Shortlisted for Best First Book for the Commonwealth Writers' Price for 2011
"Her witty hero will delight traditional mystery buffs." —Library Journal STARRED review
Meet Rowland Sinclair, gentleman and artist living in 1931 Sydney. Friend of the Left, son of the Right, he paints in a superbly tailored, three-piece suit and houses friends who include a poet, a painter, and a feminist sculptress whom he has painted nude and hung it in the drawing room. Is he perhaps in love with Edna? If so, she isn't having any.
Sinclair's fortune and his indifference to politics shelter him from the mounting tensions of the Great Depression roiling Australia and taking it near the brink of revolution.
One day in December 1931 comes terrible news: Uncle Rowly has been murdered in his home by unknown assailants. The murder prompts Roland to infiltrate the echelons of the old and new guard. Among them are a few "right thinking men," a cadre of conservatives who became convinced of a Communist takeover and have formed a movement to combat it. In time, Rowland's investigation exposes an extraordinary conspiracy with direct personal consequences.
"While the vintage Down Under settings might make this debut, which was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best First Book, comparable to Kerry Greenwood's Melbourne-based Phryne Fisher 1920s mysteries, Gentill works in historical events that add verisimilitude to her story. There are more political machinations going on here than Phryne could ever contemplate. VERDICT: Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press for bringing another award-winning Australian crime writer to U.S. shores. Her witty hero will delight traditional mystery buffs." — Library Journal STARRED Review
"As series-launching novels go, this one is especially successful: the plot effectively plays Sinclair's aristocratic bearing and involvement in the arts against the Depression setting, fraught with radical politics, both of which he becomes involves in as he turns sleuth. And Sinclair himself is a delight: wining us over completely and making us feel as though he's an old friend." — Booklist STARRED Review
"It takes a talented writer to imbue history with colour and vivacity... A Few Right Thinking Men more than matches its historical crime contemporaries... It is rare to find such an assured debut as A Few Right Thinking Men. The novel deserves to be both read and remembered as an insight into the Australia that was; its conflicting ideologies, aims and desires; the hallmarks of a country still maturing." — Australian Book Review
"Fans of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series, rejoice: here comes another Depression-era Australian sleuth! Along the way there is plenty of solid discussion of politics and social status, with enough context to both draw in those new to the era and keep those more well-versed in their history interested." — Historical Novel Society