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A Curtain Falls    by Stefanie Pintoff order for
Curtain Falls
by Stefanie Pintoff
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In A Curtain Falls, Stefanie Pintoff's readers travel back in time to 1906 New York City with its Hansom cabs, the advent of skyscrapers and electricity, the telephone as a new reality, talk of running the subway north of the city, the glory days of the theater, a burgeoning forensic department of the Metropolitan police, and a growing belief in the significance of fingerprints in solving crimes.

It's all mind boggling, but these forensic discoveries help Detective Simon Zeile and his former partner Captain Declan Mulvaney solve murders in the most crime ridden district in the city.

A chorus girl is found dead on a Broadway stage, dressed and coiffed as though enacting a part in a production. Murder or suicide? The two men feel this woman's death must be murder when another body is found staged as though part of a scene not yet played. When a third body appears in a third theater, they are desperate to find the killer before he strikes again.

Their search takes them out of the city and we ride along with them on a ferry and subway. The period detail places the reader as a participant in the action. Readers can imagine the streets of New York at that time and expect to find the author walking toward them on Broadway or Times Square in period clothing. The characters quickly become friends or enemies. Have you chosen which accurately? Suspense and action drip from the pages of this tightly plotted mystery.

A Curtain Falls is a really good book by Stefanie Pintoff, who was an Edgar Winner for Best First Mystery 2010 and was Edgar Award-nominated for In the Shadow of Gotham.

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