Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Secret of the White Rose by Stefanie Pintoff

A high-profile trial, an honest, fair judge, and some undisclosed history of the participants.   All these circumstances resulted in a judge being found murdered in his home office along with a white rose and a Bible.

Who could have done this?  There was speculation about who the culprit could be, and the detectives didn’t think someone had acted alone.  Every detective that had some connection to a group or a family member who may have some connections was involved in the case.  "Get to it gentlemen.........My goal is to arrest those responsible for the judge's murder within forty-eight hours."  Page 70

Another idea to find the motive and the murderer was to get in touch with a judge named Angus Porter...he was a symbolist, and there definitely was a lot of symbolism in the clues and in the murder of Judge Hugo Jackson.  The white rose in the judge's hand and also on a sheet of music gave the detectives the most clues as to why the murder had occurred.  The crime scene was filled with symbolism, and the symbolism needed to be decoded.  Some decoding was done, but another murder occurred shortly after, and again the murderer left a Bible and a white rose at the scene.

The similarities of symbols at both murders and the anarchist on trial, Drayson, led the detectives to a group of his followers.  The group was then arrested for attacking an officer. While they were being held in jail, an explosion occurred...an explosion meant to assist in the freeing of the anarchists being held.  It turned out the explosion had been a diversion so that Drayson could escape.

Meanwhile the two murders were not even close to being solved, but the clues were beginning to add up or so they thought.  A third murder occurred, and it was not a judge....it was a professor at a local university.  What connected all of them and why were the same items left with the bodies?

There was a surprise at the end, but not a great mystery/read for me.  An interesting aspect was the setting in the early 19th century.  It was interesting to see how crimes were solved during that time and how the police and detectives put clues together.  It was also interesting to hear about the "cabs" that were pulled by horses in New York City.

I will give the book a 3/5 because I had trouble keeping track of the characters and their roles and it really wasn’t a “grab ya” story…it took a while to warm up to what was going on.   


  1. Not that great.

    THANKS for stopping by.

  2. Hm, I generally don't like it when I have trouble keeping track of characters - it draws me out of the story.

  3. Thanks for your review. I saw this book awhile ago and thought it sounded interesting, but after reading your thoughts, I won't be running out to buy it any time soon! Thank you!

  4. Thanks for your honest review! I look forward to your next review as well :)...


    If you have time, check out my latest review of Dewey by Vicki Myron :)

  5. Great review. Sounds like an interesting story. Found you on CFB hop and now following!