Thursday, October 11, 2012

Make Believe-Ed Ifkovic

Make Believe

Ed Ifkovic

Poisoned Pen, Nov 6 2012, $24.95

ISBN 9781464200823

In 1951, Pulitzer Prize winning author Edna Ferber is in Hollywood to attend the premiere of the movie Show Boat, which is based on the Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II 1927 musical adaptation of her 1926 novel. Though the film tracks back to her work, Edna is in Southern California for an entirely different motive. Vile Senator Joseph McCarthy has blacklisted her friend Max Jeffries so Edna is in town as a show of support to the beleaguered musical arranger.

Less than a week after she arrives in Hollywood, someone shoots and kills Max. The police suspect Frank Sinatra who had a public brawl with Max witnessed by Louella Parsons who wrote about it in her gossip column. Though she knows Sinatra has been behaving strangely, Edna doubts he killed Max. She decides to find a real motive that she assumes will lead to the real killer.

The third Edna Ferber amateur sleuth (see Lone Star and Escape Artist) is an endearing historical whodunit with much of the fun involved meeting a who’s who of Hollywood (Ava Gardner and Sinatra, etc.) and Broadway (for instance George S. Kaufman the playwright). Fast-paced, readers will ignore the heroine’s shaky motive to investigate as we "Can't Help Lovin' Dat …” Edna Ferber.

Harriet Klausner

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