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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Book Review: The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair

It's after WWII, but London is still full of rubble, the occasional unexploded bomb, and a lot of single women. A couple of them are Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge (widowed), who decide they have complementary skills that would meld together nicely in the area of a matchmaking company. They open The Right Sort Marriage Bureau, to the dismay of Gwendolyn's in-laws, and start trying to make matches. Until one night when one of their young women is murdered, and the police pin it on the man they'd set her up with.

It's a scandal to be sure, and might be the death knell for their young and unusual business, which is why they set out to clean the man's--and by default their own--name. This is how Iris and Gwen end up investigating a murder.

The period details were marvelous, the research the author put into it is evidently extensive, and the mystery kept me guessing. I really liked both Iris and Gwen, although they are very different, and I like how they're both stretching and putting themselves in uncomfortable situations in order to improve their lots in life (Gwen a bit more than Iris, who had a tough childhood.) It was a delightful romp with some real danger for our heroines, and I am very much looking forward to future installments! It's as if the young women (minus the nuns) from Call the Midwife were solving crimes.

This book is published Minotaur, an imprint of St. Martin's Press, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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