Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stefanie Pintoff

Stefanie Pintoff is the winner of the first Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Crime Novel Competition. Her novel In the Shadow of Gotham, the first in the Detective Simon Ziele series, releases in late April.

From a Q & A at the publisher's website:

1. The Detective Ziele series is set in the early 1900s. What draws you to this time period?

I’ve always loved New York City – and I find no period in the city’s history to be more exciting than the turn of the 20th century. It was a time of unparalleled change and growth that’s been tremendous fun for me to explore and incorporate into my writing. As more people prospered, the city's culture adapted: people became interested in food, and so new restaurants sprang up; their demand for new homes led to a real estate explosion that pushed the city northward, helped along by the first underground subway; and they frequented a growing variety of shows, concerts, and entertainment halls. But still, the city remained marked by vice, corruption, and colorful con artists exploiting it all.

2. What was your inspiration for creating Detective Ziele?

I took one true fact from the life of someone close to me – about how his father waged a losing battle with a gambling habit – and gave this burden to Simon Ziele. I considered how his father's shortcomings would have first limited Ziele, but then fundamentally shaped him. He became someone smarter, more resilient, and more motivated by a sense of fairness than he might otherwise have become.
Read the complete Q & A.

The Page 69 Test: In the Shadow of Gotham.

--Marshal Zeringue