Downtown Strut by Ed Ifkovic
An Edna Ferber Mystery (Edna Ferber Mysteries)

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Downtown Strut is a book that communicates information in a moral vacuum. It offended my sensibilities to read it.
-Thinking About Books


Manhattan, 1927: Edna Ferber prepares for “the Ferber season on Broadway.” On December 27, the musical adaptation of Show Boat by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern opens. On December 28, The Royal Family, her comedy of manners written with George Kaufman, hits the stage despite Ethel Barrymore’s disapproval of the play’s depiction of “theatrical royalty.” But despite the excitement, Edna misses both opening nights. She has something else on her mind—murder.
Recently, Edna has been absorbed by the heady milieu of the Roaring Twenties’ Harlem Renaissance—the jazz clubs, the faddish dances, the frenzy—and the lively pulse of Broadway that entices talented young “Negroes” to push for mainstream recognition of black voices and talents.
Edna has also been mentoring some of these young writers and actors, including her housekeeeper’s son, Waters Turpin. And then there’s the boyishly handsome Roddy Parsons, a charismatic man most recently in the “Negro chorus” of Show Boat. But when Edna heads to Harlem to take Parsons to lunch, she discovers he’s been stabbed to death in his bed.
Who murdered Roddy? There are the writers who meet at Edna’s apartment, among them Bella Davenport, a beautiful vamp; Ellie Payne, a jazz singer; Freddy Holder, a rabble-rouser; and Lawson Hicks, Bella’s handsome boyfriend. There is also Jed Harris, the young producer of The Royal Family, a darling of the Broadway set, but a notoriously cruel man. Aided by Waters Turpin and his mother, as well as by poet Langston Hughes, Edna eschews theatrics to track down a dangerous and real killer.

About Ed Ifkovic

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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).
Published July 31, 2013 by Poisoned Pen Press. 257 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Downtown Strut
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Below average
on Jul 01 2013

Edna’s motives are heavy-handed but laudable in a series...whose latest entry focuses less on mystery than on its characters, even though most of them speak in the same voice.

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Thinking About Books

Below average
Reviewed by David Marshall on Aug 20 2013

Downtown Strut is a book that communicates information in a moral vacuum. It offended my sensibilities to read it.

Read Full Review of Downtown Strut: An Edna Ferbe...

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