Friday, August 12, 2011

Secret of the White Rose by Stephanie Pintoff

Secret of the White Rose is the third installment of Stephanie Pintoff's early 1900s series with Simon Ziele.  The first installment, In the Shadow of Gotham, won the prestigious Edgar First Novel Award.  The second was A Curtain Falls. If you enjoy historical mysteries, you should give these a try.

In this installment, anarchist Al Drayson is on trial for attempting to kill Andrew Carnegie but in fact killing several other people, including a child.  On the eve of the conclusion of the trial, the judge is murdered in his home.  Detective Simon Ziele, who has returned to New York City, is brought into the case by his friend, Alistair Sinclair.  Sinclair is at the forefront of the newly developed science of criminology.  Meanwhile, the NYPD Commissioner needs to deliver results to quell the public and is prepared to conduct mass roundups of anyone associated with the anarchists.  Ziele pursues the killer as the killer strikes again.

This is a good series.  The plotting is great.  The research into the period is also good, although it feels like the period elements are forced at times.  I don't care for how each chapter seems to end with a forced mini-cliffhanger.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story, the period and the characters.

If you like Caleb Carr, historical mysteries or New York City period pieces, you will enjoy this book.  If you are looking for more literary fiction, I'd pass on this one.

Stephanie Pintoff discussing and signing her last book (Curtain Falls) with Sally at the Mysterious Bookshop.  Any mystery lover should really check them out.

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