The Prodigal Son is a novella published as an ebook in 2016 by Sulari Gentill as a free gift to her fans. It was published on the 4th of November to coincides with the date of the first newspaper article in the novella, dated 4th November 1927. This makes the novella begin exactly 89 years after it was published.
It is the 8th installment of the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, however it has the earliest setting.
"The Prodigal Son was written especially for the readers and fans of the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries.
It is offered with a writer's graditude."
Book Description Edit
After eight years abroad, Rowland Sinclair has come home to a house he hates, and a city which seems conservative. . . and dull.
He longs to return to the bright lights of Europe. Until an old friend persuades him to join Sydney Art School.
But murder rears its ugly head and Rowland must decide who his friends really are.
Rowland Sinclair has been back in Sydney just a few months, after being abroad, when Andrew Longmore, a friend from his school days, strides into his drawing room. Rowland and Longmore soon catch up on a parade of establishments, where Longmore reveals, after becoming the successor to his father's fortune, who only died months before, he has joined the Sydney Art School. It's only temporary, he assures Rowland, just until he can go to Paris to paint. This confession leads to Rowland joining the school as well.
After six weeks the two settle into the school in very different ways, with Rowland studiously trying to improve his technique and Longmore embracing the social side of artistic life. One particularly crowded morning in the studio, with students from the general and evening class attending, which Rowland only assumes means they will begin drawing upper limbs, Julian Ashton introduces them to a model, Miss Edna Higgins. Rowland is enchanted. He hears nothing Ashton says, which Edna notices, laughing at him. He isn't bothered though, as he thinks her laugh is beautiful. After seven one minute poses Ashton tells Edna she may adopt a longer, seated pose. Slipping onto a stool she gives a faint, mischievous smile to Rowland, looking him directly in the face. Rowland draws and soon there is only the soft scratch of charcoal on paper. Ashton breaks the silence to draw attention to parts of the model's body, discussing light and shadow, the spatial relationship of her features and using an easel to demonstrate. The morning passes quickly and Ashton releases Edna before inspecting the work of his students and offering advice. Rowland's work seems to jump from the paper. He has demonstrated the potential Ashton had seen in his sketchbook.