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Final Curtain: An Edna Ferber Mystery    by Ed Ifkovic order for
Final Curtain
by Ed Ifkovic
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

With war looming in 1940, as Hitler is already ravaging Europe, Edna Ferber decides she wants to take a break from writing and try her hand at acting, a long-time dream. She travels to Maplewood, New Jersey for a week in summer stock, where she will act in Royal Family, a play she and George S. Kaufman co-authored. She is not happy that Kaufman will direct.

Ferber spends time exploring the little town of Maplewood and listening to Kaufman's caustic comments, usually about her lack of acting talent. As the rehearsals for the play begin, the two find a dead body! Of course, just what one would expect from a Ferber/Kaufman story by Ed Ifkovic.

The son of an evangelistic preacher/mother comes into play. Dakota is the stepson of a wealthy man who supports his mother in her efforts to preach to the masses. She is a very demanding woman and Dak finds it hard to deal with her. He is working behind the scenes for the Royal Family production.

Many of the supporting actors and behind the scenes stagehands have their beginnings in Hollywood, and Ferber and Kaufman begin to realize that they have brought their backgrounds with them and all have known the dead man.

A very clever plot, just what one expects from author Ed Ikfovic. This is the fifth of the Edna Ferber series. I do hope there will be more. I enjoy not only being a fan of the mystery but also the small mentions of the World War II background, which I remember very well.

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