In THOMAS ZIGAL’s sophisticated thriller THE WHITE LEAGUE (Toby Press), New Orleans coffee magnate Paul Blanchard peeks beneath the Mardi Gras masks of his fellow captains of industry and discovers a secret society still fighting for segregation long after its antecedent—the real-life White League—was believed disbanded in 1877. Blanchard, cut from a more liberal cloth, keeps his distance until a blackmail scheme forces him into an unwelcome alliance. Zigal is slow out of the starting gate, and a few early scenes ring a bit hollow. But once he finds his rhythm, the blend of historical background with edgy characters and subplots creates a rich and satisfying brew.