cover image Secret of the White Rose

Secret of the White Rose

Stefanie Pintoff, Minotaur, $24.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-312-58397-2

Edgar-winner Pintoff proves with her third historical (after 2010's A Curtain Falls) that she's the equal of Caleb Carr. In the fall of 1906, New York City is fixated by the murder trial of anarchist Al Drayson, who planted a dynamite bomb meant for Andrew Carnegie in a horse-drawn cab that exploded and killed five bystanders. While Drayson's fate remains unresolved, criminologist Alistair Sinclair rouses Det. Simon Ziele in the middle of the night with some shocking news: someone has cut the throat of Hugo Jackson, the judge presiding over Drayson's trial, and left a Bible and a white rose near the corpse. Sinclair reveals that Jackson was an old friend, but Ziele eventually concludes that his colleague is hiding something. Drayson's accomplices are the obvious suspects, but Ziele is troubled by his commissioner's refusal to consider alternative theories, even as the killer adds to his body count. The author couples spot-on period details with her most sophisticated plot yet. (May)