woman who has accused Dean of fathering her child. 

Edna Ferber in 1928

Edna Ferber (1885-1968) was the author of numerous novels, plays, novellas, and short stories. Among her most famous were the Pulitzer Prize winning So Big (1924), Showboat (1926), Cimarron (1930), and Giant (1952). I particularly admire the dedication in her 1938 autobiography: "To Adolph Hitler, who has made me a better Jew and a more understanding human being, as he has millions of other Jews, this book is dedicated in loathing and contempt." 1938, this was.

I have a vague recollection of seeing this series mentioned on another book blog, and I know that the books are not going to be new to all of you, so please do let me know what you think of them.

10 comments:

  1. I've never even heard of this series, but I think it's fun Ifkovic chose Edna Ferber as his main character. The one set during the filming of Giant is the one I'd want to read! :)

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    1. The Mystery Scene article makes the books sound really good, especially since they are historical fiction/mysteries. That kind of stuff, when it is based on real people, is way more fun to me than it probably should be.

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  2. What an interest concept for a series. I had never heard of it or its author. I think I may get back to reading more mysteries in 2022.

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    1. It really is interesting to me, Dorothy, because I only remember Ferber as an older woman, not anything remotely resembling the picture I used for this post. But even in this first novel, Lone Star, she's already pretty old...and still going strong, looks like.

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  3. What a fascinating idea for a series and I was thinking of other early 20th century writers one could base a series around but in many cases they are either too well known or their private lives were too tumultuous and even tragic. Edna Ferber is the perfect fit.

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    1. Ferber does seem like a near-perfect choice for a fictional detective of this type. She lived through some interesting decades and met some interesting players of her day, so I can imagine how there must be a lot to work with here.

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  4. No, this is a completely new series to me, likewise the author. That's a very interesting concept though, something that had never occurred to me. I do love that dedication.

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    1. I'm kind of surprised that no one has read him so far. So many crime book fans here, that I expected three or four of us had already at least sampled the series.

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  5. Well, I read Lone Star and enjoyed it, but not enough to be in any hurry to pick up the next one. I'm not sure why.

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    1. Ha! I was just about willing to bet that if anyone had read one of these, it would be you. I have Lone Star coming from my library at some point, so I'll see how it goes. I kind of figured there was a reason no one had heard of it...but the magazine does praise it. We'll see.

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