Book Reviews

A Few Right Thinking Men (Rowland Sinclair #1) by Sulari Gentill

A gem of Australian crime fiction, this novel is the first in a series by Australian author Ms. Gentill. Set in Sydney 1931, we are introduced to Rowland Sinclair, the second surviving son of a very wealthy Australian grazier family. Living the life of a portrait artist and gentleman, Rowly (to his friends) is aged 25, a product of the King’s School in Parramatta, then Oxford University before returning home to the family mansion in Woollahra, there to paint. His friends and housemates are an eclectic group of poet, landscape painter and sculpturer/model (two fellows, one unmarried female!) along with his household staff to maintain decorum.

The plot opens, sadly, with the murder of Rowly’s elderly and harmless uncle, after whom he was named. With the police unable to establish a motive, nor find the murderers, Rowly proceeds with his own investigation, tangling along with the way with Sydney’s underworld and the political movements of the day.

The novel is a joy to the sharp eyed reader. Each chapter opens with an image of a genuine historic newspaper article, reporting an event which impacts Rowly and his world. Actual historic figures are seamlessly inserted into the plot, to interact with Rowly, his friends and family members (this story includes the New Guard and Francis De Groot, to name but a few). Even Rowly’s mansion, Woodlands House, actually exists today in Wallaroy Road. The author has meticulously researched Sydney and environs of the day, faultlessly setting the novel in a real world environment, a treasure for history buffs.

The SMSA holds the entire series to date for readers to enjoy.

Reviewed by Belinda Coombs
Murder and Crime Reading Group

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A Few Right Thinking Men (Rowland Sinclair #1) by Sulari Gentill

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