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First comes love, then comes murder. In a London slowly recovering from World War II, two very different women join forces to launch a business venture in the heart of Mayfair--The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Miss Iris Sparks, quick-witted and impulsive, and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, practical and widowed with a young son, are determined to achieve some independenc First comes love, then comes murder. In a London slowly recovering from World War II, two very different women join forces to launch a business venture in the heart of Mayfair--The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Miss Iris Sparks, quick-witted and impulsive, and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, practical and widowed with a young son, are determined to achieve some independence and do some good in a rapidly changing world. But the promising start to their marriage bureau is threatened when their newest client, Tillie La Salle, is found murdered and the man arrested for the crime is the prospective husband they matched her with. While the police are convinced they have their man, Miss Sparks and Mrs. Bainbridge are not. To clear his name--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. Little do they know that this will put their very lives at risk.


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First comes love, then comes murder. In a London slowly recovering from World War II, two very different women join forces to launch a business venture in the heart of Mayfair--The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Miss Iris Sparks, quick-witted and impulsive, and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, practical and widowed with a young son, are determined to achieve some independenc First comes love, then comes murder. In a London slowly recovering from World War II, two very different women join forces to launch a business venture in the heart of Mayfair--The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Miss Iris Sparks, quick-witted and impulsive, and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, practical and widowed with a young son, are determined to achieve some independence and do some good in a rapidly changing world. But the promising start to their marriage bureau is threatened when their newest client, Tillie La Salle, is found murdered and the man arrested for the crime is the prospective husband they matched her with. While the police are convinced they have their man, Miss Sparks and Mrs. Bainbridge are not. To clear his name--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. Little do they know that this will put their very lives at risk.

30 review for The Right Sort of Man

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    Half the staff at Murder by the Book highly recommends this new historical fiction novel, a tale of two charming, independent, and slyly clever women who create a licensed marriage bureau in post-World War 2 London. Accordingly, I knew I had to read it, and I am so glad I did. Highly entertaining and funny while still addressing substantive issues, THE RIGHT SORT OF MAN is a must read for anyone who likes snappy dialogue, authentic characters, and a smart mystery with a fabulous ending. The sett Half the staff at Murder by the Book highly recommends this new historical fiction novel, a tale of two charming, independent, and slyly clever women who create a licensed marriage bureau in post-World War 2 London. Accordingly, I knew I had to read it, and I am so glad I did. Highly entertaining and funny while still addressing substantive issues, THE RIGHT SORT OF MAN is a must read for anyone who likes snappy dialogue, authentic characters, and a smart mystery with a fabulous ending. The setting does not play a huge role in the story; there is very little on the war itself (a bit on the after effects on those who fought and those who lost people), and only snippets on London following the war, just enough to place the story in context. The two female characters, Iris and Gwen, are the stars of the book, and the focus on them is what makes the book a standout. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and am already looking forward to a second book in the series. For more reviews, check out my Instagram account, https://www.instagram.com/thoughtsfro....

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    A pretty perfect start to a shiny, new historical mystery series! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The Right Sort of Man is an exciting start to a shiny new historical fiction series from Allison Montclair. In London, after World War II, two women come together to found a business called The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. How fun does that sound from the start? Miss Iris Sparks is as sparky and sparkly as her name, while Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge is more pragmatic as a widow with a young son. The pair have the same A pretty perfect start to a shiny, new historical mystery series! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The Right Sort of Man is an exciting start to a shiny new historical fiction series from Allison Montclair. In London, after World War II, two women come together to found a business called The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. How fun does that sound from the start? Miss Iris Sparks is as sparky and sparkly as her name, while Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge is more pragmatic as a widow with a young son. The pair have the same wants, though: independence and maybe some good karma, too. Unfortunately, one of their clients, Tillie La Salle is found murdered and the chief suspect? None other than the man with whom they set Tillie up. The police are certain they have fingered the right guy, but Miss Sparks and Mrs. Bainbridge think they may be wrong. The two decide to investigate, which also puts their lives in the balance. Oh my, this series is off to such a brilliant start! I LOVE Miss Sparks and Miss Bainbridge and their interactions with one another. I love the well-executed historical backdrop. The writing is silky smooth, and the pacing has a good flow, too. Overall, there’s much to love about The Right Sort of Man. It’s exciting, with two stars of main characters, and I’m already trying to figure out when book two comes out! I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    "Avonna

    Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com I absolutely LOVED this new historical cozy mystery! THE RIGHT SORT OF MAN (Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery Book 1) by Allison Montclair ticked off all of my favorite things in a historical cozy mystery. The time and place is the immediate years post WWII in London. The characters are appropriate to the time, realistic, extremely entertaining and smart. The plot is full of interesting twists and red herrings. Two very different women me Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com I absolutely LOVED this new historical cozy mystery! THE RIGHT SORT OF MAN (Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery Book 1) by Allison Montclair ticked off all of my favorite things in a historical cozy mystery. The time and place is the immediate years post WWII in London. The characters are appropriate to the time, realistic, extremely entertaining and smart. The plot is full of interesting twists and red herrings. Two very different women meet at the wedding of a mutual friend and form an instant friendship. With their individual talents, they decide to start a business venture called The Right Sort of Marriage Bureau. Iris Sparks is quick witted, impulsive and secretive in regards to her time during the war. Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge is a war widow with a young son, Ronnie who is now destined to become the next Lord Bainbridge. While very different on the surface, both women fit well together with their individual strengths and abilities. As their fledgling business is starting to take off, one of their newest clients, Tillie LaSalle is found murdered and Scotland Yard arrests the prospective husband Iris and Gwen paired her with. The detectives believe they have their man, but Gwen refuses to believe in Mr. Trower’s guilt. To clear his name and rescue their business, Iris and Gwen decide to investigate on their own using the skills and contacts each has acquired during the recent war. As the pair investigate the murder, they find themselves surrounded by individuals involved in all forms of illegal post-war activities. Will Iris and Gwen be able to save Mr. Trower and their new business without becoming victims themselves? I cannot emphasize enough how much I loved these characters. As the mystery plot keeps you turning the pages, so does each revelation in regards to Iris and Gwen’s pasts. The main characters, the secondary characters and the mystery plot make this a perfect historical cozy mystery read. I highly recommend this book and I cannot wait for the next book in this series. Thanks very much to Net Galley, St. Martin’s Press and Minotaur Books for allowing me to read this eARC. It was definitely my pleasure!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anna Lee Huber

    An utterly fabulous beginning to a new series! Vivid historical detail, gorgeous prose, and witty, unforgettable characters all combine to make The Right Sort of Man one of the best books I’ve read this year. Perfect for fans of Jacqueline Winspear and Susan Elia MacNeal. I can’t wait to read Iris and Gwen’s next adventure.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Barb in Maryland

    What a wonderful discovery! 4.5 very shiny stars. Not what I expected from the blurb, but ever so much better!! I absolutely loved Iris and Gwen. Each had a rough time during the war and neither is willing to go into details, not even with each other. Watching their business partnership turn into a true friendship was one of the joys of the book. Another joy was the lovely prose and the sparkling wit--gifts to the reader from a clever author. The book is set in 1946 London but the author does not What a wonderful discovery! 4.5 very shiny stars. Not what I expected from the blurb, but ever so much better!! I absolutely loved Iris and Gwen. Each had a rough time during the war and neither is willing to go into details, not even with each other. Watching their business partnership turn into a true friendship was one of the joys of the book. Another joy was the lovely prose and the sparkling wit--gifts to the reader from a clever author. The book is set in 1946 London but the author does not go one and on about the remaining damage evident in the city, nor the continued rationing of food and clothing. Instead, all of that is treated as the new normal by our heroines and the rest of the characters. The actual investigation is very interesting and the solution to the murder made sense. But the focus of the story is the personal growth of the two women. Their investigation was just a means to that end. For those of my GR friends who like a historical mystery with very strong women characters--read this!! Now I have to sit and wait, wait, wait for the next one. Sigh...

  6. 4 out of 5

    ♥Rachel♥

    I really enjoyed The Right Sort of Man, Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge came from very different backgrounds, but the war in a way evened out their differences is social status. It’s clear that Sparks led a dangerous life during the war helping England in covert endeavors, making her a formidable woman when faced with the mystery and danger presented when one of their clients is accused of murder. One would think that Gwen Bainbridge wouldn’t be cut out for sleuthing, being raised as a lady, but I really enjoyed The Right Sort of Man, Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge came from very different backgrounds, but the war in a way evened out their differences is social status. It’s clear that Sparks led a dangerous life during the war helping England in covert endeavors, making her a formidable woman when faced with the mystery and danger presented when one of their clients is accused of murder. One would think that Gwen Bainbridge wouldn’t be cut out for sleuthing, being raised as a lady, but her sharp mind and her excellent people reading skills make her a natural. These two together not only tackle the mystery, but they provide support and understanding to each other, and they both needed it. Iris is haunted by events that happened in service to her country, and Gwen is morning the loss of her husband while trying to raise her six-year-old son. The Right Sort of Man was set in an interesting and heartbreaking period of time, post-World War II, when England was recovering from the bombings, loss of life, and dealing with rationing. It reminded me of times my grandmother would relate her experiences during this time, living in England, me listening with rapt attention and amazement over how different and difficult things were for her. It definitely left a mark. The story also reminded me of the mystery series, Foyle’s War with Michael Kitchen, set in the same time period, an excellent and fascinating series. I loved the quick-witted banter back and forth between Gwen and Iris, these women had a lot of spunk and sass, which was fun in between the more serious parts of the story. The writing was sharp and clever, and I was guessing at the guilty party up until the end. Nice surprise! Both Sparks and Gwen have romantic possibilities and I look forward to seeing how they develop in the coming books. A copy was kindly provided by Minotaur Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I am so excited for other people to read this book--I can't recommend it highly enough! I love historical mystery series, and this one is (at least after one book) one of the best I've read. The dialogue and banter sparkle, and I laughed out loud multiple times. There was a bit of history (I had no idea about clothing coupons) and the setting was well drawn. But the absolute best part was Gwen and Iris--both as individuals and friends. They are not the two dimensional characters you find in some I am so excited for other people to read this book--I can't recommend it highly enough! I love historical mystery series, and this one is (at least after one book) one of the best I've read. The dialogue and banter sparkle, and I laughed out loud multiple times. There was a bit of history (I had no idea about clothing coupons) and the setting was well drawn. But the absolute best part was Gwen and Iris--both as individuals and friends. They are not the two dimensional characters you find in some historical mysteries--both are compelling and multifaceted and have serious back stories that drive them. I absolutely love these two, and I'm absolutely greedy for more books in this series--I can't wait to find out where these two and the Right Sort Bureau go from here. The side characters were great too, and there's a lot of potential laid out for future story development. I also loved that there was plenty of sexual empowerment without any of the characters feeling like they are modern day feminists plunked into a historical setting, which can often happen in this type of book, and while it can be satisfying at times, never rings completely true. I can't say enough good things about this book and I urge all historical mystery lovers to check it out. *I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    Halloween Bingo 2021 London right after WWII, men are in short supply, and Iris and Gwen have teamed up to start a matchmaking business. They have set up a couple and are waiting to hear the outcome, which is not what they expect. The young woman is murdered and her potential date is fingered for the crime. Gwen and Iris can't let an innocent man hang and their business can't afford bad publicity, so they find themselves investigating what the police refuse to. At first, no one expects much fr Halloween Bingo 2021 London right after WWII, men are in short supply, and Iris and Gwen have teamed up to start a matchmaking business. They have set up a couple and are waiting to hear the outcome, which is not what they expect. The young woman is murdered and her potential date is fingered for the crime. Gwen and Iris can't let an innocent man hang and their business can't afford bad publicity, so they find themselves investigating what the police refuse to. At first, no one expects much from them. But Iris was active in the war (and can't talk about most of what she did). Gwen lost her beloved husband, had a breakdown, and lost custody of her six year old son. Now she's on the warpath to get him fully restored to her. Iris can wield a knife, pick a lock, speak several languages, and identify a tail. Gwen is learning to be fierce and getting better at it. Can they clear their client by finding the real murderer? I loved the extreme independence of these two women, taking their futures into their own hands and giving the world what's for. They both have things they aren't ready to talk about, but there's still time for that. And they're both learning to expect more out of life (and better). Don't settle for second best! I am glad there are future adventures of these two ferocious women to come!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Veronique

    4.5* Started the year with an excellent historical crime mystery :0) Montclair has obviously done tons of research on London of June 1946 and weaved it expertly into her story without making it into a documentary. On the contrary, under her pen, the whole setting takes life and feels palpable. All this is good and well, but what makes this novel compelling are the characters. Iris and Gwen are fascinating in their differences. The narration switches between the two, letting us put together pieces 4.5* Started the year with an excellent historical crime mystery :0) Montclair has obviously done tons of research on London of June 1946 and weaved it expertly into her story without making it into a documentary. On the contrary, under her pen, the whole setting takes life and feels palpable. All this is good and well, but what makes this novel compelling are the characters. Iris and Gwen are fascinating in their differences. The narration switches between the two, letting us put together pieces of the past of these amazing women. The text is at the same time light and funny while still dealing with less then happy topics such as PTSD and grief. Loved it and cannot wait to see where the next book will take them!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    2020-12: 4.5 stars. I loved this all over again. The mystery involves contraband and counterfeit and murder, of course, but what really stood out for me was the sparkling conversations between Gwen and Iris. The two women bring different skills to their business and to their sleuthing, and they're just so fun together. 2019-09: 4.5 stars. I totally loved this historical mystery, of two women who begin as acquaintances intent on forging their own path and supporting themselves post WWII, and end 2020-12: 4.5 stars. I loved this all over again. The mystery involves contraband and counterfeit and murder, of course, but what really stood out for me was the sparkling conversations between Gwen and Iris. The two women bring different skills to their business and to their sleuthing, and they're just so fun together. 2019-09: 4.5 stars. I totally loved this historical mystery, of two women who begin as acquaintances intent on forging their own path and supporting themselves post WWII, and end book one much closer to a real friendship and on the road to a solvent business. The two women, Irish Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge, as very different people. Iris, whose time during WWII is covered under the Official Secrets act, has a variety of interesting skills and a few broken engagements behind her, while Gwen has a six-year-old son and a husband who died during the war, suffered a breakdown, and is very good at reading people. After a chance meeting (prior to the book's open) they decide to open a marriage agency. Unfortunately for them, one of their clients ends up dead and the other accused of her murder. Gwen instinctively knows that the accused man could not be the murderer, and slowly convinces Iris that they should investigate. The text is light, fun, frequently funny, even while dealing with the post-war situation (maimed soldiers, grief, PTSD, rationing, black market, etc.), class restrictions and misogyny of the time. The women bring different capabilities to bear during their investigation, which takes them from bars to a prison, a rooming house, and to various illicit businesses. I loved the growing relationship between the women, and their playwright-sometime secretary/collections man Sally, who has an equally hush-hush war record. It's a pity I have to wait now for the next installment, as I am eager to see what happens next with Gwen and Iris.

  11. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    An intriguing and intelligent read! A witty post World War II mystery set in London. Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge decide to use the skills they have acquired during the war years to start a business--The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. When a client is murdered and the prospective husband they'd recommended is charged these two intrepid souls decide to clear their man's name and save their business. Unusual premise gives an interesting angle to the period murder genre. Rather a treas An intriguing and intelligent read! A witty post World War II mystery set in London. Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge decide to use the skills they have acquired during the war years to start a business--The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. When a client is murdered and the prospective husband they'd recommended is charged these two intrepid souls decide to clear their man's name and save their business. Unusual premise gives an interesting angle to the period murder genre. Rather a treasure really! A St. Martin's Press Minotaur ARC via NetGalley

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janine Ballard

    4 / 4.25 stars I heard good things about Allison Montclair’s historical mystery, The Right Sort of Man, from Barb in Maryland and Liz McCausland. The book concerns two women, Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge, who open a marriage bureau (matchmaking agency) together in 1946 England. Even though I don’t usually read mysteries, this one sounded like fun, so I checked it out of the library. I was able to get both and ebook and the audiobook from the library and I read in the evening and listened t 4 / 4.25 stars I heard good things about Allison Montclair’s historical mystery, The Right Sort of Man, from Barb in Maryland and Liz McCausland. The book concerns two women, Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge, who open a marriage bureau (matchmaking agency) together in 1946 England. Even though I don’t usually read mysteries, this one sounded like fun, so I checked it out of the library. I was able to get both and ebook and the audiobook from the library and I read in the evening and listened to the audiobook earlier in the day, while multitasking. I recommend the book over the audiobook, though. The audio narrator makes the twenty-something characters sound middle-aged. Now on to the content of the book itself. Gwendolyn Bainbridge is the mother of a young son and comes from an upper-class background. She was married to a man she loved very much, the heir to a title and the only son born to his parents. But then Gwen’s husband, Ronnie, was killed in the war, and she lost it for a little while and was hospitalized in an asylum. While she was there, her in-laws seized custody of her only child, a six-year-old boy and now his grandfather’s sole heir. Gwen has to live with them to spend time with her son, and they aren’t the easiest people to live with. Iris Sparks, meanwhile, has a very different background and is familiar with both sides of the tracks. She was a spy, and maybe something else, during World War II, and she is still in turmoil over some of what happened to her. She is tougher than Gwen, though, and has left two cancelled engagements and other short-lived relationships in her wake. She is now living in a flat that is paid for a by her lover, a married man. (view spoiler)[ This changes over the course of the story, though. (hide spoiler)] Gwen and Iris also have an assistant, a man named Sally who knows how to threaten clients who won’t pay their fee when it comes time to collect on their bills. One of the charms of the book is that Sally isn’t what he appears to be. Iris and Gwen met at a wedding some months before the story begins. They realized they both had a talent for matchmaking and decided to open a marriage bureau together. The bureau is a means to independence for both of them, as well as something they enjoy. For Gwen, it’s an escape from the oppressive presence of her in-laws; for Iris, it’s a way of counterbalancing some of her wartime activities—a way of bringing more joy and love into the world. When one of their clients, Dickie Trower, is accused of murdering another of their clients, Tillie La Salle, the woman they’d fixed him up with, their livelihood is threatened by the bad publicity. They are sure that Dickie was framed, too. Gwen, being tender-hearted, visits him in jail and decides to look into his case. Iris, being tough-minded, realizes that the agency’s success is at stake and that harm could befall Gwen if she doesn’t join her in investigating. As they work together on solving the crime, Iris and Gwen get to know each other better, despite the pasts they can’t talk about. Both heroines are delightful and there is something inviting about their story. It’s the story of their friendship even more than of the investigation. The book has a theme of women’s empowerment and yet Iris and Gwen never seem anachronistic. One thing I want to emphasize is that the book is not at all heavy. It has a witty sensibility despite the backstories. Neither of the women feels a moment of self-pity (Gwen does grieve, though) and there’s no navel-gazing. They are very much women of their time in that sense. Iris is no-nonsense in a way that a lot of women of her generation were, I think. Gwen is more sensitive but has a sense of whimsy. This is a partial review. You can find the rest of this review here: https://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/o...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    This one got an extra star simply for the potential it has as a series. There was just a lot of different things going on and definitely more cosy than than historical. But now that the preliminary info about the main characters is out of the way, the next book may be able to focus on more plot and character development, the latter third of the book was promising to that effect.

  14. 4 out of 5

    debra

    Don't know why I chose this; itisnot my kind of book. For me, it was sort of Nancy Drew in England. PS I did the audio format, but every time I try to change it- Gr decides I read it another time. Don't know why I chose this; itisnot my kind of book. For me, it was sort of Nancy Drew in England. PS I did the audio format, but every time I try to change it- Gr decides I read it another time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    London is recovering from World War II and two plucky young women are determined to make sure love is in the air and they become empowered businesswomen. As different as night and day, Iris and Gwen are quirky, yet smart, completely endearing! Welcome to “The Right Sort of Marriage Bureau” where these two guarantee, for a fee, to find you the love of your life. All was wonderful until one young lady ends up murdered, not married and the gentleman she was meeting with is the prime suspect. It will London is recovering from World War II and two plucky young women are determined to make sure love is in the air and they become empowered businesswomen. As different as night and day, Iris and Gwen are quirky, yet smart, completely endearing! Welcome to “The Right Sort of Marriage Bureau” where these two guarantee, for a fee, to find you the love of your life. All was wonderful until one young lady ends up murdered, not married and the gentleman she was meeting with is the prime suspect. It will be up to Iris and Gwen to prove his innocence and save their business. THE RIGHT SORT OF MAN by Allison Montclair is a light, yet very English mystery that is perfect for a trip to the pool or beach! Adorably clueless, yet earnest, these two are about to turn the small village of Mayfair on its ear, or should we say heart? Fun, fast and clever! I received a complimentary ARC edition from Minotaur Books! Series: The Right Sort of Marriage - Book 1 Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 4, 2019) Publication Date: June 4, 2019 Genre: Cozy Mystery Print Length: 336 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz Mc2

    An enjoyable historical mystery set after WWII. Two very different women run a marriage bureau and are drawn into private detecting after one of their clients is murdered, apparently by the man they set her up with. Both worldly Iris, a former spy/something she can’t talk about, and Gwen, a sheltered upper-crust war widow, are marked by the traumas of the war, and their blossoming friendship and efforts to begin making the lives they want give this book more emotional depth than you always find An enjoyable historical mystery set after WWII. Two very different women run a marriage bureau and are drawn into private detecting after one of their clients is murdered, apparently by the man they set her up with. Both worldly Iris, a former spy/something she can’t talk about, and Gwen, a sheltered upper-crust war widow, are marked by the traumas of the war, and their blossoming friendship and efforts to begin making the lives they want give this book more emotional depth than you always find in a cozy/classic mystery of this type. I look forward to seeing where these women (and various interesting side characters) go next.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kay (aka) Miss Bates

    Loved this book! See my blog review: https://missbatesreadsromance.com/202... Loved this book! See my blog review: https://missbatesreadsromance.com/202...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    I really enjoyed this immediate post-WWII mystery. It could be deemed a cozy, I believe. The main characters, Iris and Gwen, are well-rounded, distinct characters, who have opened The Right Sort matchmaking business, to help those seeking love find their life partner. One of their clients was recently murdered, and the man they had matched her with is the accused. These birds know better, though, and investigate to try to prove the man innocent and find the guilty party. London itself feels a cha I really enjoyed this immediate post-WWII mystery. It could be deemed a cozy, I believe. The main characters, Iris and Gwen, are well-rounded, distinct characters, who have opened The Right Sort matchmaking business, to help those seeking love find their life partner. One of their clients was recently murdered, and the man they had matched her with is the accused. These birds know better, though, and investigate to try to prove the man innocent and find the guilty party. London itself feels a character. Each setting really comes to life. The author uses the dialect of different London neighborhoods to make scenes feel more authentic. There were a couple of editing errors that really should've been caught before publication. These sorts of things, when noticed, do detract from the story, which is otherwise thoroughly enjoyable. Definitely would recommend to those who love mysteries with strong female protagonists, historical fiction circa WWII, and those who love cozies I think would enjoy as well.

  19. 4 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    I am always on the look out for new historical mysteries that I might like, especially ones with sassy heroines. I have my usual go to authors but often I find myself waiting on books from numerous favorite authors and I am itching to fill the gaps and find the next ‘it mystery series’. That’s what happened with this one. I already read the latest historic mysteries from my usual go to authors and found myself wondering—what now? This book appeared on my desk for review literally at just the righ I am always on the look out for new historical mysteries that I might like, especially ones with sassy heroines. I have my usual go to authors but often I find myself waiting on books from numerous favorite authors and I am itching to fill the gaps and find the next ‘it mystery series’. That’s what happened with this one. I already read the latest historic mysteries from my usual go to authors and found myself wondering—what now? This book appeared on my desk for review literally at just the right moment. It is a new mystery series set in the 1940s, just after the end of the war and these two women are opening a marriage match making business which I thought sounded odd but yet intriguing! This series is one to watch! I was hooked from the very beginning. I loved the concept of a match making service as the backdrop for this series. I thought it was new and interesting take on the typical detective novels. The way the two main characters played off each other was fantastic and made the story such a pleasure to read. It played such a central part of the story and I was getting all the ‘girl power’ vibes from them as a team and I loved it. While this book is meant to be a historical mystery, I felt that it was more of a detective and friendship novel as the focus was on the mystery and the friendship between the two main characters, rather any of the historical parts. I think the period helped make it feel a little more cozy and it was a convenient setting for the profession, but beyond that I think the main focus was the story rather than the period. Either way I loved it so it didn’t matter if the focus wasn’t on the historical time period. I also liked that this novel tackled some pretty big issues such as mental health. In this book, one of the main characters deals with some mental health issues and I loved that the author didn’t shy away from it. I know that sometimes that sort of thing might make some readers uncomfortable, but this author does it in such a classy way and I really felt it added lot of genuine-ness to the story and characters. This book had a lot to enjoy…..humor, two strong but yet very different main characters, a little history, and an interesting mystery. I can’t wait to see the direction these two take in the next book! See my full review here

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kate Baxter

    It's 1946 London. Adventurous Miss Iris Sparks and well born Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge meet socially at a wedding. During the war, Iris' work fell under the "Official Secrets Act" and Gwen's husband did not make it home from the battlefield, resulting in her clinically deep depression and loss of custody of her 6 year old son. As it turns out, they each had a hand in the pairing of the happy wedding couple. Perhaps their matchmaking prowess can be monetized and provide them with purpose, a sourc It's 1946 London. Adventurous Miss Iris Sparks and well born Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge meet socially at a wedding. During the war, Iris' work fell under the "Official Secrets Act" and Gwen's husband did not make it home from the battlefield, resulting in her clinically deep depression and loss of custody of her 6 year old son. As it turns out, they each had a hand in the pairing of the happy wedding couple. Perhaps their matchmaking prowess can be monetized and provide them with purpose, a source of income and independence. Thus The Right Sort Marriage Bureau is born. They've had some success, albeit collecting their fees is a bit of a challenge. A slightly mysterious woman, TIllie LaSalle, registers with the bureau and is soon paired with a mild-mannered accountant. When Tillie's slain body is discovered, all clues lead to the intended beau. As far as Scotland Yard is concerned, it's an open and shut case. The business women soon discover that to exonerate their matchmaking business they'll need to investigate the murder and clear their client's name. This was such a charming and witty start to a new historical mystery series. The writing is light, quick-witted and the female protagonists are strong in character. Iris displays her well-honed skills from her prior profession which serve well for investigating and Gwen has strong intuition into the nature of people encountered. They make a great team and their sum together is greater than they as individual parts. Iris' grand education and derring-do stuns and rather impresses Gwen. Gwen, although initially appearing meek, develops a stronger sense of self over the course of the book. Author Allison Montclair did a spectacular job of setting the stage for war-worn London and all the post-war rationing to which survivors were subjected. Such descriptive scene setting transports the reader right back to those troublesome days. I am eager to read the next installment in Iris' and Gwen's matchmaking adventures. I am grateful to publisher Minotaur Books and Goodreads First Reads for having provided a free advance reader copy of this book. Their generosity, however, did not influence this review - the words of which are mine alone.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maine Colonial

    Excellent plotting, setting and character development come together in this novel that kicks off a new mystery series. Our leads are two women; the setting is post-WW2 London. Gwen is a war widow with a young son, living with her rigidly controlling aristocratic mother-in-law. Iris, who has the apt surname Sparks, is a former intelligence agent who is tight-lipped about her wartime activities. Shortly after they become acquainted, Iris and Gwen decide to start an introduction service, which they Excellent plotting, setting and character development come together in this novel that kicks off a new mystery series. Our leads are two women; the setting is post-WW2 London. Gwen is a war widow with a young son, living with her rigidly controlling aristocratic mother-in-law. Iris, who has the apt surname Sparks, is a former intelligence agent who is tight-lipped about her wartime activities. Shortly after they become acquainted, Iris and Gwen decide to start an introduction service, which they call The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. They are up the stairs in the sole building on their Mayfair block to survive the bombings of the London Blitz. The story kicks off when their newest client is murdered and the police arrest the man they set her up to meet. Iris and Gwen are convinced he’s been framed, but they feel compelled to investigate on their own when they can’t get the police to believe in his innocence. The investigation takes the women to Brixton Prison, the East End, and involvement with a black-market gang evading the rationing laws. The story is told with plenty of humor, warmth and period color. It should appeal to readers who enjoy historical British cozy mysteries.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Billie

    It was slightly slow to catch my readerly attention and the central mystery ends up being kind of "meh," but I love Iris and Gwen and watching them become true friends over the course of the novel. And kudos for this being a sex-positive, female-empowering story that deals honestly with mental health issues and economic and class disparities without feeling annoyingly anachronistic. It was slightly slow to catch my readerly attention and the central mystery ends up being kind of "meh," but I love Iris and Gwen and watching them become true friends over the course of the novel. And kudos for this being a sex-positive, female-empowering story that deals honestly with mental health issues and economic and class disparities without feeling annoyingly anachronistic.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This was an interesting start to a new historical mystery series and I am looking forward to reading more about the compassionate Mrs. Gwen Bainbridge and the elusive Iris Sparks. Gwen is a widow with a 6-year-old son and living with her snobby in-laws. At the beginning, she doesn't really have a choice. She is still pining for her deceased husband and her in-laws have legal guardianship of her son. The reader soon sees why she needs to get out of the house. On the other hand, Iris has never marr This was an interesting start to a new historical mystery series and I am looking forward to reading more about the compassionate Mrs. Gwen Bainbridge and the elusive Iris Sparks. Gwen is a widow with a 6-year-old son and living with her snobby in-laws. At the beginning, she doesn't really have a choice. She is still pining for her deceased husband and her in-laws have legal guardianship of her son. The reader soon sees why she needs to get out of the house. On the other hand, Iris has never married, has been engaged several times and is secretive of her past, but a good business partner. Together, they have started a matchmaking business and are on a slow climb to success when a murder takes place with one of their clientele. The Right Sort of Man is a good introduction to the series. I like both Gwen and Iris and I am eager to learn more about each of them. The secondary characters are thought-provoking and I hope several of them become regulars. The setting is atmospheric. The author stumped me with the mystery. I thought I knew the identity of the killer, but I was wrong until the puzzling moment was almost in front of me. Kudos to Ms. Montclair for her literary enigma.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bex | TotallyBex.com

    Written in snappy prose with vivid imagery of 1940s England and highly-detailed characters, The Right Sort of Man immerses you in the world of matchmaking and mystery. While parts of the story are fast-paced and funny, others are quite somber and require more mental processing. The savvy skills and witty repartee harkens back to the time of gumshoe detectives in black and white movies. The war has ended and everyone is hopeful for the future, but for those who need a little help in the love depar Written in snappy prose with vivid imagery of 1940s England and highly-detailed characters, The Right Sort of Man immerses you in the world of matchmaking and mystery. While parts of the story are fast-paced and funny, others are quite somber and require more mental processing. The savvy skills and witty repartee harkens back to the time of gumshoe detectives in black and white movies. The war has ended and everyone is hopeful for the future, but for those who need a little help in the love department, there’s the Right Sort marriage bureau. Gwen and Iris are a mismatched pair who bring completely different skill sets and personalities to the business, but who work together seamlessly to match clients while also solving a murder. They go together like Cagney and Lacey with a dash of Jessica Fletcher thrown in for good measure. I really enjoyed the change of pace from my usual contemporary romances and found this cozy mystery to be the perfect ‘palate cleanser’. All of the rich details helped to make the story fit the time period and the fact that it takes place immediately after the conclusion of World War II, not everything was perfect; buildings and lives were still being repaired from all of the damage the war had wrought on the citizens of London. If you’re in the market for a cozy mystery to fill an afternoon with pleasurable reading, I would definitely recommend The Right Sort of Man. The heroines are intelligent and highly self-sufficient, the story is enjoyable but not graphic, and the conclusion will leave you wanting more of this sleuthing duo. ▸ ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review. ▸ Purchase: Amazon US | Kobo | Apple Books | Nook ▸ For more reviews, visit http://www.totallybex.com

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 4.5 STARS 2019; Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press I requested The Right Sort of Man foley based on the cover and that it was a historical mystery. OMG, this novel was so great! I loved the main characters, Iris and Gwen, who are trying to recoup after world war II. They decide to go into a business venture in the heart of Mayfair—The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Iris is single and Gwen is a widow with a young son. Things are going relatively well until one of their client's is murdered. The RATING: 4.5 STARS 2019; Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press I requested The Right Sort of Man foley based on the cover and that it was a historical mystery. OMG, this novel was so great! I loved the main characters, Iris and Gwen, who are trying to recoup after world war II. They decide to go into a business venture in the heart of Mayfair—The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Iris is single and Gwen is a widow with a young son. Things are going relatively well until one of their client's is murdered. The two decide to investigate the murder, but soon find themselves facing danger. What I loved about this historical mystery is that Montclair balances humour with the drama. It also gives me vibes of classic movies from the 1940s. I could picture actors from that era in each character. The background stories of Iris and Gwen really adds to the story, especially about their time in the war. I loved this one, and am looking forward to reading the next book. I am already a huge fan with just book one. ***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***

  26. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Sparkling, fun & surprisingly poignant!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    I know better than to pull knives on people and I was the one that was in an asylum! Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, widowed from her beloved Ronnie and mother to a young son. I can’t tell you that! Miss Iris Sparks, a multiply engaged, quick-witted, knife-carrying former operative for British intelligence. Together these ladies open The Right Sort Marriage Bureau in the hopes of making a little and pinching a few bobbins to live on! It is London after WWII and women are different, more independent, I know better than to pull knives on people and I was the one that was in an asylum! Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, widowed from her beloved Ronnie and mother to a young son. I can’t tell you that! Miss Iris Sparks, a multiply engaged, quick-witted, knife-carrying former operative for British intelligence. Together these ladies open The Right Sort Marriage Bureau in the hopes of making a little and pinching a few bobbins to live on! It is London after WWII and women are different, more independent, and self-sufficient... but still looking for husbands! And life is good as they open their business until someone stabs one of their clients and kills her ... well... life is all fun and games until that happens! Unfortunately, the accused stabber is also a client.... such terrible publicity. The police think they have the right guy, but the ladies don't... nothing left to do but investigate it themselves. This is an English murder mystery, but not your mother's! If you are looking for dazzling dialogue, quick-witted, sharp, and humorous.. this is the book for you. But don't despair, this is more than fluff, a beautiful cover, and bright and sparkling conversations.. it is jam-packed with historical information and a good plot. 4 star read for sure... Happy Reading!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Bessai

    Do you love screwball comedy? Witty dialogue and a mystery set in post-war London, 1946. I loved the main characters, Sparks and Bainbridge, and the details of their lives and friends. As Amazon describes, the plot is a mystery: ..."In a London slowly recovering from World War II, two very different women join forces to launch a business venture in the heart of Mayfair—The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Miss Iris Sparks, quick-witted and impulsive, and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, practical and widowe Do you love screwball comedy? Witty dialogue and a mystery set in post-war London, 1946. I loved the main characters, Sparks and Bainbridge, and the details of their lives and friends. As Amazon describes, the plot is a mystery: ..."In a London slowly recovering from World War II, two very different women join forces to launch a business venture in the heart of Mayfair—The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Miss Iris Sparks, quick-witted and impulsive, and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, practical and widowed with a young son, are determined to achieve some independence and do some good in a rapidly changing world. But their promising start is threatened when their newest client is found murdered and the man arrested for the crime is the prospective husband they matched her with. While the police are convinced they have their man, Miss Sparks and Mrs. Bainbridge are not." Looking for more details? check out this review: https://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/o... ...."Both heroines are delightful and there is something inviting about their story. It’s the story of their friendship even more than of the investigation. The book has a theme of women’s empowerment and yet Iris and Gwen never seem anachronistic. One thing I want to emphasize is that the book is not at all heavy. It has a witty sensibility despite the backstories. Neither of the women feels a moment of self-pity (Gwen does grieve, though) and there’s no navel-gazing. They are very much women of their time in that sense. Iris is no-nonsense in a way that a lot of women of her generation were, I think. Gwen is more sensitive but has a sense of whimsy." "I loved the dialogue; here’s an example, from their first meeting (at a wedding, naturally). It doesn’t reveal anything crucial, but it is long...." Tom Parkinson, the best man, stepped forward. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he said. “I have been with George through Dunkirk, Tunisia, and Italy. I have seen him charging through heavy machine-gun fire to take one hilltop after another from the Eye-Ties, and never have I seen him so nervous as I did this morning prior to walking down that aisle.” There was an appreciative chuckle from the assemblage. He turned to the bride. “And never have I seen him conquer anything more worth conquering,” he said. “Emily, whatever miracle brought the two of you together makes me believe that hope has been restored from the horrors we have been through. I wish you all the happiness that you deserve. Ladies and gentlemen—I give you Captain and Mrs. George Bascombe. To the bride and groom!” “To the bride and groom!” echoed the crowd. “To the bride and groom!” Gwen whispered softly. She noticed a short, intense brunette woman looking at her. She was wearing a royal blue dress with padded shoulders, cut just above the knee. She saw Gwen returning her gaze, and walked over. “Apologies,” said the woman. “I was admiring your gown. Absolutely smashing.” “Thanks,” said Gwen. “Haven’t worn it in years. Slipped right into it without a struggle.” “Lucky you,” said the woman. “I’ve been waiting for them to get on with the toast so we can start drinking properly. I’m trying to remember how many glasses of champagne I can have before I start speaking honestly.” “Ah,” said Gwen. “I should stop at two, then. Three glasses usually do me in, and I have a few inches on you.” “Pity,” said the woman. “I’m on the second now.” “Still safely in the throes of mendacity?” “I think so. I’m Iris, by the way. Iris Sparks.” “Gwendolyn Bainbridge. Call me Gwen.” “Nice to meet you. Bride or groom?” “A bit of both, really,” said Gwen. “I’m the miracle.” “Excuse me?” “What Tom said—a miracle brought them together. It was I.” “Well done, then,” said Iris, tapping her glass against Gwen’s in tribute. “I must ask, how did you see them as right for each other? Don’t get me wrong, I love Em, but she’s always been the horsey sort, riding to hounds in the country and all that. George is a brave lad, certainly, but he’s never been part of that world. His people are factory folks. Pots of money, but still, not the horsey sort at all. And the height difference—did you think she needed a jockey?” “Are you sure that’s not your third?” asked Gwen. “Yes, that was catty, wasn’t it? It’s been a while since I’ve had any decent champagne. I shouldn’t be behaving badly just yet. All right then. Why him for her and her for him?” “I knew George before the war,” said Gwen. “He wanted to be an artist. Did you know that?” “I never knew him before they got engaged.” “Well, George has an eye for the beauty that lies underneath. Emily never saw herself as beautiful. She’s always been taller than everyone, and it made her feel awkward about herself. I thought George would see her, really see her, and that she had never been seen like that and would completely blossom under his gaze. Look at her now. Would you ever have said that she was a beauty before today?” They turned and looked at the newlyweds who were feeding each other cake. Emily was laughing, and seemed to take in the sunlight and turn it into something even more golden. “You’re right,” said Iris. “Never saw her like this. I don’t think anyone did. Besides you.”

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shiloah

    Fun and cozy!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    4.5* - This book was not quite what I was expecting and I loved it! This is the first in a historical mystery series set in London in 1946. London immediately after the war is evoked beautifully and naturally through descriptions of the city and the actions and conversations of the characters. The characters were fantastic, especially the two main characters - Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge. They were very well-drawn with fascinating histories. The mystery was very good and I didn't guess wh 4.5* - This book was not quite what I was expecting and I loved it! This is the first in a historical mystery series set in London in 1946. London immediately after the war is evoked beautifully and naturally through descriptions of the city and the actions and conversations of the characters. The characters were fantastic, especially the two main characters - Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge. They were very well-drawn with fascinating histories. The mystery was very good and I didn't guess who the killer was. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.

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