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Secret of the White Rose: A Novel (Simon Ziele #3)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  820 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews

The murder of Judge Hugo Jackson is out of Detective Simon Ziele’s jurisdiction in more ways than one. For one, its high-profile enough to command the attention of the police commissioner. The judge was presiding over the trial of Al Drayson, an anarchist, who set off a bomb at a Carnegie wedding, but instead of killing millionaires, it killed passersby, including a ch

Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Minotaur Books (first published May 24th 2011)
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BAM The Bibliomaniac
In this last book of the trilogy Pintoff finally mastered her story. All three books bring in interesting aspects of late 1800s New York City; this book focuses on the anarchist movement. As usual, the character Sinclair is aggravating, Isabella is classy, and Ziehl is brilliant. What was worthwhile and worth the extra star was the smooth intertwining of the plots and other characters. Great transitions, juicy twists, some symbolism-all great in a mystery
My LTER from last month was an ARC for the mystery The Secret of the White Rose, by Stefanie Pintoff. A trial is wrapping up in 1906 Manhattan; the defendant is one of the most reviled men in the city in decades, an anarchist called Al Drayson who made an inept attempt to blow up a Carnegie wedding and wound up killing, among other innocent (and non-upper-crust) bystanders, a small child. And on the eve of jury deliberations, the judge is murdered, his body found with the right hand resting on a ...more
Jun 03, 2011 Farin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Secret of the White Rose, but not as much as the first two Simon Ziele books. The subject matter of foreign anarchists was fascinating, and the mystery was absorbing, but I felt like I lost the characters a bit in this one and that the story could have been pushed just a little bit further. Still can't wait for the next one!
I truly enjoy this author. The complexity, the depth of the characters and the twists and turns of the mystery itself make White Rose a most enjoyable read. Simon Ziele has returned to New York and finds himself embroiled in the investigation of a judge's murder. As the city reels from the activities of the anarchists who commit robberies and bomb areas to call attention to their concerns about the ":system," another judge is murdered. The commissioner believes that the anarchists are responsibl ...more
Ron Chicaferro
Oct 04, 2011 Ron Chicaferro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another brilliant story by Stefanie Pintoff. Secret of the White Rose is an exciting story laced with actual historical places and events of the early 1900's in New York City. The story deals with the murder of three highly valued members of society and Detective Simon Ziele's search for the killer or killers. Mucking up the waters is the activity of violent but well organized anarchists bent on the destruction of society. There is politics aplenty as Ziele search leads to a run-in with ...more
Amy Lignor
Mar 15, 2012 Amy Lignor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

People vs. Drayson is the only headline in 1906 New York City. Everyone’s talking about the horrific anarchist who planted a bomb in a horse carriage in order to take out Andrew Carnegie - make him pay for his ill treatment of U.S. Steel workers. Instead, the bomb only took innocent lives on the street, including that of a child. Judge Hugo Jackson is in the center of this storm as he presides over the case. Every day he receives a new threatening letter and he’s becoming truly terrified.

Doreen Fritz
Oct 02, 2011 Doreen Fritz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was ready for a good mystery, and a friend recommended this one. Hooray! (I discovered that this is the 3rd in a series, so have since gone back to read the first two.) Detective Simon Ziele is called in on a murder case in 1906 New York City. A judge has been found with his throat cut in his home the night before he is scheduled to hand down a verdict in a case involving an anarchist who killed unintended victims (including a child). The setting makes this series, in my opinion. Descriptions ...more
Oct 11, 2011 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
I enjoy historical fiction and this book takes place in turn-of-the-century 1906 NYC. There are enough twists and turns, musical ciphers and white roses to keep you reading. I like a mystery that challenges me and keeps me guessing on "who did it" and this book fits that catagory. It is the third in Pintoff's detective Simon Ziele series: I discovered it in the library and only regret I did not read the series in order. There are references to Simon's past that would have been clearer had I read ...more
May 16, 2011 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am thoroughly enjoying this mystery and will actually need to go back and check out others in the series...This book reminds me of a combination of Mary Russell Holmes(Laurie R. King) meets Sarah Brandt(Victoria Thompson)...
Mar 28, 2011 Dianne marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
“Mystery lovers might just have found the next Caleb Carr.”—The Huffington Post
May 06, 2017 Roshni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Reminds me of Inspector of the Dead (for reasons that would spoil the ending). The description of the general frenzy at the time due to the anarchists is pretty interesting, but the mystery itself is not too complex.
Feb 26, 2017 Caitlin rated it liked it
The ending confused me slightly with the confrontation with one of the players involved in the murders, but overall I liked the book and would continue to read future stories with Detective Ziele and his team of helpers.
May 28, 2011 Ariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Series: 3rd in Detective Ziele Investigations
Main Character: Detective Simon Ziele
Setting: 1906, New York
Obtained Through: LibraryThing for an honest review

The book opens with Simon Ziele being hustled to a murder scene out of his jurisdiction by criminologist Alistair Sinclair. Alistair had gone to law school with murder victim, Judge Hugo Jackson. Since Judge Jackson was presiding over the trial of an anarchist Al Drayson his murder is the highest priority. Drayson planted a bomb to kill indu
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
A high-profile trial, an honest, fair judge, and some undisclosed history of the participants. All these circumstances resulted in a judge being found murdered in his home office along with a white rose and a Bible.

Who could have done this? There was speculation about who the culprit could be, and the detectives didn’t think someone had acted alone. Every detective that had some connection to a group or a family member who may have some connections was involved in the case. "Get to it gentlemen.
Courtney Denning
Secret of the White Rose, by Stefanie Pintoff is the third book in the Simon Ziele historical mystery series. It’s the first book that I’ve read from this series, because I have an odd habit of picking up mystery series and reading them in the wrong order. I started reading the Ethan Gage series the same way, with book #5. I saw it in the library and liked the cover. I feel if a mystery writer is at all worth their salt, the readers do not have to read their books in order to enjoy the current b ...more
I liked the historical context of this mystery, but the mystery itself was not compelling for some reason.
A prominent judge, in the case of an anarchist who is responsible for a bomb attack, is murdered. The assumption by the police commissioner is that it is an anarchist plot, but police detective Simon Ziele is not so sure, there are some compelling pieces of evidence that are not consistent with an anarchist plot. Then another judge is murdered and the same strange evidence, a white rose and
Jul 26, 2013 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2013-books
Detective Simon Ziele is investigating a sensational series of murders, all victims found with a white rose. The first victim was presiding over the trial of an anarchist, whose act of violence stole the life of a child. The anarchist community is assumed to be responsible for these murders and is hunted down viciously by the police. As with the previous two stories in this series, the subject of criminal psychology plays an important part in uncovering the true murderer.

I didn't enjoy this boo
The third entry in the Detective Simon Ziele / Criminologist Alistair Sinclair series takes place in early 1900s New York during the rise of the anarchist movement. When a judge proceeding over the murder trial of a high-profile anarchist leader, who happens to be a college friend of Sinclair, is found murdered in his home, Ziele finds himself involved in the investigation. I didn't enjoy this one as much as the previous books. While those focused on the sometimes uneasy partnership between Sinc ...more
Apr 04, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of historical fiction, mysteries
The third in Pintoff's series of historical mystery/crime novels continues her story of New York City in the early 20th century. She continues with the same primary characters, and members of the NYC police department, judiciary, active anarchists, and ordinary citizens comprising the many secondary characters. While I don't want to give away plot details, I can say it is faithful to the history of the time while also being true to the characters we've come to know and allowing them to develop f ...more
Well crumbs, here we go again! Jumping blindly into a book, chosen pretty much at random, that turns out to be third in a series. Clever little mystery set in turn of the century NYC, that'd be the 20th century, revolving around mysterious murders and anarchist plots, red herrings strewn about, a few too many coincidences or lucky breaks but over all a good read (and that's a bad run on sentence but I'm trying to catch up on my reviews). I liked it but am not sure I loved it enough to go back to ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book is the third in Stefanie Pintoff's series. I enjoyed the first two books & enjoyed this one as well. I'm hoping that she'll even try for a fourth. I like the characters, the time period & the fact that it takes place in New York City. Add a murder to this combination & it will always have me coming back for more.

If any of you readers are fans of Calab Carr's "The Alienist" and "Angel of Darkness," you should give these a try. But make sure you read them in order. "In the S
Secret of the White Rose
(Simon Ziele #3)
Stefanie Pintoff

Politics and police work are never comfortable bedfellows, and such is the case in the third Simon Ziele novel, The Secret of the White Rose. Detective Ziele is tossed unwillingly into a high profile murder case by his “friend” Criminologist Alistair Sinclair. But Sinclair almost immediately decamps, leaving Ziele to work through the mounting clues which point the finger at Sinclair. Ziele struggles to solve this mystery involving the city
Mar 29, 2012 Paige rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I liked the characters, but thought the plot wasn't the finely-machined apparatus I was hoping for. The final whodunit reveal falls flat because the reader hasn't had quite enough information to even almost figure it out (and you know mystery readers LOVE it when they can almost but not quite solve the puzzle!). And I didn't like the transparency with which the author tried to educate me in interesting facts about New York City in the 19-aughts (Did you know that before the New York Times moved ...more
Jul 21, 2011 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First I must say this type of historical is not a normal kind of book for me, but it's on the Edgar submitted list so I thought I'd give it a try.
After much tracing and interviewing and analysis the mystery was finally solved. Would I choose to read it again. No. But I did finish it and it was OK. It's in the early 1900's and seems well written in describing the times and procedures. The story held my attention well enough to read to the end, so don't let my opinion stop you from giving it a try
Joy Wilson
May 07, 2014 Joy Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading the first in this series I felt the author had potential but I was unsure if it would be realized. In this book she has me hooked. It was well-paced and well-written. The characters are still endearing and yet show their flaws. The plot was intriguing and the criminal was not apparent as in the first Ziele novel. Pintoff did a much better job of making you feel as though you were in 1906 New York without beating you over the head with it. Thanks for another fun ride and I look forw ...more
Fun quick period-piece mystery read…. exactly what I needed pre-Southerns and a the rare pick up randomly from the library shelf with zero research book for me. It had all the elements of writing that I like - character development, mystery, period piece, a touch of romance, history. It was a little eh especially because I felt like I ended every chapter going DUN DUN DUN!! A NEW TWIST!! Lots of unbelievable coincidences and miraculous timing, etc. But a fun read and I liked the anarchist vibe a ...more
Linda K
Jun 03, 2011 Linda K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in New York City in 1906, this mystery surrounds the judicial system and the anarchists of the day. Characters of varied social levels along with descriptions of the surroundings and manners of the day brings a depth to this story. One facet of the story concerns the true to life disaster of the steamboat Slocum that killed hundreds of people, with those at fault not being brought to justice. The mystery that involves several murders is compelling, not predictable and very well written.
Mar 28, 2011 L rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Won a copy from Goodreads, and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival!

Ok, in the name of full disclosure, I never received the book from St. Martins. Finally got it out of the library.

Finished! I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars. I really enjoyed the book, but there were a lot of references to earlier books. Although they didn't seem important to the plot of this book, I found them a little distracting. I might give her first book a shot.
May 29, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was my favorite of the series. The fact that it deals with anarchists and bombings in NYC in early 1900 is eerie in its timeliness and applicability given the current events in Boston and throughout the world. The slow moving mutual interest between Simon and Isabella is a strong thread weaving the dichotomies of class, education, and social standing into the mix. Hope the author completes another one soon. (I recommend reading the series in order.)
Sam Sigelakis-Minski
I am not much of a mystery writer, but I could not resist reading Pintoff's books because her father is my dentist.

That being said, I guess I could have missed certain clues that other readers thought obvious, but for me,the mystery was very intriguing and kept me guessing. The historical context that the book is written in is a vivid portrayal of the American immigrant experience in New York. All in all, I enjoyed this book very much, both for the mystery and the history presented.
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Stefanie Pintoff is the Edgar® award-winning author of HOSTAGE TAKER and the Simon Ziele historical mysteries. Her writing has also won the Washington Irving Book Prize and earned nominations for the Anthony, Macavity, and Agatha awards. Pintoff's novels have been published around the world, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Croatia, and Japan. She lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side, where sh ...more
More about Stefanie Pintoff...

Other Books in the Series

Simon Ziele (3 books)
  • In the Shadow of Gotham (Simon Ziele, #1)
  • A Curtain Falls (Simon Ziele, #2)

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