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Secret of the White Rose (Detective Simon Ziele) Hardcover – May 24, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Detective Simon Ziele (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1St Edition edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312583974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312583972
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.4 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,910,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lewis Shaffer on May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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By A Customer on May 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. Detective Ziele seems almost robotic as he (still) struggles with his feelings for his deceased wife and his current love interest, Isabella. Alistair is depicted as a weak, morally questionable man, and the villain fails to engender any type of sympathy from the reader.
The story itself is entertaining enough, and the prose is very easy to read. Sadly, "Secret" is little more than a forgettable tale surrounding the theme of "does the end justify the means."
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Format: Hardcover
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 occurred...an 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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