Rowland Sinclair is the youngest son of a pastoral family living in New South Wales. It’s 1933 and the Great War still casts it’s shadow over his family with his brother Aubrey being a casualty and his mother never having gotten over it. But without his older brother taking responsibility for the family enterprises, Rowland is free to pursue his artistic pursuits and keep rather raffish company. His brother Wilfred gruffly disapproves of Rowland’s activities and friends which cause friction between them. The books are ostensibly a crime series but in the Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher books style. That is with great attention to detail and considerable research into the period settings. Each chapter has at the start an excerpt from a newspaper of the time, which is relevant to the story.
In this latest book, Rowland, when he isn’t being pursued by thugs, is dispatched by his brother to look for their long serving aboriginal head stockman who has disappeared. The other stockman claim he just went walkabout ‘as his sort does’ but neither Wilfred or Rowland are convinced of that. Rowland’s friends aid him in the search and some rough and tumble adventures ensue.
The first book in the series, A Few Right Thinking Men introduced the character and was set in the politics of the time. The second book A Decline in Prophets was partly set on a luxury cruise liner and involved lots of bodies and the Theosophist Society. The covers of the books are lovely sepia photos or line drawings which fit perfectly with the feel of the stories
The research into the times is there, but with a light touch in all of the books and for an easy but interesting crime read, Sulari Gentill’s books are very good. The latest book is $30, the earlier two are $23