A Curtain Falls-Stefanie Pintoff

A Curtain Falls

Stefanie Pintoff

Minotaur, May 11 2010, $24.99

ISBN: 9780312583965

In 1904, New York City residents are stunned by the tragic sinking of General Slocum.  Like so many locals, NYPD partners detectives Simon Ziele and Declan Mulvaney are impacted by the calamity.  Simon’s fiancée died with the sinking; he quit the force and left the city moving to Dobson up the Hudson.  Declan stayed with NYPD until now in 1906 he is a captain.

Needing someone he trusts, Mulvaney asks Ziele, who just watched in disgust a jury set free a spouse killer, to investigate the murder of a Broadway chorus girl; the second such homicide made to look like a suicide near the Garrick Theater on West Thirty-Fifth in the last few weeks.  Ziele believes a serial killer is loose.  The cops arrest a suspect, but Ziele thinks the wrong man has been brought in.  He and criminologist Alistair Sinclair investigate the murders.

The latest Ziele historical police procedural (see In the Shadow of Gotham) is an excellent period piece with a strong whodunit.  Readers will enjoy the cankerous camaraderie between Ziele and Sinclair who respect each other professionally but also distrust one another personally especially with the former guilt-laden attracted to the latter’s widow daughter-in-law.  With insight into the beginnings of the Great White Way becoming the American Theater District inside a strong cop case, Stefanie Pintoff provides sub-genre fans with another superb early twentieth century mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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