A Murder Unmentioned by Sulari Gentill

‘Who murdered Henry Sinclair?

In 1920, Henry Sinclair died at the Sinclair family’s country estate, Oaklea, near Yass in New South Wales.  The fact that he was murdered was not something that the Sinclair family discussed.  But in 1933, when Edna Walling is brought in to work on the gardens at Oaklea, the draining of a dam leads to the discovery of the gun used in Henry Sinclair’s murder. The Sinclair family can no longer avoid the issue.  But who murdered Henry Sinclair? Were either of the Sinclair brothers: Wilfred (Wilf) or Rowland (Rowly) involved?

‘What can you tell us about the evening your father, the late Henry Sinclair, was murdered, Mr Sinclair?’

Given the time that has elapsed, will the police be interested in renewing their inquiries? Alas, Rowly has managed to offend Colonel Eric Campbell, the leader of the right-wing New Guard and he uses his influence to ensure that the police renew their inquiries into Henry Sinclair’s death.

Rowly and his trio of friends head to Yass (by aeroplane and car) to try to clear Rowly’s name. Of course, nothing is ever straightforward for Rowly Sinclair.  He’s being pursued by a woman who wants to marry him, his mother thinks that he is his older (deceased) brother and his cousin Arthur (a solicitor) is being very helpful.  And then there’s another murder!

This is the sixth novel in Ms Gentill’s marvellous Rowland Sinclair series.  Ms Gentill draws on the history of the period, and we see appearances by Robert Menzies and Kate Leigh as well as Edna Walling and Eric Campbell.  I enjoyed learning more of the Sinclair backstory in this novel.  While I’ve read the three novels published after this one, I’ve not yet read all the earlier novels.  But I will.  The characters intrigue me and the setting is perfect.

Highly recommended.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith