I really wanted to like this book and the main character. A House Divided by Sulari Gentill caught my eye for the local and timeline. It is set around the same time as Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher books, which I enjoyed, especially after being introduced to Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries TV series.
And actually, there were lots of things I DID like. However, there are times when you read a book and the message in the book feels like the author has inserted her (modern) political sensibilities into a historical era. That threw me out of the story more than once.
There was also a section where we jumped perspectives and it didn’t fit at all.
Here’s the back of the book blurb:
Aristocrat Rowland Sinclair doesn’t fit in with his family. His conservative older brother, Wilfred, thinks he’s reckless, a black sheep; his aging mother thinks he’s her son who was killed in the war. Only his namesake Uncle Rowly, a kindred spirit, understands him-and now he’s been brutally murdered in his own home.
The police are literally clueless, and so Rowly takes it upon himse to investigate the crime. In order to root out the guilty party, he use his wealth and family influence to infiltrate the upper echelons both the old and the new guard, playing both against the middle in a desperate and risky attempt to find justice for his uncle. With his bohemian housemates-a poet, a painter, and a free-spirited sculptress–watching his back, Rowly unwittingly exposes a conspiracy that just might be his undoing.
Some scenes towards the end were well done, even gripping. And I did like that the main character finally seemed to be stepping up, albeit rather dramatically. Sinclair never really gave the impression that he would suddenly become heroic or even decisive.
Because I don’t really care about the main character’s “crush” on another character, I’m actually likely not to read the next book in the series. This book recovered itself well, but I did read at least 4 or 5 books before I finished this one. I decided to finish it because it is due back at the library. The last 30-40 pages gave the book an extra star.
It took me almost two months to read the book. This is a murder mystery. I typically read mysteries in a few days, sometimes in one sitting.
I gave it two out of five stars on Goodreads. It was OK. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it more than I did. Please feel free to tell me this in the comments, if you are so inclined!
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