Ed Ifkovic taught literature and creative writing at a community college in Connecticut for over three decades, and now, retired, devotes himself to writing fiction. His short stories and essays have appeared in such diverse periodicals as the "Village Voice," "America," "Hartford Monthly," and the "Journal of Popular Culture." He's published fiction with small presses, including a novel based on the life of Victorian poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox. A longtime devotee of mystery novels, he fondly recalls his boyhood discovery of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason series in a family bookcase, and his immediate obsession with the whodunit world. When he was fourteen, bored on a lazy summer afternoon, his mother handed him a copy of Edna Ferber's "Cimarron"--for him, a riveting Western about the settling of Oklahoma and the discovery of oil--and he stayed up until three in the morning, until, bleary-eyed, he finished the novel.