A Few Right Thinking Men

Book 1: The Rowland Sinclair Mysteries

Sulari Gentill

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A Few Right Thinking Men

Book 1: The Rowland Sinclair Mysteries

Sulari Gentill

Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book

Introducing Rowland Sinclair.

Rowland Sinclair is an artist and a gentleman. In Australia’s 1930s, the Sinclair name is respectable and influential, yet the youngest son Rowland – an artist – has a talent for scandal.

Even with the unemployed lining the streets, Rowland’s sheltered world is one of exorbitant wealth, culture and impeccable tailoring. He relies on the Sinclair fortune to indulge his artistic passions and friends… a poet, a painter and a brazen sculptress.

Mounting  tensions fuelled by the Great Depression take Australia to the brink of revolution.

Rowland Sinclair is indifferent to the politics… until a brutal murder exposes an extraordinary & treasonous conspiracy.


“Witty dialogue, lively characters, and a shrewd political awareness of the times.” – Marele Day

“… historically correct, gripping, no-holds-barred novel… an enjoyable read for young and old.” – Bookseller + Publisher

Book 1 in the award-winning Rowland Sinclair Mystery Series

Sulari Gentill

Sulari Gentill

Sulari Gentill

Sulari Gentill - Author of the award-winning and best-selling Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, the Greek mythology adventure series The Hero Trilogy, and winner of the Best Crime award at the 2018 Ned Kelly Awards, Crossing the Lines.

Award-winning author Sulari Gentill set out to study astrophysics, graduated in law, and then abandoned her legal career to write books instead of contracts.

Born in Sri Lanka, Sulari learned to speak English in Zambia, grew up in Brisbane and now lives in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of NSW where, with her historian husband, she grows French black truffles, cares for a variety of animals and raises two wild colonial boys. Sulari also paints, but only well enough to know she should write, preferably in her pyjamas.


Photo credit: Erica Murray

More about the author

“Witty dialogue, lively characters, and a shrewd political awareness of the times.”

“… historically correct, gripping, no-holds-barred novel… an enjoyable read for young and old.”

“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.”

A Few Right Thinking Men is a richly drawn and involving Australian historical crime novel… it’s a cut above much Australian crime. It’s well researched and atmospheric, with a brisk pace, colourful characters and charming period dialogue.”

“Gentill has chosen a fascinating yet little-known period in history, a time of political turbulence when our country teetered on the brink of revolution. Fans of classic crime fiction will also be pleased to learn that, with her amateur detective Rowland Sinclair, she has brought back the gentleman sleuth but with a difference: he’s a larrikin Lord Peter Wimsey, with a penchant for living la vie de boheme.”

“… a fun and intelligent story revolving around the fiery period when NSW was on the brink of civil war as the Harbour Bridge was being erected…”

“Absorbing… the novel well written, the prose flowing and the pace well maintained…dialogue quite witty, with some genuine laugh out loud moments… a refreshing balance between drama and humour…Sulari Gentill a definite name to watch in the future.”

“This is a wonderfully gripping debut crime novel… this novel comes with comparisons to the popular Phryne Fisher series by prolific Australian crime writer Kerry Greenwood… It is extremely well researched and beautifully brings to life an era of Sydney that is both fascinating and lively.”

“Gentill has written an immensely readable first novel, and has the second Rowland Sinclair story under her belt already. Get used to her name. We are going to be hearing a lot more of it.”

“… thoroughly enjoyable… an absorbing story about a crucial but underwritten slice of Australian history.”

“With its well rounded and charismatic characters, the palpable real-life politics behind the fiction of this engaging story is what makes A Few Right Thinking Men a welcome and highly recommendable addition to the genre of Australian historical fiction.”

“One of the highlights for me was the wit, the humour, and the dialogue between these characters. This is all masterful, and I was guffawing even in the midst of a grim reality… the reader is completely invested in the lives, emotions, and outcomes of these people. From the first page to the last, everything flows, woven perfectly… ”

“Sulari does a great job of weaving fact and fiction together… Her evocation of the era and witty exchanges among the characters, especially the Woodlands House residents, reminded me of the plays of Oscar Wilde… a fascinating, highly entertaining read, which I suspect will attract a wide audience in addition to readers of crime fiction.”

“…an historical crime novel with a difference… Gentill has created a cast of unique and likeable characters who drive the novel with their humorous and witty dialogue…  such an enjoyable and informative read… highly recommended.”

“The characters are wonderfully drawn… a good book for readers who like their murder and mayhem more on the incidental side… the murder doesn’t read as the point of this book. It’s the overall environment, and that short, sharp, mad period of Australian history, which is really very well handled.”

“Sulari captures the heart of Australia… intriguing and entertaining… even if you have no interest in history, the story itself is wonderful. A murder mystery in the style of Agatha Christie…”

“A Few Right Thinking Men is a historically correct, gripping, no-holds-barred novel… filled with spies, murder and intrigue… an enjoyable read for young and old.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book – and why wouldn’t I? It’s set in my favourite era, it’s a crime novel, it’s Australian, it’s well written and well-researched and it opens a fascinating window into Sydney society of the 1930s. I kept wishing that I’d thought of it!”

“A delightful book to read… rounded out by a gentle humour and some imaginative interpretations of what might have happened behind the scenes at some well known moments in our history. I was easily and quickly lost in the story and keen to find out how it would all unfold… great settings, interesting historical details and warm, lively characters. It’s a delicious treat of a book.”

“With its deliberate title pun, [AFRTM] introduces wealthy artist Roland Sinclair, who runs open house to hopeful poets and beautiful women, as communist agitators confront New Guard fascists during Australia’s Great Depression of the early 1930s….Sulari Gentill includes a well pitched murder mystery…”

“…the start of a promising new series set in 1930s Sydney about a character who is a little like a male Phryne Fisher… Gentill has a lot of fun with a hero who is always getting paint on his immaculate tailoring.”

“… absolutely captured my imagination… The phrase ‘bringing history to life’ is overused to the point of cliche, but this is truly what Gentill manages. It’s a fantastic achievement.”

“…impressive stories set against the politics of the 1930s… cleverly picked up by the small Pantera Press…”

‘”…brilliant, superb, amazing, and talented… a magnificent book to get the imagination going and the creative juices flowing.”

Sulari Gentill’s 1930’s mystery romp around Sydney was delightfully charming from start to finish…well-rounded, believable characters…Witty dialogue & fascinating historical notes make this book un-put-downable. Gentill highlights a fascinating time in NSW history…I will definitely seek out the rest of the books in her series…”

“… shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best first book… instantly draws the reader into the tension… there is much promise here, which is more than met as the series has gone from strength to strength.”

“[Gentill] writes as though she were born to it: gracefully, with a sharp eye for details in characterization and dialogue, and with an ability to keep us guessing about where, exactly, the story is headed. As series-launching novels go, this one is especially successful… And Sinclair himself is a delight: wining us over completely and making us feel as though he’s an old friend.”

“What was not to love?…I love that the main characters are artists and bohemians. I like that Sulari Gentill actually is an artist herself and does her own covers. I like that she brings in other POC characters and that she knows her history well enough to have it sit in the background and form a major cohesive part of the story but in a way that doesn’t require any effort from you. You as a reader do not need to wade through it to understand it. It is a rich tapestry and it is easily understandable. Her plots and subplots are intricate… It is a lovely series and it makes you feel as if you are right there in the midst of it all, trying to prevent people from going undercover and doing foolhardy risky things.”

“…Gentill’s entertaining and engrossing murder mystery is as much a history lesson as it is a titillating whodunit…filled with unexpected humour, fallible heroes and complex relationships that make Rowland Sinclair’s world believable and intriguing. The mystery unfolds at a leisurely pace but the story is pushed along by many defining character moments, making A Few Right Thinking Men both fascinating and engrossing.”