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    Great sense of history

    Solid start to a new series. It’s just after World War II in London. Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge have started The Right Sort of Marriage Bureau. It’s a very interesting premise – the war is over and Iris and Gwen believe people are going to be looking for love and romance again. They’re very different women. Iris is single, quick-witted and impulsive, with a secret past she won’t talk about. Gwendolyn is practical and widowed with a young son, can read people on the spot, and has secrets of her own. The story begins when their newest client is found murdered and the man arrested for the crime is the prospective husband they matched her with. The police think they have found the murderer and aren’t going to investigate further. If they are to save their business Iris and Gwen must solve the crime on their own. Be warned that this book gets off to a very slow, often irritating start. The speech and dialogue are very formal and seem to come from a time prior to WWII, and the author overdoes clever and cute. I was annoyed with Gwen staying out all hours when she insists her main goal is to regain full custody of her child. The mystery seemed rather predictable. But stick with it. As the story proceeds, the plot becomes more intricate, clues are revealed, and the dialogue and cuteness factor settle down. You get a sense of just how hard it was for women to be taken seriously even in what we consider “modern times” and the story deals honestly and effectively with discrimination, the aftermath of the war, both economic and psychological, and demonstrates how solidly class distinctions were still in place. As you learn more about Iris and Gwen and their pasts and their hopes for the future you begin to identify with them, and when Gwen says of her son, “Of course he’s my first priority, which is why I am trying to make this place work so that I can convince everyone that I should be in charge of his life” it is very empowering. Thanks to Minotaur Press and NetGalley for providing an advance copy for my honest review.
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    Great Story

    I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to see how these two ladies minds worked to solve this case. It was also interesting to see that it was taking place right after WWII. Gwen and Iris both have different upbringing and both are overcoming things from the war. Together they make the perfect team. I am quite interested to see how these two ladies make out in the next book. There is a lot of description on what London looks like after the war and also what life is like during that time. If you like a good mystery then pick up this book. *I received a free copy of this book via the NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.*
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    Charming historical mystery!

    The Right Sort of Man is an entertaining historical mystery. The author captured post-war London with her vivid descriptions of the bombed out areas, rationing and modes of public transportation (tube, tram, and bus). Numerous items continued to be rationed in England for many years after the war (food, clothes, petrol). I enjoyed Allison Montclair’s writing style with its appealing dialogue and her delightful protagonists. Iris Sparks is an intelligent woman who did special work for the government during the war (which she cannot talk about). Sparks has a unique skill set and is well connected. She thrives on action and has left a string of unhappy beaus in her wake including DS Mike Kinsey. Sparks does love her typewriter though. I especially loved Iris Sparks droll wit. Gwen Bainbridge is a widow with a six year old son and a fascination with Ronald Coleman. Gwen had a hard time after she was notified of her husband’s death. She needed some medical assistance which her in-laws used to grab guardianship of their only grandchild. Gwen is now forced to live with the in-laws to be near her son. Going into business with Iris is her way of obtaining some independence and getting her self-confidence back. When one of their clients is murdered and another accused of the crime, the only way to save their business is to solve the murder themselves. While Iris has the skills for investigating, it is new to Gwen. She soon finds herself enjoying new experiences like riding a tram. I liked the evolution of Gwen’s character. Salvatore “Sally” Danielli was a pleasing addition. He is a complex man with hidden depths (he is working on a play too). There are two mysteries in The Right Sort of Man. One is more complex and dominates the story while the other drifts along in the background (and is simpler). I had a good time following the clues and solving both puzzles. The Right Sort of Man has a great ending. I am hoping there will be more novels featuring this enterprising duo. You will find yourself rooting for Gwen and Sparks in the charming The Right Sort of Man.
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