I recently reviewed Stefanie Pintoff's In the Shadow of Gotham for Mystery News. The review is reprinted here, with permission.
In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff Minotaur Books $24.95 ISBN 978-0-312-54490-4 Hardcover May Historical, New York, 1905/Police Detective
In the Shadow of Gotham was the winner of the first Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Crime Novel competition, and deservedly so. Pintoff portrays New York City in 1905 vividly, in all of the gritty details of everyday life.
After his fiancée died in the General Slocum ferry disaster, Detective Simon Ziele left the New York City police force, hoping for a quiet career in law enforcement in the small Hudson River town of Dolson. But, when Sarah Wingate, the niece of a wealthy local family, is found brutally murdered in her own bedroom, Ziele is thrust into the toughest investigation of his career.
To Ziele’s surprise, the day after the murder, he’s contacted by Alistair Sinclair, a professor at Columbia University. Sinclair, who specializes in criminal law, claims to have a suspect in the murder. One of Sinclair’s research subjects, Michael Fromley, has had conversations that indicated an uncanny resemblance to the murder. Since Sinclair is researching how past behavior and thoughts can indicate future crimes, he’s positive Fromley is the killer.
Despite Ziele’s suspicion that Sinclair is hiding something, he’s interested enough in the criminologist’s new field of study to follow the professor’s suggestions. Ziele is an unusual policeman for his times, interested in new scientific methods. At the same time, his job is to find a murderer, not be led astray by educational theories.
Before Ziele can find a killer, he’s caught up, not only in scientific exploration, but back in the crime world of New York City, where the worst criminals can do a favor, and appearances can be deceiving.
Pintoff’s debut mystery is a complex story, combining history, a memorable police detective, a new criminology science, and action. It’s an outstanding historical mystery in which the story doesn’t bog down in details. Pintoff’s debut is a success.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
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Splish, Splash, Splosh!: David Melling
Book: Splish, Splash, Splosh! Author: David Melling (@DavidMelling1) Pages: 22 Age Range: 2-5 Splish, Splash, Splosh! by David Melling is a medium-sized boar...
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.