BOOK CLUB: All the Tears in China

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Author: Sulari Gentill
ISBN: 
978-1-925700-05-3
RRP: 
$29.99
Publication Date: 
21 January 2019
Publisher: 
Pantera Press
Copy: 
Courtesy of the Publisher

Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pantera Press for the opportunity to read All The Tears in China By Sulari Gentill.


Sulari Gentill is an Australian author. All The Tears in China is Book 9 in the award winning Rowland Sinclair mysteries, a series of historical crime novels set in the 1930s.  Rowland is a gentleman artist and amateur  detective. You need not have read any of the previous books to enjoy this one. It is great stand alone novel, but I am sure after reading it you will want to read the others.

All The Tears in China is set in Shanghai in 1935. Shanghai at this time is a playground for expatriates where fortunes are made and lost. East meets West.

Rowland is sent to Shanghai to represent his brother on family business which is international wool sale negotiations. His instructions are to listen only, do not commit to anything.  It should be an easy job.

Virtually as soon as he and his friends arrive in Shanghai , a brutal murder takes place and Rowland is under suspicion. His friends Edna Higgins, a sculptress, Milton Isaacs, a poet and Clyde Watson Jones, a painter, plus several locals they  have befriended all help Rowland in his desperate bid to find out who is responsible for the murder and clear his name.

Shanghai at this time is a free trade port where politics and vice entwine with commerce. Exiled Russians, Communists, Germans, Japanese, Chinese and gangsters all make it a dangerous place to be.

A very clever way to help the reader to understand the times are the  fascinating News Paper articles preceding   each chapter.

There are plenty of twists and turns, action and complicated relationships to keep you interested. Also the main question…….who is the murderer and  why has Rowland been framed ?

What I especially likes about the book is the ending. You don’t need to wait until the next book comes out to find out what happens to everyone. There is excellent closure.

I am sure Rowland Sinclair will be in another country having another adventure and I will be sure to read that book too!

This review was written by our Beauty and Lace Club Member, Anne Steer. Thank you Anne for your submission.

Sulari Gentill can be found on Facebook,TwitterInstagram, and her website.

All The Tears In China is published by Pantera Pressand is available now where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Pantera Press,25 of our Beauty and Lace Club Memberswill be reading All The Tears In China so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below

22 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: All the Tears in China

  1. I hadn’t read any of the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries by Sulari Gentill so ‘All The Tears in China’ the 9th book in the series was a great late introduction. Even without reading the first 8 books, it was easy to connect with the characters of ‘All the Tears in China’. It is historical fiction set in Shanghai in 1935 and chronicles the adventures of Rowland Sinclair and his group of friends from Australia. Rowland discovers the dark sinister side of Shanghai when a woman’s body is found in his room. You really get an insight into the life, politics and history of Shanghai/China and its connections with Australia. I loved the newspaper excerpts at the beginning of each chapter as it really gave you a feel to the story and time period. I’m not sure if they were true but it did make me want to know more about that period. I look forward to reading the other books in the series. An entertaining story that combines history with an exciting mystery. 4/5

  2. I received All the Teas in China for my February review. Unfortunately this was not a book I could get into and quickly lost interest and found myself re reading parts over and over again . I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed it more or been able to follow the storyline more if I had read the previous books in this series or not. Sadly not a book I would recommend

  3. All the tears in China, this is not a book or genre that I would ever normally read. I didn’t realise until reading that it is the 9th book in the series however it didn’t affect how much I enjoyed the book.

    I thought the characters were developed really well and whilst the plot was a little fantastical the overall story really came together well. I really enjoyed the writing style, especially the use of newspaper and magazine articles to emphasise the climate, surroundings and atmosphere.

    While I won’t be rushing out to read all the others (I Am not one who can commit to series’ books ;)) it was well written and enjoyable.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace for another interesting read 🙂

  4. All the Tears in China is Book 9 in the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, a series I had not heard of before. I enjoy a good crime novel, particularly with slightly odd ball characters so was looking forward to reading this novel.
    The story is set in Shanghai in 1935 just as the city is struggling with its identity and place in the world. Is it still one of the great trading cities? Who has control? Will they be taken over by the Nazis or the Japanese? In 1935 it seems Shanghai is a bohemian city but with many dangers lurking for visitors and locals alike.

    Into this walks Rowland Sinclair and his friends (an artist, a poet and a sculptress). Rowland is there to represent his brother at international wool negotiations where he is under strict instructions to commit to nothing. However within a couple of days of their arrival a murder takes place, suspicion falls on Rowland and as the story progresses Rowland gets in deeper and deeper (and with more and more bruises).
    Knowing little about Shanghai at that time I found the historical side fascinating, I had never thought of the Japanese and Nazi influences on China before. However although I enjoyed much of the novel I did find many of the characters were stereotypes: the free thinking sculptress, the gang boss, the prison guard, the artist with naïve communist sympathies and if Rowland had got himself into one more fight I think I would have given up.
    Overall though this was an enjoyable novel, perfect for relaxed reading when travelling. As stated earlier I found the historical side of the story appealing and for that reason, and as the 1930s were a time of huge political change which I don’t know enough about, I might well look out for other Rowland Sinclair mysteries.
    Many thanks to the Beauty and Lace book club and Pantera Press for the opportunity to read this novel.

  5. I really enjoyed this novel and can highly recommend it. It is the first book I have read from this author and will certainly look for the others. It puts me in mind of the series of Maisie Dobbs books. It is the sort of book you don!t want to put down till the end.

  6. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review All The Tears in China by Sulari Gentill.
    All The Tears in China is the ninth book in the series of Rowland Sinclair mysteries.it is the first time I have read anything by author Sulari Gentill. I didn’t find it was necessary to have read the previous eight books in the series.

    It is set in 1935 in Shanghai with Rowland Siclair and his friends from Australia. Unfortunately one day Rowland finds a woman’s body in his room and the story goes from there.

    It is not a genre that I wouldn’t normally read. I did find it was well written and I liked that it had newspaper and magazine articles.

  7. All the tears in china.

    Love the name!

    I was concerned to begin with that this book being the 9th in a series would leave me a little bit confused and not comprehending some things that may have been part of the previous books. This is not at all the case and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Rowland Sinclair, Edna and their friends as well as the other characters that enter the story. The story flows well and each chapter follows on from the last, making it easy to grasp.

    The cover was perfect in that it fitted with the time frame of 1935 in Shanghai and the bizarre lifestyle that is rich, young and bohemian in style.

    As I said, this is in a series but it was certainly a page turner of intrigue and full of life characters that bring the story to life. Drama seems to have followed these 4 characters around the globe, whether by chance or by their own follies, or a bit of both. The secondary characters were also interesting and had their individuality stamped upon them. I love them all.

    I certainly did not know the plot as it unfolded and the mystery had me guessing until all was revealed. I will now be heading off to find other books by the same author in this series.

    Thank you to all for letting me read this book

  8. This historical fiction novel, beautifully captures an exotic mix of people in China on the cusp of great change. The eclectic mix of characters from different countries, each adds their own unique bit to the novels charm. My favourite character was Mr. Wing! The newspaper clippings at the start of the chapters were really interesting and gave a good insight of the time the book is set in.

    Was also fascinating to see the cultural norms of the time and how if affected the behaviour and relationships between the characters. The various twists and turns in the hunt for the criminal really kept me guessing right till the end, though at times it was frustrating and wanted to yell at Rowland Sinclair to try harder :)!

    Overall an interesting piece of historical fiction that gives me a different perspective on the state of China just before the communist uprising, mixed in with an old fashioned murder mystery.

  9. ‘All the tears in China’was my book for February. Although I had not read any other books by Sulari Gentill, and was advised to to so before reading this one but just wanted to read! An excellent author, I found myself getting caught up in the story line straight away, I found the characters very well written, witty and relatable. I guess now I need to read the 8 books ahead of this one. Great read.

  10. Thanks Beauty and Lace and Pantera Press for my copy of the book to read.

    All The Tears In China is a novel set in Shanghai in 1935.
    There are newspaper snippets from different newspapers and magazines at the start of each chapter. These from 1934/35 and each one is roughly relating to part of the story.
    Each one on its own is interesting.

    The story starts in Sydney where we meet Rowland Sinclair. Rowland comes from a wealthy wool trading family. His brother Wilfred is meant to go to Shanghai China but due to family reasons can not go and decides to send Rowland in his place.

    After Wilfred has given Rowland instructions on the things he is to do and the things he is not to do Rowland and his group of friends head off to China.

    The second day there Rowland arrives back at his hotel to discover the body of the woman he met the night before.

    From here the story is about clearing his name and finding out more about the girl and the crime.
    Finding right from wrong in a place and time where there is much wrong and little right makes for an interesting story.

    There are many parts of the story that show that a lot of research and care has gone into making this story historically correct.

    I do enjoy historical fiction as it gives you a little look into a time that we didn’t know, a little glimpse into the past.

    In amongst the mystery and intrigue is a bit of humour that adds a touch of colour to the story.

    It is an interesting read and I did find it an enjoyable story.
    This was not a book I would choose to read as it’s not quite my reading style.
    I did find it hard to get going but about one quarter of the way through I found my rhythm and from here it was easier to read.

    If you’ve never read a novel by Sulari Gentill before then please note that this is not a book that you pick up and fall straight into reading.
    Sulari Gentill has a unique reading style one that I needed to find out how to work for me to be able to enjoy this novel.

    Please enjoy your turn at reading it.

  11. I didn’t realise that All the Tears in China by author Sulari Gentill was book 9 in the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries series until after I had started reading it. You can be assured though that this book is suitable as a “stand-alone” book or like me you may enjoy it so much that you may look out for the other titles in this series. The characters were slightly odd in my opinion but as I have no experience in their “rich” and “privileged “ world maybe this is how the upper echelons of society behaved in 1930’s Shanghai. I enjoyed the concept of the Newspaper excerpt at the start of each chapter setting the scene of society at that time. The storyline set a climatic pace with twists and turns and I found the book enjoyable and easy to read. Thank you Beauty and Lace Bookclub and Pantera Press for the opportunity to read All the Tears in China by author Sulari Gentill, I will be awaiting the next instalment.

  12. All The Tears In China is the first book by Sulari Gentrill that I have read; and although it is the 9th book in her Rowland Sinclair mystery series, was a great standalone read.
    The privileged but not pretentious primary character, Rowland and his friends are likeable and engaging and I was quickly drawn into the story and the drama.
    The historical news references at the commencement of each chapter cleverly tied fact to fiction and added to the overall interest.
    I thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend this book !

  13. All the Tears in China is a mystery set in 1935 in Australia and Shanghai. This is the ninth novel in a series but it can be read as a standalone novel. It’s a 1930’s murder mystery with a group of friends searching for clues as to who wanted to kill a woman in Shanghai. Interspersed through the book are little facts and articles to explain the era the book is set in.

    The characters are well developed and you do feel a connection to them. Rowland, the main character has strength and integrity and his friends are supportive and also stand by his side, So. Uilding a strong storyline.

    I can’t say this is a favourite for me and I had to try a few times to keep reading the book even though but I did like the characters. I think if you like murder mysteries you will love this. Thanks to beauty and lace and Pantera Press for this opportunity.

  14. Thanks Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read All the Tears in China written by Australian author, Sulari Gentill.
    When I first started reading this book, I didn’t realise it was the ninth book in The Rowland Sinclair Mysteries. Luckily, there’s no need to have read the previous books to appreciate and follow this one.
    It’s not really a genre of books I would normally go for, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this murder/ mystery novel from the beginning to the end.

    The characters were really interesting and there was plenty of twists and turns in the plot line to keep me guessing.
    Now I’m really keen to get my hands on the other 8 books and start from the beginning and see how it all began!

    Thanks Beauty and Lace and Pantera Press, I’m really happy to have discovered a new author and a different genre of books to enjoy!

  15. I’m not one to read murder mystery books generally but I thought I’d give it a go. However I just was not intrigued by the story line and I found it hard to follow So unfortunately I did not finish the book.

  16. All The Tears in China is a very well written book I could not put the book down I love a good mystery.
    I enjoyed the history about Shanghai in 1935.
    Rowland and his friend came to Shanghai where things are very different from Australia, Shanghai you can get kidnapped and kill.
    I would recommend reading this book.

  17. Thank you for the opportunity to review ‘All The Tears in China’ by Sulari Gentill – the 9th book in the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries series.

    Although I haven’t read the other books in this series, I was able to form a good quick connection with the characters and get a grasp on the historical era in Australia and Shanghai, which made me want to keep reading and get stuck into the storyline.

    I enjoyed the addition of the news paper clippings throughout which gave an interesting angle with the story.

    Overall, there were lots of twists and turns that keep you intrigued. I enjoyed learning about Shanghai in the 1935’s and gaining a better understanding of the culture. I did find myself having to re-read the pages every now and then as the story is detail heavy, so I didn’t want to miss anything.

    If you love historical fiction, and mystery – then this book is definitely for you!

  18. A basic template of a mystery/adventure story that’s an easy read. If you read “writing a mystery novel for dummies” you could check all the boxes here. The characters were enjoyable and I was kept guessing until the end . I really liked the newspaper excerpts at the start of each chapter from the era. That was a nice and original touch.

  19. All the tears in China combines my 2 favorites styles: Historical fiction and Murder mystery, so it was great to discover a new series. As I had not read any book of the Rowland Sinclair series, I wondered if it would be difficult to follow the characters. Sulari Gentill does a great job in providing the perfect amount of background to enjoy this book without reading the previous books.
    All the tears in China is set just before to World War II in Shangai, It was interesting to read about the politics and cultural dynamics of the period in the cosmopolitan city. Rowland Sinclair is sent by his family to represent the interests of their wool Australian company however a murder changes the vacation he thought he would have with his companions. The details about the mystery are revealed at a nice steady and easy pace.
    Sometimes the politics were a bit hard too follow and I found the main character gave his trust too easily even after a few mishaps in the city. Overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend the book.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Pantera Press for the opportunity to discover a new series.

  20. Every now and the. A book comes along that is like a breath of fresh air, so different and refreshing from the usual suspects. For me, this was All The Teara in China. After becoming familiar with the writing style in the first few pages, I became engrossed and intrigued to find out what was going to happen. I really loved the combination of historical fiction, armchair travel and murder mystery! The characters were all fabulous and the newspaper snippets at the start of each chapter really interesting. I’ll be looking for more Rowland Sinclair mysteries to read and recommending these for something a bit different! Thanks Beauty and Lace and Pantera Press. Loved it!

  21. Sulari Gentill is an award winning author of the best selling Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, which All the Tears in China is book nine of this well received series. It was interesting to note that Gentill also writes under the name of S.D. Gentill, as a fantasy genre based author. I fully intended on reading the first novel in this series, A Few Right Thinking Men, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Best First Book. However, time got away with me and I found myself reading the latest and the ninth book in this established series. I enjoyed All the Tears in China and for this reason I do not feel that it is necessary to read the previous books in the series to appreciate this novel.

    I have had my eye on this series and author for some time. I adore detective crime mystery style books, particularly period pieces, and I was keen on delving into the world of Rowland Sinclair. I had expectations of Rowland being a little like a female Phryne Fisher from Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Fisher series. Although I won’t be able to commit to reading all the previous books in this established series very soon, I am interested in exploring more of Sulari Gentill’s writing, in particular her standalone metafiction novel, Crossing the Lines.

    As a newcomer to this series, I did not feel out of the loop. I would prefer to have read the previous books in the series, as I think it would have enhanced my reading experience with All the Tears in China. However, if you are in a similar position to me and time poor, I would happily recommend All the Tears in China to fans of historical fiction, crime, mystery and detective based books.

    Rowland is an enigmatic lead and he has such a great page presence. I enjoyed the banter between Rowland and his little gang, I think Gentill has great characterisation skills. Likewise, the sub characters that feature in this novel are rendered well.

    In terms of setting, Gentill has nailed it. I appreciated the colour and world of 1935 Shanghai. All the Tears in China features a nicely layered and vivid setting. Gentill accurately portrays the period details of the specific locale, along with the moral thinking and social consciousness of the population at this time. Adding the newspaper and magazine extracts to the opening of each chapter was a bonus side piece that I came to look forward to on each turn of the page. It was my favourite part of the book.

    I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of All the Tears in China. My interest was piqued by the mention of a possible connection to the late Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia who had unclear links to the victim of this tale. Moving alongside this aspect of the case, is the emphasis on the uprising of the Fascists, the Nazis and other extreme political groups. Gentill really works at setting up the incoming storm of World War II, which is just a stone’s throw away.

    All the Tears in China is a thoroughly entertaining read. With a winning combination of history, intrigue, colourful characters and a perplexing mystery to solve, All the Tears in China is a book that has broad appeal. I am happy to give this book my full endorsement.

    *I wish to thank Beauty & Lace Book club/Pantera Press for a copy of this book for review.

  22. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review All The Tears in China by Sulari Gentill.
    This book is the ninth book in a series and I haven’t read any of the previous books. Although I haven’t read any previous books I didn’t find it difficult to pick up.

    Although this is not a genre of book I usually read, I very much enjoyed this book and thought it was very well written and entertaining.

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