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“Secret of the White Rose ”

★★★★★

written by Harriet Klausner on 05/04/2011

Secret of the White Rose
Stefanie Pintoff
Minotaur, May 24 2011, $24.99
ISBN 9780312583972

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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