One of the best things about doing this Historical Fiction Around the World sampling of authors from other countries than my own is “discovering” new authors! In A House Divided by Sulari Gentill I found a kindred spirit when it comes to historical fiction. This story is the first in the Rowland Sinclair Mystery series of eight historical crime fiction stories by this author set in the 1930s in Australia. I’m going to add them to my growing To-Be-Read (TBR) list! I shared my initial thoughts last time, but now that I’m finished reading the book, let me tell you more.
Ms. Gentill immersed me into the lifestyle of both the rich and famous in protagonist Rowland Sinclair, but then showed me the seedier side of life during that era with some shady and violent characters. In between those extremes, we meet several Bohemian and artistic characters and many militaristic and political characters to boot. All told, the author painted a vivid picture of the life and times in the 1930s.
I enjoyed the smattering of Aussie lingo and euphemisms she used to help create a sense of the people then, some of which I believe is still used today. That sense of vague familiarity with a foreign land and culture helped me slide right into the story world and settle in for a good tale. She wove enough of the unfamiliar terms, often explained in context, throughout the story to paint the picture of the Australian culture without leaving me foundering for understanding.
My overall impression of A House Divided is of a solid murder mystery with great and individual characters worth getting to know. If you’re a cozy mystery fan, this one is for you!
Next up is Cut from the Earth by Stephanie Renee Dos Santos (The Tile Maker series Book 1). Ms. Dos Santos is from South America, my first author from that area. This one I’m going to read on my Nook instead of in paperback for a change.
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As the American Revolution drags on, Charles Town, South Carolina, remains under siege by the British, and one woman’s father is determined to marry her off to a suspected traitor. Emily Sullivan is beset from all sides but vows to fight her own war for independence.
Frank Thomson walks a fine line between spying for the Americans and being a perceived loyalist traitor. Posing as a simple printer of broadsheets and pamphlets, he sends crucial encrypted intelligence to the general camped outside of town. But when Frank learns Emily has been imprisoned by the enemy, he risks his own life, freedom, and heart for hers.