A Curtain Falls (Simon Ziele Series #2)

A Curtain Falls (Simon Ziele Series #2)

by Stefanie Pintoff

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312573218
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 05/10/2011
Series: Simon Ziele Series , #2
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 1,058,108
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Stefanie Pintoff is the author of In the Shadow of Gotham and Secret of the White Rose. In the Shadow of Gotham is the winner of the 2010 Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the Washington Irving Book Prize, and she has earned nominations for the Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Awards. She is also a graduate of Columbia University Law School and has a Ph.D. in literature from New York University. Now a full-time writer, she lives with her husband and daughter on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

1. Discuss the meaning(s) of the title A Curtain Falls.

2. Charles Frohman is a real historical figure credited with inventing the "star system" that shaped early Broadway (and was later used in the Hollywood studios of the 1930s and 1940s). What are the rules of his system? How do they infuse an environment already marked by greed, ambition, and jealousy?

3. At the heart of any series is the continual emotional development of the principal characters from book to book. Which character grows the most in this book? How?

4. In addition to serving as a physical location, the Broadway theater is almost a character is its own right. Does this setting add to the novel? What kinds of details bring it alive?

5. The essence of theater is the blurred line between appearance and reality, truth and lies. In what ways does this theme lie at the heart of A Curtain Falls?

6. The author depicts many representations of family, relationships, and the nature of grief. How do characters compensate for absence and loss? Which are the most successful? Why do you think that is?

7. Detective Ziele struggles with his newfound knowledge when he discovers Timothy Poe's true situation. Did you find his struggle true to his character and time period?

8. What is your favorite scene in the book and why?

Customer Reviews

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A Curtain Falls (Simon Ziele Series #2) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
EdNY More than 1 year ago
Stefanie Pintoff, the 2010 winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author for her book In the Shadow of Gotham, takes a new approach to crime. Her two books take place in New York City in the early 1900s, a time when forensic science is beginning to be used to solve crimes. In both of her books, Simon Ziele, a detective formerly in Manhattan and now residing in upstate Dobson, NY is called upon to solve a murder. He is assisted by noted criminologist Alistair Sinclair and his niece Isabella. Sinclair, a renowned professor at Columbia University, spends his time studying criminal behavior and tries to understand the criminal mind in order to understand the crime. In In the Shadow of Gotham, Sarah Wingate is brutally murdered in her own bedroom. After just one day of investigation, Simon is contacted by Alistair, who offers a startling claim about one of his patients, Michael Fromley-that the facts of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to Fromley's deranged mutterings. But what would have led Fromley, with his history of violent behavior and brutal fantasies, to seek out Sarah, a notable mathematics student and a proper young lady who has little in common with his previous targets? Is Fromley really a murderer, or is someone mimicking him? A Curtain Falls finds Ziele investigating the murders of Broadway starlets. Each actress is dressed in a leading actress' costume, posed in a glamorous position on stage and murdered without leaving any marks on her body. A note is left beside each body. Where will this serial killer strike next? Stefanie Pintoff is a mystery writer to watch. I couldn't put either book down. Her writing is descriptive. Her characters generate emotion, whether it is the likable Ziele or the elusive criminal. Her plot is intriguing and unlike many mysteries, the conclusion makes sense. It is interesting to note how fingerprints and psychological profiling are treated at the time...with skepticism. If you are looking for a new name in mysteries, Stefanie Pintoff is the name you are looking for. Enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the author's first book; this second is even better! Pintoff's debut won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and she continues her high standards in this follow up. Memorable characters, great suspense, and a rich historical setting make for a terrific read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1904, New York City residents are stunned by the tragic sinking of General Slocum. Like so many locals, NYPD partners detectives Simon Ziele and Declan Mulvaney are impacted by the calamity. Simon's fiancée died with the sinking; he quit the force and left the city moving to Dobson up the Hudson. Declan stayed with NYPD until now in 1906 he is a captain. Needing someone he trusts, Mulvaney asks Ziele, who just watched in disgust a jury set free a spouse killer, to investigate the murder of a Broadway chorus girl; the second such homicide made to look like a suicide near the Garrick Theater on West Thirty-Fifth in the last few weeks. Ziele believes a serial killer is loose. The cops arrest a suspect, but Ziele thinks the wrong man has been brought in. He and criminologist Alistair Sinclair investigate the murders. The latest Ziele historical police procedural (see In the Shadow of Gotham) is an excellent period piece with a strong whodunit. Readers will enjoy the cankerous camaraderie between Ziele and Sinclair who respect each other professionally but also distrust one another personally especially with the former guilt-laden attracted to the latter's widow daughter-in-law. With insight into the beginnings of the Great White Way becoming the American Theater District inside a strong cop case, Stefanie Pintoff provides sub-genre fans with another superb early twentieth century mystery. Harriet Klausner
pharrm on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Charming historical crime fiction of NYC in 1906. Bodies found dead in local Broadway-type theaters. Ziele is good.
EdGoldberg on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Stefanie Pintoff, the 2010 winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author for her book In the Shadow of Gotham, takes a new approach to crime. Her two books take place in New York City in the early 1900s, a time when forensic science is beginning to be used to solve crimes. In both of her books, Simon Ziele, a detective formerly in Manhattan and now residing in upstate Dobson, NY is called upon to solve a murder. He is assisted by noted criminologist Alistair Sinclair and his niece Isabella. Sinclair, a renowned professor at Columbia University, spends his time studying criminal behavior and tries to understand the criminal mind in order to understand the crime.In In the Shadow of Gotham, Sarah Wingate is brutally murdered in her own bedroom. After just one day of investigation, Simon is contacted by Alistair, who offers a startling claim about one of his patients, Michael Fromley¿that the facts of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to Fromley¿s deranged mutterings. But what would have led Fromley, with his history of violent behavior and brutal fantasies, to seek out Sarah, a notable mathematics student and a proper young lady who has little in common with his previous targets? Is Fromley really a murderer, or is someone mimicking him?A Curtain Falls finds Ziele investigating the murders of Broadway starlets. Each actress is dressed in a leading actress' costume, posed in a glamorous position on stage and murdered without leaving any marks on her body. A note is left beside each body. Where will this serial killer strike next?Stefanie Pintoff is a mystery writer to watch. I couldn't put either book down. Her writing is descriptive. Her characters generate emotion, whether it is the likable Ziele or the elusive criminal. Her plot is intriguing and unlike many mysteries, the conclusion makes sense. It is interesting to note how fingerprints and psychological profiling are treated at the time...with skepticism.If you are looking for a new name in mysteries, Stefanie Pintoff is the name you are looking for. Enjoy.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I really liked In the Shadow of Gotham, Stephanie Pintoff's debut novel. I thought it was smart and well-written and it scratched the combined itch of historical fiction and mysteries exceedingly well. I somehow missed this one so I picked it up when I got the third one, Secret of the White Rose, from the library (haven't read that one yet). I was really disappointed in this one, but I'm putting it down to a sophomore slump. Pintoff loses some of her elegance and precision in this book and spends too much time sort wandering aimlessly over territory that is tailor-made for a cracking good mystery. I gave up midway through, but am still hoping the next one is better and this was just a fluke.
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firesidereader2 More than 1 year ago
I am delighted to have found this author!  Too long without finding a fresh voice, replete with interesting characters and authoritative historical details tied together with an intriguing plot.  Definitely recommended!
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I enjoyed the first book, "In The Shadow Of Gotham" but this book was even better!!! I didn't think that could be possible because the 1st book was so good but this book was great as well & I couldn't put it down. Looking forward to reading the next book in this series. So glad I discovered Stefanie Pintoff!
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