Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Australian author Sulari Gentill ~ Rowland Sinclair Series ~ ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Australian author Sulari Gentill concocts a superb blend of historical events and people in her crime fiction series centred around gentleman artist, Rowland Sinclair, and his bohemian artist cohorts in the first half of the twentieth century.
Friends to the end, each character in this likeable posse grows with each new instalment: Rowland, a talented portrait artist from a wealthy family; Clyde, a steadfast bloke and landscape artist; the flamboyant Milton who is very possibly a poet; and Edna, the sultry sculptress for whom 'Rowly' is yet to declare the full extent of his feelings.
I entered this series with book four, Paving the New Road, in which the crew undertook a mission to Germany in the foment of fascism in 1933. In the fifth in the series, Gentlemen Formerly Dressed, the gang flee to London, wanted for murder in Germany. There, while they lay low (in luxury - Claridge's of Mayfair is their London digs), they are ensconced in the world of English privilege through the Sinclair family connections. When a Lord is murdered in scandalous fashion, the surrounding cover-up threatens to send to the gallows a woman whom Rowland is certain is innocent of the crime. Money and connections however are not always able to protect the team from the violence that befalls them.
Gentill cleverly weaves real-life characters (H G Wells and Evelyn Waugh are just two who appear here) and uses short newspaper clippings from the era at the beginning of each chapter. These are interesting for what they say about the times, as they set the scene for what follows.
If you're a fan of the fastidious stylings of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot or the extremely fashionable Phyrne Fisher (Kerry Greenwood's Miss Fisher Mysteries) then you may well find yourself soaking up the stylish ambience that Gentill evokes.
You don't need to have read the previous books to enjoy the action and the mystery that unfolds in this story. There are minor references to events of the previous books, such as why Rowland's arm is in a plaster cast, however none of these impair your understanding of this story. But having now read two books in the series, I've been enjoying my time with the four friends so much that I'll be going back to the beginning. ~ Craig
And now you can too. We tip our hats to the people at Pantera Press. They've now brought out this wonderfully titled pack, BOWLERS, BOHEMIANS & BLOODSHED, which contains the first three books in the sparkling ROWLAND SINCLAIR series and is such FANTASTIC VALUE! BUY HERE.
Buy these books at Abbey's (131 York Street Sydney) ~ An Aladdin's cave for readers