Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Set in 1914, Ifkovic’s so-so sixth Edna Ferber mystery (after 2014’s Final Curtain) takes the bestselling writer to Budapest, in the company of Winifred Moss, a British suffragette. The pair stay at a shabby hotel, the Árpád, where Edna can’t resist scrutinizing the other guests. She sees that Cassandra Blaine, a wealthy young American woman about to be forced into marriage with a European aristocrat, is not just spoiled but terrified; Cassandra’s murder sets Edna off to find the killer among the eccentric, suspicious characters hanging around the Árpád. The proceedings are enlivened by the antics of Harold Gibbon—an obnoxious but plucky reporter for Hearst’s sensational newspapers—but slowed down by excessive detail about what Edna and Winifred are seeing and eating. The feverish, doomed-operetta atmosphere is relevant, since Europe is on the brink of WWI. That the solution to the mystery relies heavily on international politics, however, diminishes Edna’s personal investigation. (May)