A New Mystery Author–Stefanie Pintoff

Stefanie Pintoff, the 2010 winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author for her book In the Shadow of Gotham, takes a new approach to crime.  Her two books take place in New York City in the early 1900s, a time when forensic science is beginning to be used to solve crimes.  In both of her books, Simon Ziele, a detective formerly in Manhattan and now residing in upstate Dobson, NY is called upon to solve a murder.  He is assisted by noted criminologist Alistair Sinclair and his niece Isabella.  Sinclair, a renowned professor at Columbia University,  spends his time studying criminal behavior and tries to understand the criminal mind in order to understand the crime.

In In the Shadow of Gotham, Sarah Wingate is brutally murdered in her own bedroom.  After just one day of investigation, Simon is contacted by Alistair, who offers a startling claim about one of his patients, Michael Fromley—that the facts of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to Fromley’s deranged mutterings.  But what would have led Fromley, with his history of violent behavior and brutal fantasies, to seek out Sarah, a notable mathematics student and a proper young lady who has little in common with his previous targets? Is Fromley really a murderer, or is someone mimicking him?

A Curtain Falls  finds Ziele investigating the murders of Broadway starlets.  Each actress is dressed in a leading actress’ costume, posed in a glamorous position on stage and murdered without leaving any marks on her body.  A note is left beside each body.  Where will this serial killer strike next?

Stefanie Pintoff is a mystery writer to watch. I couldn’t put either book down.  Her writing is descriptive.  Her characters generate emotion, whether it is the likable Ziele or the elusive criminal.  Her plot is intriguing and unlike many mysteries, the conclusion makes sense.  It is interesting to note how fingerprints and psychological profiling are treated at the time…with skepticism.

If you are looking for a new name in mysteries, Stefanie Pintoff is the name you are looking for.  Enjoy.

– posted by Ed G., Reference Services

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