Edsel (Detroit Crime Series #4)

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For Minor, who had a colorful, thriving career as a newspaper man twenty years earlier, a last chance to make it big - or take a big fall - has come from Henry Ford II and his new brainchild, the Edsel. Shrouded in secrecy, the E-car is to compete with Cadillac and make Ford Motor Company the number one shop in town...and the world. Minor's job? Sell it to America. Although Minor has his doubts about this car (especially that strange grille), he knows how to make an advertising pitch. But before he can start, ...
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Overview

For Minor, who had a colorful, thriving career as a newspaper man twenty years earlier, a last chance to make it big - or take a big fall - has come from Henry Ford II and his new brainchild, the Edsel. Shrouded in secrecy, the E-car is to compete with Cadillac and make Ford Motor Company the number one shop in town...and the world. Minor's job? Sell it to America. Although Minor has his doubts about this car (especially that strange grille), he knows how to make an advertising pitch. But before he can start, he's hit with a hardball proposition from union leader Walter Reuther and a zealous politician looking for pinkos in Detroit's bizarre pro wrestling circuit. Bouncing back and forth between two women - one half his age and the other twice as smart - Connie does what he does best and dives into the Detroit underworld of mobsters, molls, wrestlers, and ex-cops. And finds someone with deadly plans for Henry II's grand dream.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.)
Library Journal
Has-been Detroit journalist Connie Minor is hand-picked by Henry Ford II to create the promotional campaign for his top-secret brainchild-the Edsel. On the strength of his reputation for clever turns of phrase and keeping confidences, Minor is catapulted from a nothing job in a small ad house to a window office on mahogany row near the legendary Henry. He's scarcely settled in when he gets caught between Walter Reuther and a Communist-hunting local politician who blackmails him into tapping his old underworld contacts for leads on a plot to kill Reuther. Bouncing from the mob to the union to the boardroom, Minor not only uncovers the murder plan but a stealthy scheme to sabotage the Edsel as well. Would the car have bombed even if it hadn't looked so weird? Estleman, who is equally as masterful with thrillers (Motown, LJ 6/15/91) as with Westerns (City of Widows, LJ 3/15/94), has crafted a swiftly entertaining story of Detroit in the 1950s with all the panache of a Raymond Chandler and a keen eye for historical detail. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Susan Clifford, Hughes Aircraft Co. Lib., Los Angeles
Wes Lukowsky
Connie Minor had once been the newspaperman of choice for Detroit's elite. Then came the Depression, the Big War, and suddenly Connie was a hack ad writer for a hack agency. Then, in the fifties, the call comes from Ford. Someone remembered Connie as a guy who could keep a secret, and Ford had a secret project that needed an ad man. No one is supposed to know what Connie is working on, but too many do, and those who don't think Connie is either a spy from management or an operator from the competition. Eventually, the unions are on his tail, and when UAW honcho Walter Reuther is the target of an assassination attempt, Connie renews his contacts with the Mob, hoping to find out who and why. Estleman, best known for his Amos Walker detective novels, has created a memorable character in Connie Minor. He's a dinosaur, born in the last decade of the nineteenth century, when horses ruled. Though he's sharp enough to survive, Connie can't prosper in the world in which he finds himself. The clothes, the music, and most of all, the people are alien. He doesn't fit; he's a human Edsel.
Steve Fobes
Estleman has an artist's eye for describing details. The novel is lubricated with a plethora of pithy obsevations, and it speeds along like a car with the proverbial accelerator pressed to the floorboards. Although evocative of a supposedly simpler era, this book proves that while times and circumstances may change, human nature—at least in Estleman's Detroit—does not.
Forbes
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786204595
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Series: Detroit Crime Series , #4
  • Pages: 455
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Loren Estleman

LOREN D. ESTLEMAN is the winner of five Spurs, two Stirrups, and three Western Heritage Awards for his Western writing. He lives in Whitmore Lake, Michigan.

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