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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Secret of the White Rose by Stefanie Pinthoff

The Secret of the White Rose is the third in Pinthoff's series about Simon Ziele.  Somehow, I missed the second in this series and will have to go back and pick it up.

Set in the early 1900's, the novel mixes detective work and psychology.  Simon Ziele, a police detective, became involved with Alistair Sinclair, a law professor and criminologist, in the first book in the series In the Shadow of Gotham.

In The Secret of the White Rose,  a judge in a high profile trial is found with his throat slashed, and the widow calls in his old friend Alistair Sinclair, who makes sure that Detective Simon Ziele is involved in the case.  Another lawyer and old friend is murdered, and suddenly Sinclair begins withdrawing from Ziele and his own daughter-in-law, Isabella.  Sinclair obviously recognizes some of the symbols left by the murderer, but eventually refuses to engage further with Simon Ziele in the investigation.

As in the first book, real historical characters and events are mentioned and give the novel a kind of verisimilitude.

Pinthoff has been compared to Caleb Carr (The Alienist), but she isn't as dark as Carr even though both use the study of the criminal mind in their plots.  Jeb Rubenfield also uses the same device and historical setting.

Although, I didn't enjoy this one as much as In the Shadow of Gotham, it was still a good read.

other reviews:  walk with a book, Stewartry,

Fiction.  Mystery/ Historical Fiction.  2011. 384 pages.


  1. I think the first book in this series won a mystery award or two. I've meant to read it. Keeping it in mind for this fall. Love the time period and the inclusion of early psychology.

  2. A new-to-me author that I want to read after your review. I like the time period and learning about early psychology, too. Now I'm off to look up verisimilitude...

  3. Kay - I like this time period, too, and books that include real people and places. Love that period detail!

    Booklogged - Start with In the Shadow of Gotham if you can because it establishes the relationships. :)

  4. Sounds like a great book. I love to hear about new authors (to me)! Thanks for the review!

  5. Sherri - I enjoyed it, but liked the first one better!

  6. The idea behind this book sounds good. Not to mention I enjoy the cover...

  7. Kailana - The cover is atmospheric, isn't it?