Run Cold (Edna Ferber Mysteries)

Written by Ed Ifkovic
Review by Helene Williams

In the ninth and final volume in Ifkovic’s Edna Ferber mysteries, we join the acerbic writer in late 1950s Fairbanks, Alaska, where she’s finishing up research on her next (and last) novel, Ice Palace. Edna’s guide to the changing frontier city is Sonia Petrievich, the editor of her father’s local newspaper. Sonia introduces Edna to Jack Mabie, whom she profiled for the paper as “the meanest man in Alaska,” promising Edna the perspective of one of the adventurous backwoodsmen who populate the outskirts of Fairbanks and the Northern Territories. Joining them is Noah West, Sonia’s lover and a native Alaskan Athabaskan, who also knows what it’s like to be an outsider.

When Jack is found beaten to death, Noah is among the suspects. Edna has to use all her powers of persuasion and sleuthing skills to get to the bottom of what becomes a very complex mystery.

Ifkovic’s plot delves into the politics behind the campaign for Alaska’s statehood and takes readers into the North to meet Noah’s family, providing ample evidence and descriptions of the complicated people and cultures of this vast territory. This is a fitting sendoff for the series, with deep characters and a protagonist who will be missed.