Ed Ifkovic,
Cold Morning: An Edna Ferber Mystery
(Poisoned Pen Press, 2016)

Ed Ifkovic's Cold Morning was my introduction to a mystery series that uses a fictionalized author, Edna Ferber, as the sleuth.

I have previously read historical series that have fictitious, or fictionalized, sleuths investigating events current to them, and have enjoyed them -- especially as they offer an immersion perspective into what it was actually like to live then. (Although mostly the protagonists have more anachronistically modern points of view!)

This novel is set around the kidnapping of the aviator Charles Lindbergh's son, and the badly run trial of the accused. I do not know enough about the case to know whether the specific doubts raised are valid; I do know enough about mob psychology and the prejudices of the "justice" system to be pretty cynical.

Apart from the case itself, the evocation of the era is excellently done. I am intrigued with Edna Ferber as a sleuth, since when I was a teen I read most of her novels and stories, and they were often very ambiguous, so I kept re-reading them. (Ferber, among other writings, wrote the novel on which the musical "Showboat" was based.)

It's a fascinating novel, though the ending is somewhat depressing. I look forward to reading more in this series.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

9 July 2016

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