The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize regional shortlists were announced last Friday and among the six nominees in the category for best first book South East Asia and Pacific region is an Australian debut historical crime fiction novel called A FEW RIGHT THINKING MEN by Sulari Gentill.
I reviewed the book last year at my other blog and thoroughly enjoyed it. Set in the 1930’s at a time of economic depression and political upheaval, it tells of the death of a man which the Police fail to investigate successfully so the man’s nephew and his eclectic group of friends engage in some amateur sleuthing. I said in my review
This was a delightful book to read. I’ll admit right up front that the mystery component was a bit on the light side but because it played out against a fascinating and well-drawn backdrop of social and political events it kept my attention from the outset. Australia is not noted for its political unrest but Gentill has done a tremendous job of taking just enough real people and events from one of the few genuinely tense times in our political history and surrounding them with interesting fictional characters and intriguing situations.
Established in 1987, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize “aims to recognise the best fiction by both established and new writers from Commonwealth countries and ensure these works reach a wider audience outside their countries of origin”. It’s wonderful to see a terrific piece of crime fiction considered for such an award. Regional winners will be announced on 3 March and then winners in each category (best book and best first book) from each of the four regions will be announced in May.
Congratulations and good luck to Sulari Gentill.