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A Curtain Falls (Simon Ziele #2)

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3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  991 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
The careers of New York City detective Simon Ziele and his former partner Captain Declan Mulvaney went in remarkably different directions after the tragic death of Ziele's fiancée in the 1904 General Slocum ferry disaster. Although both men were earmarked for much bigger things, Ziele moved to Dobson, a small town north of the city, to escape the violence, and Mulvaney bur ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,886)
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Lauren
Oct 05, 2010 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The sequel to In the Shadow of Gotham, this book has one redeeming factor: an interesting premise. Unfortunately, an interesting premise alone does not make for a good novel. The plot is long and rambling (I’m sorry, but when a murder mystery clocks in at almost 400 pages, I expect some complexity and twists). The “twists” that are in this book are so laughably bad that even soap opera writers would be horrified. The characters are flat, flat, flat, and the dialogue is so stilted that a couple o ...more
Sue
This is the 2nd in the series by Pintoff and I just rushed through it, enjoying the story as I did In the Shadow of Gotham. I have to admit another reason I hurried is that I forgot how soon it's due back at the library and I have it on inter-library loan. Seems silly to renew when I knew I would like to read it quickly.

So I put everything else aside....and I'm glad I did. I enjoyed revisiting the same characters as they struggled with another odd series of crimes in New York City demanding all
...more
Chris
The good - Pintoff does an excellent job at capturing time and place. I loved all the theatre tie ins and detail. That was truly wonderful. The mystery was interesting as was the interplay with the newspaper staff.

So why didn't I finish the book?

Because none of the characters is interesting enough to care about, at least to me.
Doreen Fritz
2nd in a series, this novel doesn't suffer from the "sequel" weakness. The characters are still strong and continue to develop, and the early-20th-century New York City setting is intriguing. The theater community serves as the focus of this mystery, as a series of murder victims (women) are found all made up and elaborately costumed at theaters -- all owned by one powerful man. Detective Simon Ziele and the criminologist Alistair Sinclair join forces once again to decipher the clues found on an ...more
CJ
Aug 27, 2011 CJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-books
The second of Pintoff's novels about Simon Ziele who solves crimes at the beginning of the 20th century. I love the feeling evoked by these books - slightly dark, but with hope that new things are coming. The walks through New York tenement buildings are harrowing, but stepping into Delmonico's for dinner is heavenly. I look forward to reading more from Pintoff.
Lourdes Venard
May 31, 2010 Lourdes Venard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A CURTAIN FALLS returns us to turn-of-the-century New York City, following the debut of this successful series (Pintoff recently won an Edgar award for Best First Novel for IN THE SHADOW OF GOTHAM.) This second book is set four months later, in springtime, 1906. Detective Simon Ziele, who lives in Dobson, just north of the city, is called in to help his longtime friend, New York Police Captain Declan Mulvaney.

A Broadway chorus girl has been murdered, and a note left by her body. But it is, in fa
...more
Kelly
Nov 08, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Curtain Falls by Stefanie Pintoff is the sequel to the Edgar Award finalist In the Shadow of Gotham. My book club picked the sequel to read so I needed to tackle this one before the first. I was a little apprehensive, because I thought I would have needed some background, but I needn’t have worried. A Curtain Falls is a true mystery in its own right and a darn good one at that.

Set in New York City in one of my favorite time periods, the early 1900s, Detective Simon Zeile has been asked to help
...more
Robin
Oct 31, 2010 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE this author! She is a blast. These books are set in turn of the century NYC, and though this is well covered territory (Caleb Carr, Rhys Bowen, Victoria Thompson) she really makes it fresh. Her main character is a grieving detective (he lost his fiancée in an infamous ferry accident, referred to in both books) who is interested in the newest methods of detection, with each book spotlighting a different one. This one highlights handwriting analysis, thanks to the author's interest in seria ...more
Jessica Clayton
A great little detective mystery set in NYC in early 1900. All elements of my favorite genre to read!
WroteTrips
A Curtain Falls
(Simon Ziele #2)
Stefanie Pintoff

Although I liked this novel quite a bit, I did not feel that it is as successful as the first in the series, The Shadow of Gotham. I felt the novel could have been more tightly written, that the prose was unwieldy and overly verbose on several occasions.

Still, the mystery worked for me, as the author introduces a new and shocking serial killer. The characters are allowed to develop and their personalities are subtly reveals. Criminologist Alistai
...more
Robin Claire
This book was a withdrawn libray copy (meaning it didn't go out much, and it was taking up necessary space for more popular books) that I found on a free table. I didn't know anything about it so I did not know to read the first book before reading this one...it didn't make much of a difference. I must say that I found the references to the first book annoying and would have found the book more enjoyable without the slim background information.
I am really good at spotting the obvious so it was a
...more
Amy Paget
Jun 13, 2015 Amy Paget rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stefanie Pintoff is the author of a historical mystery series where early criminal science meets the dark side of old New York. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Gotham, won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the St. Martin's Press / Mystery Writers of America Best First Crime Novel Award.

Her protagonist, Detective Simon Ziele lost his fiance?e in the wreck of the General Slocum and shortly thereafter headed to Westchester County to escape the violence of the city. In the Shadow of Gotham
...more
Justine
Jan 12, 2016 Justine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A Curtain Falls is the second novel in the Simon Ziele series. The book begins several months after the closing of the last novel, in March 1906 in New York City. A serial killer is murdering young second string actresses, dressing them up like leading ladies, and leaving them on the stage. The author paints an accurate picture of the status of Broadway and the theater at the turn of the century, particularly when addressing public perception of actresses. The author also introduces a professor ...more
Rogue Reader
I love mysteries set in New York City, particularly nice, long historicals. Pintoff does not disappoint with A Curtain Falls.

A serial killer preys on the actresses of the New York stage, painting them, dressing them, posing them in death. Mulvaney is warned off an official investigation when he comes too close to the money behind the scenes, and so Simon Ziele is his proxy. Ziele, still tormented by the lose of his true love and fiancée who died in the General Slocum capsize, is at first a reluc
...more
Sage Streck
I wasn't sure if the second book in this series would be as good as the first, but I'm pleased to say that it was! Pintoff's descriptions of early 20th-century New York City are wonderful, and it is easy for the reader to imagine himself or herself as a character in the story. I am eager to read more of Detective Ziele's adventures with Alistair and Isabella.
Teacatweaves
Jun 03, 2012 Teacatweaves rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It had the suspense of a Sherlock Holmes mystery, and some good plot twists. The personality of the times - turn of the century - were well represented. It wasn't too maudlin, either. Good read, definitely, and I would read more by this author in the future.
Bethany
May 18, 2012 Bethany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Ms. Pintoff's 2nd novel.It is a perfect blend of mystery,intrigue and one really connects with the characters.I also liked that there was just a hint of romance,but it did not take away from the story.
Stefanie Pintoff is a wonderful writer and one of my favorite mystery authors.
Kathy
Aug 04, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm loving this series, with its protagonists developing early forms of criminal profiling (before the term was even invented). In fact, as I read this book, I could almost picture it as an early 1900s version of "Criminal Minds." Well written, interesting characters, and fascinating mysteries.
sage
There is nothing more frustrating to me as a reader than an interesting idea mangled by an inept writer. I hated so much of this, and yet that kernel of interest kept me going...to a finale worthy of a terrible soap opera.
ScoLgo
Fast page turner. Taking place several months after the events of 'In the Shadow of Gotham', this book is almost too similar. The writing is better developed but the 'twist' endings are almost the same in both books. I also immediately suspected the culprit when the character was first introduced but then thought, "Nah, that would be too obvious". Guess not.

Despite these small plot quibbles, Pintoff is very successful in bringing New York of the early 20th century to life for the reader. Her pro
...more
Amanda Meggs
There is certainly good and bad in this novel. The mystery is a reasonable one if not very mysterious, we are not encouraged to guess ahead with clues given to us but it's interesting. Pintoff captures a lot of historical significance, the theatres are well described, the city has a gritty reality to it. But somehow the characters fall short, they don't grab you in a way that makes you care about them, it's almost there but doesn't happen. Isabella needs to be more warm, the professor is too det ...more
Janice
Apr 24, 2014 Janice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, 2014-reads
This was a good second book in this series, which is set in 1906, and features a police officer in New York City.
Bev
A Curtain Falls is a stronger book than Stefanie Pintoff's debut in the Simon Ziele series. It takes us back to New York City in the earliest days of the Twentieth Century. It's a time when Charles Frohman, a historical figure who appears in the book, rules the theater world with an iron hand. If actors and actresses want to make a life in the business, they had better keep their reputations clean and abide by his rules. But somebody doesn't want the theater to be so tidily kept out of the gutte ...more
Janette Fleming
The careers of New York City detective Simon Ziele and his former partner, Captain Declan Mulvaney, went in remarkably different directions after the tragic death of Ziele’s fiancée in the 1904 General Slocum ferry disaster. While earmarked for bigger things, Ziele moved north of the city to escape the violence, and Mulvaney dug in deeper, heading up the precinct in the most crime-ridden part of New York.
Yet with all of the resources at Mulvaney’s disposal, a puzzling crime compels him to ask h
...more
Tony
May 29, 2010 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pintoff, Stefanie. A CURTAIN FALLS. (2010). ****. This is the second novel in what is obviously a crime series featuring Detective Simon Ziele and Captain Declan Mulvaney of the New York City police force. The author’s first novel in the series, “In The Shadow of Gotham,” (unread) was shortlisted for an Edgar Award. The story is set in turn-of-the-century New York City, and is full of historical tidbits about the city and its people. The plot follows the discovery of a young actress, murdered an ...more
Beth
Jul 26, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2013-books
Another delightful, comfortable murder mystery. Just as with the previous novel in this series, "A Curtain Falls' delves into the subject of criminal psychology when it was still in its infancy as a science. Instead of being a valuable tool- as it is considered today ('Criminal Minds' anyone?)-, it was still dismissed as utter hogwash by most policemen at this time.

The novel follows Detective Simon Ziele as he investigates a series of murders in turn-of-the-century New York. All of the murders t
...more
Deadlined
A Curtain Falls
(Simon Ziele #2)
Stefanie Pintoff

Although I liked this novel quite a bit, I did not feel that it is as successful as the fir first in the series, The Shadow of Gotham. I felt the novel could have been more tightly written, that the prose was unwieldy and overly verbose on several occasions.

Still, the mystery worked for me, as the author introduces a new and shocking serial killer. The characters are allowed to develop and their personalities are subtly reveals. Criminologist Ali
...more
Sandy Ferguson Messick
The second of Pintoff's novels about Simon Ziele who solves crimes at the beginning of the 20th century. I really love the characters in this book and how they cope with trying to solve odd series of crimes in NY. The new crimes cause author to bring in new characters - like the handwriting expert and how the universities supported early crime solving techniques and seemingly encouraged their professors to conduct additional research. Pretty cool. I love reading about New York circa 1906, excell ...more
Joy Wilson
Jun 05, 2014 Joy Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story and well written. I enjoyed the first book in the series but was not sure it was an award winning level book. The second book is a giant step forward in terms of plot, pacing, and hiding the killer. This is shaping up to be a fun series to read and although I consider it a little lighter fare, it is still well worth picking up if you like mysteries. The characters are engaging and it gives you a feel for what police work must have been like at the turn of the 20th century. Well done M ...more
Art
Jan 23, 2016 Art rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting historical fiction mystery series, reminiscent of Caleb Carr.

Detective Simon Ziele left New York City after his fiance died in a 1904 ferry disaster.

But he has returned to assist his former partner look into who is murdering actresses in Broadway theaters.

Weird sidenote: two of my last four books have referenced George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion and Jack the Ripper. Strange trifecta...
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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 she ...more
More about Stefanie Pintoff...

Other Books in the Series

Simon Ziele (3 books)
  • In the Shadow of Gotham (Simon Ziele, #1)
  • Secret of the White Rose (Simon Ziele, #3)

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