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Escape Artist: An Edna Ferber Mystery    by Ed Ifkovic order for
Escape Artist
by Ed Ifkovic
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Author Ed Ifkovic has done it again. Taken a moment in time, peopled it with those who were alive during that period, and woven a story around names we will all recognize.

It's 1904. Edna Ferber is nineteen, living in Appleton, Wisconsin, and workinh as a social reporter for the local newspaper. Edna is finding it difficult to work in a man's world, but is determined to persevere and pay her dues to achieve not quite her life's dream, but what will pass for that at the moment. She does not exactly endear herself to the current news reporter at the paper when she obtains an exclusive interview with Harry Houdini, who is visiting old friends. Edna's take on Houdini does not match his public persona.

When an old schoolmate of Edna's is found strangled, the whole town goes into shutdown. Appleton had always thought of itself as a very safe place to live. Edna begins to realize that someone is following her, making her anxious. The murdered girl disappeared from a locked room in the high school, which adds intrigue to a gruesome crime.

Edna has problems in her home life also. Her father is almost totally blind. Her mother runs the family business with many complaints on how she is being imposed on to have to support the family. Edna's sister and she are always at each other's throats, much to their father's displeasure. Life can be tough. Escape Artist is a good, well-written book with a clever plot.

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