cover image Edsel: A Novel of Detroit

Edsel: A Novel of Detroit

Loren D. Estleman / Author Mysterious Press $21.95 (291p) ISBN

Three decades of Detroit history provide settings for Estleman's acclaimed Amos Walker mysteries, including Whiskey River. Again conjuring up the Motor City of the 1950s, the author chronicles the second career of ex-journalist Connie Minor, who is signed up by Ford Motor Company to promote Henry Ford II's still secret dreamcar, named after Ford's much loved (by him) and much hurt (by the autocratic Henry I) father, Edsel. Connie isn't sure that he likes either the car's name or its design, particularly the grille. He's also confused about his lovelife, held by his acerbic, longtime affection for Agnes but also drawn to spunky, younger Janet, a Ford secretary who is the kind of girl to help a man forget advancing years and a diabetic condition. Hired to sell ``eleven million E-cars,'' Estleman's likable hero must also find out who set up the hit on a union boss and to figure out how Ford's designs become public knowledge so quickly. The narrative may linger too long on the size of a lapel or the color of a car interior or living room (both usually bilious), but Estleman's affection for the time and place are impossible to resist. This tale may not be as much fun as a Walker caper, but its quieter pleasures are as rewarding. (Mar.)