The Right Sort of Man (Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery Book 1) by Allison Montclair @StMartinsPress #bookreview #NetGalley #historical #mystery #post-WWII

Right Sort of Man

ABOUT THE BOOK

In London, 1946, the two women who recently started The Right Sort Marriage Bureau find their new livelihood endangered when one client is arrested for the murder of another. While the police are convinced they have their man, Miss Sparks and Mrs. Bainbridge at the bureau are not. To clear the name of who they feel was wrongly accused–and to rescue their fledging operation’s reputation–Sparks and Bainbridge decide to investigate on their own, using the skills and contacts they’ve each acquired through life and their individual adventures during the recent war.

So she lived in the Bainbridge house, a very large, very well-appointed house indeed, and watched her son as he basked in the care of a governess and a tutor, and was allowed to interact with him as much as a mother might while having absolutely no maternal authority over his existence whatsoever. And she thought if she hadn’t been driven mad before, this velvet prison might very well do the trick on its own.

Gwen Bainbridge is a widow with a young son and when her affluent husband died in the war, she was placed in an asylum by her mother-in-law who proceeded to sue for custody of Gwen’s son. This left Gwen no choice but to stay in her in-laws’ home to be near her son. The Right Sort Marriage Bureau is her form of control and her uncanny ability to read people is her strength in helping those who have not found their perfect mate.

Your damn protocol plays havoc on a girl’s nerves. You’ve been in Cologne and Paris, based on your shopping spree. Where else?” “Can’t tell you. Let me help you with that.” “Thanks. Does Poppy know you’re back?” “Rang her up. Told her I was exhausted from the flight and would be staying in town.” “Mistress before wife. I’m honoured.

Iris holds secrets in her past that have something to do with the war. One of those secrets is she is having an affair with a colleague who is a married man. She brings her quick wit and social skills to the business. In other words, she can charm the socks off everyone.

The time and location of this book is what caught my eye. I have not read many books based in post-war London and Ms. Montclair describes the scenes of London in that era in evocative and plausible detail.

Though they have very different backgrounds, the rapport between Iris and Gwen is genuine and their uncanny ability to bounce ideas off of each other is enjoyable. Iris’ friend Sally, the playwright, bodyguard, and thug, is a real hoot as well and when he gave Gwen a script to confront her nasty mother-in-law, I was cheering her on.

I enjoyed the mystery of finding the real killer of one of their clients. Ms. Montclair sends the reader in many interesting directions with several colorful suspects. If you like cozy mysteries, you will enjoy this book. Highly recommend!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allison Montclair grew up devouring hand-me-down Agatha Christie paperbacks and James Bond movies. As a result of this deplorable upbringing, she became addicted to tales of crime, intrigue, and espionage. She now spends her spare time poking through the corners, nooks, and crannies of history, searching for the odd mysterious bits and transforming them into novels of her own.

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