IN THE SHADOW OF GOTHAM
What a fabulous first novel. Set in New York City in the early 1900s, Pintoff's fascinating historical mystery has believable, multidimensional characters. Her attention to the societal mannerisms and the crime-solving techniques of the period provide interesting detail without slowing the pace. Plus, the mystery is original and carefully planned. Clues are present throughout, but the ending still brings a surprising twist.
Following the death of his fiancee, New York detective Simon Ziele seeks the calm of Westchester County. His skills are tested when the murder of a female graduate student, visiting from Columbia University, shakes a usually quiet town. A criminologist from Columbia soon makes contact with Ziele because the murder seems consistent with the behaviors of one of his subjects. But Ziele suspects that someone is using the sociopath as a scapegoat. (MINOTAUR, May, 385 pp., $24.95)