Usually set in Sydney in the 1930’s I have thoroughly enjoyed these books for their fun mix of history and fiction, their art deco flair and jazzy lifestyles.
Paving the New Road proved to be no different, except that this time, Rowland and his friends were encouraged to leave the safe suburbs of Sydney for the dangerous streets of 1933 Munich.
Political intrigue and personal enmity abound as Rowland is sent to Munich to keep New Guard leader, Eric Campbell from meeting with Hitler in an attempt to keep Fascism from reaching Australia.
I really enjoy how Gentill allows her fictional characters to interact with real life figures.
Rowland manages to befriend a young, confused woman called Eva, who has a mysterious lover, Herr Wolf, who never seems to be around. Rowland also bumps into a journalist called Nancy Wake in a bar one night and helps Albert Goring stand up to a group of SA soldiers demeaning a group of prisoners. They attend a Munich book burning, meet with Unity Mitford and Egon Kisch (at different times of course) and Rowland gets his arm broken by Ernst Rohm.
You’ll be delighted to learn that Rowly also, finally, gets some flying lessons with Kingsford-Smith.
What’s not to love?