Excellent portrayal of the Australian bush in the 1930's and a good mystery.
An Australian colleague introduced me to the murder mysteries of Arthur Upfield, and his protagonist Napoleon "Bony" Bonaparte. (In return, I got him Florida writers Marjorie Kinnon Rawlings and Tim Dorsey. But I digress.) I've since acquired almost the entire series, and am reading them at a comfortable pace.
Upfield presents an issue for the modern reader. Bony is a "half-caste", with both white (English descendant) and Aboriginal parentage. On one hand, Upfield is a product of his time, implying and sometimes outright stating that the native Australians are inferior to the whites who came upon the continent relatively recently. On the other, Upfield is progressive for his time, showing Bony to be an incredibly logical and clever individual, able to solve crimes that his contemporaries are unable to resolve.
"Winds of Evil" follows the typical pattern of the Upfield / Bony mysteries. A case has gone cold. Bony is called in to investigate. ("I am not a policeman. I am a detective.") He arrives using a cover identity to allow him to question the locals without suspicion and the locals are quite the collection of characters, to be sure. His superiors become concerned about the amount of time he is spending in the location; they have another case that they'd like him to deal with. His wife is frustrated with the amount of time he's already spent away from home.
But despite the formula ... they're typically quite enjoyable, thanks in no large part to the variations in detail and to the locations that Upfield sends his detective to. (Still, this is why I only read 1 or so per year and with Mr. Upfield being long gone, it's not like he's going to get ahead of me by writing more ...)
RATING: 4 stars