Tuesday, May 28, 2019

ARC Review: The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair

The Right Sort of Man
Author: Allison Montclair
Publication: Minotaur Books (June 4, 2019)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: THE RIGHT SORT OF MAN was an amazing historical mystery. Set in London in 1946, it stars two very different young women as they try to set up a matrimonial agency.

Iris Sparks is quick-witted and seems to have too much of a taste for danger. She is still guilty about what she did during the war - most of which is covered under the Official Secrets Act. She is in the role of "other woman" to a man who is still spying in Europe.

Gwen Bainbridge is an aristocratic young widow who lost her husband at a battle in Italy and had a nervous breakdown. The breakdown allowed her in-laws to sue for custody of her six-year-old son. She is forced to live in her in-laws home if she wants any contact with her child. She is still deeeply grieving for the loss of her beloved husband.

The two met at a wedding and learned that they were both instrumental in bringing the couple together. They decided to start their matrimonial agency to play on their talents and bring some happiness into the world.

When one of their clients is murdered - possibly by another of their clients that they matched with her, Iris and Gwen need to investigate both to gain justice for the man and also to save their fledgling business.

I loved the setting and dialog in this story. I keep visualizing the black and white movies of the 40s with suave, smart, and sassy characters. The dialog was pitch-perfect for the time as were the attitudes of the characters. The mystery was nicely done and realistic. I liked the depth the author brought to both Gwen and Iris which easily showed that the cost of war wasn't only borne by the soldiers who fought it.

Favorite Quote:
"There's unavoidable danger that happens because it finds you, and there's avoidable danger that happens because you decide to prod it with a sharp stick. What were you thinking, goading him on like that?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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