Friday, March 27, 2009

Mystery Book Review: Lone Star by Edward Ifkovic

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Lone Star by Edward Ifkovic. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Lone Star by Edward Ifkovic

An Edna Ferber Mystery

Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-59058-587-9 (1590585879)
ISBN-13: 978-1-59058-587-0 (9781590585870)
Publication Date: April 2009
List Price: $24.95

Review: Edward Ifkovic magically captures the essence of Hollywood in the 1950s when he puts real-life author Edna Ferber into the role of amateur sleuth in his debut mystery, Lone Star.

Edna Ferber’s award winning novel, Giant, is being adapted and produced for the silver screen by Jack Warner. He has invited Edna to Los Angeles to be on the set while filming the final scenes. An old friend, Mercedes McCambridge, has a principal role in the film making it special reason for her to accept the invitation. There she meets the stars of the film: Rock Hudson, Liz Taylor, and Hollywood's latest teen idol, James Dean. Trouble is looming on the set, however. A bit player in the movie, Carisa Krausse, has been fired and is now threatening to publicly accuse James Dean of fathering her unborn child. This is fodder for not only the tabloids, but is also national news, thereby risking the much publicized release of the movie. Warner insists the company will take care of shutting the rumors down. Even though Dean denies the claim he goes to see her inciting a violent argument heard by other tenants in the building. When she is later found dead in her apartment, James Dean becomes the prime suspect.

Most people who knew James believed he was very capable of killing. After all, he was mean and had a bad temper when provoked. He would hit a woman if she rebuked him. But Edna does not see this side of Jimmy and she does not believe he is capable of murder. With Mercedes at her side, Edna decides to do a little investigating on her own. She goes to Carisa’s apartment on the seediest side of Los Angeles where she encounters half-truths, bold lies, distrust and resentment. But she is determined to find the truth. Will she? And if so, will the truth be what she hopes it to be?

Lone Star is an engrossing mystery highlighted by the gleaming lights of Hollywood and its stars. The reader gets a taste of the behind the scenes duplicity between producers, writers, gofers, bit players and stars. A murder thrown in with the bad boy of Hollywood as the prime suspect and Edna Ferber as an engaging amateur sleuth make for a most enjoyable read.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Lone Star and to Poisoned Pen Press for providing an ARC of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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Synopsis (from the publisher): In 1955 Edna Ferber is basking in the success of her blockbuster novel Giant. Director George Stevens and Warner Brothers Studio are in the final days of filming her Texas oil epic, and Edna looks forward to meeting Rock Hudson, Liz Taylor, and especially young James Dean.

But there is trouble brewing. James Dean, the new box-office sensation and teen heartthrob, has been accused of fathering a child with an unstable extra named Carisa Krausse. The studio fears the negative publicity will jeopardize the release of the movie.

Then the actress is murdered, and James Dean is the prime suspect.

With character-actress Mercedes McCambridge as her sympathetic sidekick, a shaken Edna investigates the killing, determined to clear Dean’s name.

Edna soon entrenches herself in the life of the often secretive maverick actor. But can she prove his innocence? The more she investigates the more she uncovers simmering rivalries, petty jealousies, and cruel infidelities—the dark underside of glittering Hollywood.

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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