Stephanie Pintoff was in Houston’s Murder By the Book Book Store in June.  Ms. Pintoff had just recently won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. This is in my estimation the top mystery award that a new writer can win.

Ms. Pintoff’s book was entitled The Shadow of Gotham and was written in 2009.  The setting is 1905 in New York.  This is a year after Detective Simon Ziele lost his fiancee in a ferry accident in the East River that cost a thousand people their lives.  He moves to a small town but is confronted with a homicide he must solve.

The book took Stephanie six years to write.  She has been a New Yorker for 20 years and loves the city.

She has extremely impressive credentials for a new mystery writer so I was not surprised she won an Edgar:  She has not only a law degree from Columbia University, but also a Ph. D in Literature from New York University.  And finally … her dissertation was on detective mysteries!

I asked her if she practices law and she said that her only job is writing books and taking care of her family.  She was in Houston to help sell her latest book, A Curtain Falls, which is set in 1906 again with Detective Ziele.  This time a serial killer is dressing up girls as showgirls before murdering them … and he leaves notes on them with references to Pygmalion (by George B. Shaw).

Ms. Pintoff said she got her break by winning the Minotaur First Crime Novel Award Winner.  This got her published.

I noted last year that the book had a high rating in my system but did not buy it.  I did later find a used copy which she signed for me.

I think she said there are only about 5,000 copies of the first book and 10,000 copies of the second.  Her third book is due to be finished this month and will likely appear next year.  She’s obviously off to a great writing career.

Leave a Reply