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Secret of the White Rose (Detective Simon Ziele) [Kindle Edition]

Stefanie Pintoff
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $22.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
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The Devil's Detective
The Devil's Detective is an audacious, highly suspenseful thriller set against a nightmarish and wildly vivid world. Debut British novelist Simon Kurt Unsworth has created a phantasmagoric thrill ride filled with characters that spring from our deepest nightmares. Learn more

Book Description

The murder of Judge Hugo Jackson is out of Detective Simon Ziele's jurisdiction in more ways than one. For one, it's high-profile enough to command the attention of the notorious new police commissioner, since Judge Jackson was presiding over the sensational trial of Al Drayson. Drayson, an anarchist, set off a bomb at a Carnegie family wedding, but instead of killing millionaires, it killed passersby, including a child. The dramatic trial has captured the full attention of 1906 New York City.

Furthermore, Simon's assigned precinct on Manhattan's West Side includes the gritty Tenderloin but not the tonier Gramercy Park, which is where the judge is found in his locked town house with his throat slashed on the night before the jury is set to deliberate. But his widow insists on calling her husband's old classmate criminologist, Alistair Sinclair, who in turn enlists Ziele's help. Together they must steer Sinclair's unorthodox methods past a police force that is so focused on rounding up Drayson's supporters that they've all but rejected any other possibilities.

Once again, Stefanie Pintoff's combination of vital characters and a fascinating case set amongst the sometimes brutal and sometimes glittering history of turn-of-the-century New York makes for totally compelling reading in Secret of the White Rose, the third novel in her Edgar Award-winning series.

Editorial Reviews


Praise for A Curtain Falls

“Mystery lovers might just have found the next Caleb Carr.”—The Huffington Post

“In her second novel, Stefanie Pintoff shows how the best in historical fiction not only unveils our past, but shows how our modern concerns evolved.… Her comparison to Caleb Carr is well earned, although Pintoff shows a wider range and deeper affinity for storytelling than the author of The Alienist. Pintoff’s meticulous research captures the heart of the era, but her detailed characters and gripping plot about greed, jealousy, and obsession for fame set A Curtain Falls on a higher plane.”—Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“This worthy sequel to Pintoff’s acclaimed Edgar Award–nominated debut, In the Shadow of Gotham, brings to life New York’s theater world at the turn of the twentieth century and the fledgling science of criminology.”—Library Journal (starred review) on A Curtain Falls

Praise for In the Shadow of Gotham

“Superior historical mystery… She does an outstanding job of blending historical detail with engaging characters and a suspenseful plot.”—The Denver Post

“Pintoff’s debut…will remind many of Caleb Carr at his best.... The period detail, characterizations, and plotting are all top-notch, and Ziele has enough depth to carry a series.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the Author

Stefanie Pintoff is the author of A Curtain Falls and In the Shadow of Gotham. In the Shadow of Gotham is the winner of the 2010 Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the Washington Irving Book Prize, and she has earned nominations for the Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Awards. She is also a graduate of Columbia University Law School and has a Ph.D. in literature from New York University. Now a full-time writer, she lives with her husband and daughter on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Product Details

  • File Size: 463 KB
  • Print Length: 381 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B0052BGJ66
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004OA62SG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,681 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended May 31, 2011
I have to admit that I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of this book for some time. I got hooked with the first book in the Simon Ziele series, In the Shadow of Gotham. First, a bit of a disclaimer - as you can see from my posting history, I am not one for writing reviews and I only do so when I feel very strongly about something, be it positive or negative. Secret of the White Rose falls very much in the positive column and I am pleased to share my joy. Thank you
Ms. Pintoff for delivering yet another great thriller.

For those that haven't had the pleasure of reading any of the books in this series, let me briefly summarize - the three books in the series follow the adventures of New York police detective Simon Ziele and a Columbia Law professor, Alistair Sinclair, and his daughter-in-law, Isabella. The action in Secret of the White Rose once again takes place in the early 1900's. As in the two prior books in the series, historical figures are freely mixed with fictional. In this novel former New York City Police Commissioner Theodore Bingham and anarchists such as Emma Goldman capture our attention along with the fictional characters. This is a great story that will grab you from the first page. By the time you reach the end of the book (if you are like me it will happen quickly since you won't be able to put Secret of the White Rose down), you will have not only read a spell-binding mystery but also will have learned a bit about secret codes, the history of the anarchist movement and the history of turn of the 20th century New York. You also get to learn more about the personalities of Simon, Alistair and Isabella, as Ms. Pintoff is a master of character development. Like the many fine meals that our heroes partake in, Ms. Pintoff slowly develops giving us the opportunity to savor each bit of information.

Do yourself a favor- read Secret of the White Rose.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super historical whodunit May 27, 2011
In 1906, New York City residents and much of the country remain riveted to the trial of anarchist Al Drayson. The accused allegedly planted a bomb to kill industrialist Andrew Carnegie, but instead murdered five other people.

Criminologist Alistair Sinclair wakes up Detective Simon Ziele with a shocker. An unknown assassin sliced the throat of Judge Hugo Jackson, presiding over the Drayson homicide trial. The killer left behind a Bible and a white rose. Sinclair tells Ziele that Jackson was a long time friend, but the cop believes his crony conceals something important from him. While the NYPD commissioner and the brass insist an anarchist murdered the judge, Ziele thinks it is too soon to rule other possible killers even as the murderer strikes several times since giving Jackson a necktie.

Mindful of the Gaslight mysteries by Victoria Thomson, the third Ziele-Sinclair police procedural (see In the Shadow of Gotham and A Curtain Falls) is a super historical whodunit. The investigation is exciting and fast-paced as the killers keeps striking while the two sleuths struggle to end the murdering spree. Yet with an excellent whodunit, it is the feeling that we armchair readers are in New York at the beginning of the twentieth century that makes the Secret of the White Rose a terrific thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Followup May 25, 2011
By Jill B.
I have enjoyed the first two books in this series, so my expectations were high for this followup. They were met. I was satisfied by the mystery plot, which takes Detective Ziele into the underworld of anarchist violence. The main appeal is always the characters and the atmosphere of old New York. I like spending time there, with them. When I reached the last page, I was disappointed to have to leave their world.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Takes a little while to warm up.... May 24, 2011
A high-profile trial, an honest, fair judge, and some undisclosed history of the participants. All these circumstances resulted in a judge being found murdered in his home office along with a white rose and a Bible.

Who could have done this? There was speculation about who the culprit could be, and the detectives didn't think someone had acted alone. Every detective that had some connection to a group or a family member who may have some connections was involved in the case. "Get to it gentlemen.........My goal is to arrest those responsible for the judge's murder within forty-eight hours." Page 70

Another idea to find the motive and the murderer was to get in touch with a judge named Angus Porter...he was a symbolist, and there definitely was a lot of symbolism in the clues and in the murder of Judge Hugo Jackson. The white rose in the judge's hand and also on a sheet of music gave the detectives the most clues as to why the murder had occurred. The crime scene was filled with symbolism, and the symbolism needed to be decoded. Some decoding was done, but another murder occurred shortly after, and again the murderer left a Bible and a white rose at the scene.

The similarities of symbols at both murders and the anarchist on trial, Drayson, led the detectives to a group of his followers. The group was then arrested for attacking an officer. While they were being held in jail, an explosion explosion meant to assist in the freeing of the anarchists being held. It turned out the explosion had been a diversion so that Drayson could escape.

Meanwhile the two murders were not even close to being solved, but the clues were beginning to add up or so they thought. A third murder occurred, and it was not a judge....
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it. Great characters. Hope she writes many more.
Published 26 days ago by Dora Marino
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Love the main character and his tentative relationships with the Sinclairs. Mystery is top-notch. Hoping more will come to series.
Published 8 months ago by CEG
4.0 out of 5 stars Secret of the White Rose... A Worthwhile Read
Stefanie Pintoff provides us another inventive and engrossing tale in the life and career of Detective Simon Ziele as he winds his way through the streets, Burroughs and emerging... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jet City Beau
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Good storyline, strong character portrayl and historical context. Love the post Victorian era New York City background. Made you think.
Published 13 months ago by d. anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars How does poverty and inequity push some to crime?
On the surface this is a historical mystery set in the ferment of NYC in 1906 with the fabulously rich and the immigrant poor. The plot is good but not great. Read more
Published 16 months ago by J.L. Greger
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly dull work from a great author
Pintoff impressed me greatly with her first installment of the "Gotham" series, but this latest novel, while technically well written, lacks both depth and character development. Read more
Published 21 months ago by jaydynomite
4.0 out of 5 stars A Piece of the Past
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, set in the era of my grandparents nad great-grandparents who lived in New York at the time. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Susan S
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series
Love this series, does a great job of evoking the feel of old New York City and history of the early 20th century. Great character!!
Published 24 months ago by peggy heeney
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Killed the Judges?
I truly enjoy this author. The complexity, the depth of the characters and the twists and turns of the mystery itself make White Rose a most enjoyable read. Read more
Published 24 months ago by RE Krause
4.0 out of 5 stars Cliff hanger?
Ending was flat unless she is leading into another book in a series. Interesting story. Well developed. Look forward to another one.
Published on December 27, 2012 by Jane A. Conner
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More About the Author

Stefanie Pintoff is an Edgar® award-winning author whose writing has also earned nominations for the Anthony, Macavity, and Agatha awards. She lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side, where she is at work on her next book.

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