The Right Sort of Man: A Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery

  • Author Allison Montclair
  • Release Date June 4, 2019
  • Publisher Minotaur Books
  • ISBN/ASIN 978-1250178367
  • Our Rating
  • Reviewed by Abby Beal

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Our Review

THE RIGHT SORT OF MAN is a delightful combination of historical mystery and romance. The story is set in London in 1946 after World War II. People are trying to return to everyday life. Gwen and Iris form a fast friendship to start The Right Sort Marriage Bureau, helping both eligible women and men find a good match. Sadly, the war has changed many lives and it is time for a fresh start.

You will certainly smile, hearing their motto (known in the book as a watchword), “The world must be peopled!”

One thing that is so admirable about the book is that author, Montclair, has clearly put great effort and dedication into using phrases and words that were popular from that time period while also gently including some language from today’s day and age, so if you don’t instantly know what one of the words or phrases is, you can figure it out from the rest of the conversation! Not easy to do this, but somehow, she does and while making it fun to read too.

A new client, Tillie La Salle, comes to The Right Sort Marriage Bureau with the hopes of finding a husband. Proprietors Gwen and Iris are visited the next day by the police, told she was murdered, and their top suspect is the man she was matched with by them.

The ladies are doubtful he would be capable of anything so horrific, and even without experience or skill in sleuthing, set out to solve the murder. One thing you will notice about this book is it gently reminds the reader just how dependent on a husband or family women were not so long ago. Some of the limitations may surprise a few readers, but remember that generations past did navigate them, and a woman who wanted a more independent life was quite rare.

My favorite part about the mystery is that you feel like you are solving it along with Gwen and Iris as they have their adventures. Sometimes I pick up a mystery book, and rather quickly I can guess “whodunit,” but with THE RIGHT SORT OF MAN, you’re just going to want to keep turning the pages!

If romance is a favorite of yours, do know that there are romances to be found in this story, but the mystery takes center stage. This is a not-to-be-missed historical mystery if you have a great fondness for London and the U.K., especially the post WW II period, as there are some very unique twists in the mystery. Both Gwen and Iris are very likeable. Not only would I be curious about seeing who they would match me up with for a date, but these are characters it would be so nice to get to know; they are fabulous gals!

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