Marianne's Reviews > Gentlemen Formerly Dressed

Gentlemen Formerly Dressed by Sulari Gentill
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it was amazing
Read 2 times. Last read January 3, 2021 to January 4, 2021.

Gentlemen Formerly Dressed is the fifth book in the Rowland Sinclair series by award-winning Australian author, Sulari Gentill. The audio version is narrated by Rupert Degas. Following a narrow escape from Nazis in Munich and gendarmes in Paris, gentleman artist Rowland Sinclair surprises his artistic friends by not wanting to get on the next ship home to Australia.

Rowly feels strongly that he must let someone in Her Majesty’s government know about what he saw whilst in Germany. But even with the help of his influential brother, Wilfred, and Australia’s High Commissioner, this proves both less that simple and frustratingly unproductive, as advisors to the PM repeatedly dismiss his concerns.

What he saw in Germany, in addition to his broken arm, bodily disfigurement and other injuries, has had a detrimental effect on Rowly’s wellbeing. Nor is being limited, in polite company (because of the plaster cast on his arm), to consuming consommé, helping his mood. Fellow artist, Clive Watson-Jones recognises in him what would now be diagnosed as PTSD; his solution is straightforward and a lot more effective than Horlicks.

During their stay in London, Rowly and his friends find themselves involved, much to Wil’s irritation, a number of awkward or dangerous situations, the first being the discovery of a very dead peer of the realm in an exclusive London Club. Trying to prove the innocence of a certain young lady whilst encumbered with a plaster cast takes much of Rowly’s energy.

Nevertheless, he still manages to attract a royal proposition by proxy, go for an unscheduled dip into the Thames, and be kidnapped. His paintings are stolen, a bundle of threatening letters is received, he gets caught in a police raid, incites a brawl, is beaten up more than once and is passionately kissed in public, twice.

Gentill delivers plenty of interesting historical detail, giving several famous (and infamous) figures cameos (and some, significant roles), and includes, among the twists and red herrings: Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks, eugenics, cross-dressers, mannequin limbs as weapons, and the Salvation Army.

Quotes from press articles of the time that preface the chapters cleverly serve the purpose of providing information connected to the text that follows. As always, Gentill perfectly captures the era. Once again, an outstanding dose of historical crime fiction. Readers who enjoy it will be pleased to know they can look forward to a further five (at least) instalments of this award-winning, addictive series, beginning with A Murder Unmentioned.
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Reading Progress

December 27, 2018 – Shelved (Mass Market Paperback Edition)
December 27, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read (Mass Market Paperback Edition)
January 19, 2020 – Started Reading (Mass Market Paperback Edition)
January 20, 2020 –
page 76
20.65% (Mass Market Paperback Edition)
January 21, 2020 –
page 230
62.5% (Mass Market Paperback Edition)
January 21, 2020 –
page 359
97.55% (Mass Market Paperback Edition)
January 21, 2020 – Finished Reading (Mass Market Paperback Edition)
January 3, 2021 – Started Reading
January 3, 2021 – Shelved
January 3, 2021 –
6.0%
January 4, 2021 –
66.0%
January 4, 2021 – Finished Reading

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