If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Stephanie Pintoff

Few new authors published catch my attention as Stephanie Pintoff has done. Ms. Pintoff burst onto the publishing scene winning the Edgar Award earlier this year for her novel, In The Shadow of Gotham. This breakout book was nominated for just about every award the mystery world gives, including the Macavity, Agatha, Anthony, and Reviewers Choice Awards. After reading her second novel, A Curtain Falls, I was compelled to write about her work.

The setting of her novels is New York City in 1906. Her research brings this period in the city to life. Never having lived in NYC, as I read, I became aware of how little I knew about it. Ms. Pintoff cites addresses where her protagonist, Detective Simon Ziele, investigates, which makes me envious of those readers possessing intimate knowledge of the city. Add to this setting historical detail of the city’s physical layout, neighborhoods and buildings, such as the newly created Times building in the area now known as Times Square. She cites what occupied that space prior to the Times creation and the area’s old name. Her story is sequestered among historic events, anchoring the stories in reality and reminding me of movies I’ve seen that begin with the image of an old still life photo, which comes to life with movement taking the watcher inside that moment.

Detective Ziele’s first person POV narrates the story. His history is interesting and sad, and it is within this context that the story is cast. His voice, his conscience and logic, draws in the reader. He is a moral man in a time when morals are often discarded in favor and zeal of scientific discovery. Ziele balances moral philosophy against science as he tracks down serial killers. Criminology and forensic science are in their infancy, as are psychology and criminal profiling. Ziele utilizes professors at NYU who are developing these sciences and arts. He collaborates with a wealthy lawyer, whose interest is understanding the criminal mind, and his widowed daughter-in-law, who is atypical of the day’s women. She assists her father-in-law in his pursuits and may be a potential romantic interest of Ziele’s. Fingerprints are just barely accepted in the courts, but criminals are already more knowledgeable than the police about manipulation of this evidence.

It is Ziele’s morals that make him a superior detective. When others settle for a convenient scapegoat, he tracks down the truth, keeping on the real murderer’s trail when others settle for a mediocrity that may close the case and satisfy political needs, but destroys the innocent and allows evil to win.

In The Shadow of Gotham won awards for its unique voice, historical research and intricate plot. A Curtain Falls includes all of those things, but its pacing is improved. Ms. Pintoff hones her already considerable expertise in this second novel, and if she can improve her craft after writing an award winning book, I’m looking forward to the series as I watch a master go where few authors have ability to go.


Warren Bull said...

I had not heard about this author. It's great to have a new talented author to read

Ellis Vidler said...

Pintoff is a new name for me, but her books sound interesting. I'll have to look for them.

E. B. Davis said...

She's very good. Has a great voice and her research makes it all real. You won't be disappointed. She wouldn't have won all those awards, if her books weren't very good.

Pauline Alldred said...

Pintoff is a new name for me. I bought her first book and I'm looking forward to reading it, especially since I enjoy spending time in New York. Her second book wasn't in stock.

E. B. Davis said...

I just read her new one, but I think that it is a recent release. Read the first one, if you like it (and I'm sure you will) the second is even better. Like I said, her pacing is better in the second one.