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The Right Sort of Man

(Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  88 reviews

"A delightful immersion in the period and personalities, with that touch of depth that transforms a good series to a great one." —Laurie R. King

In London, 1946, the two women who recently started The Right Sort Marriage Bureau find their new livelihood endangered when one client is arrested for the murder of another.

In a London slowly recovering from the ravages of W

...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Minotaur Books
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Showing 1-30
4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  118 ratings  ·  88 reviews


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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 want
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Anna Lee Huber
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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 ...more
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
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Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
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.
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 ...more
Karen M
It’s 1946, London, the war is over and peace has returned and life is almost back to normal except for the rationing. You are young, intelligent, clever and in need of a job, so what do you do? You open a marriage bureau!

Our two dauntless heroines are Gwen and Iris. They are nothing alike and have completely different backgrounds but they have similar abilities in judging people and making quick assessments of their characters and so they put their abilities together to match up lonely people. W
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Billie
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kristina
The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair takes us back to 1946 in London. Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge and Iris Sparks started The Right Sort Marriage Bureau three months ago. Gwen is a society lady and widow with a six year old son. She can tell when someone is lying plus, she is successful at pairing up couples. Iris or Sparks as she prefers to be called is naturally nosy, intelligent, has a way of fitting in no matter where, and has good connections. Their business is off to a successful start ...more
Pgchuis
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, netgalley
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

This was very enjoyable indeed. It is set just after WWII and the descriptions of the rationing and bomb damage give an excellent sense of the time and setting. Iris and Gwen have had very different wars: Iris did something covered by the Official Secrets Act; Gwen's husband was killed, Gwen struggled with her mental health for a time as a result, and her unpleasant mother-in-law therefore took guardianship of Gwen's son. Gwen and
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Judi Easley
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: history/WWII readers
Recommended to Judi by: NetGalley
The Right Sort of Man
Allison Montclair
Minotaur Books, June 2019
325 pages, Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook, Audio CD
Historical Novel, Cozy mystery
Provided by NetGalley
✮✮✮✮✮

The combination of colors on the cover is what caught my eye when I saw it. It felt like an old photograph. The font was perfect for a post-WWII story with its cross between old type and handwriting. Then they threw in Iris’ knife for the cross of the ‘t’.

The story was amazing. It turned into many stories in one. There was Iris’ s
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Rachel
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
I absolutely loved this book. I am beyond grateful to the publisher for inviting me to read this and providing a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I laughed and cried throughout this historical mystery. It was completely worth dropping all of my other current reads to pick up.

Gwen Bainbridge and Iris Sparks run the Right Sort Marriage Bureau, providing matchmaking services for men and women in post-WWII London. When one of their clients ends up murdered and the person
...more
Kim McGee
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cheeky "I never met a man I didn't want to kiss" Iris Sparks and the elegant but practical Gwen Bainbridge are partners in an unusual business venture. It is just after WWII and there is a flush of women and men wanting to meet someone special and settle down so they come to this marriage brokerage. When a new client turns up dead before her first date and another one of their clients is pegged for the murder, the ladies add amateur detective work to their services. Iris just has to stop running ...more
Niki
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
In ravaged, post WWII London, unmarried Miss Iris Sparks teams up with practical widow Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge to launch a matchmaking business in Mayfair and attempt to achieve some real independence. They're off to a solid start until their newest client, Tillie La Salle, turns up murdered and it seems another of their clients, Dickie Trower, with whom they'd matched her, appears to be the culprit. Convinced of the client's innocence, Iris and Gwen decide they'll find out who really murdered ...more
Jessica Howard
Isn’t it weird when you’ve never heard of a thing before, and then somehow it comes up in multiple books?

That’s what happened with me and marriage bureaus! Last month I read a nonfiction book called THE MARRIAGE BUREAU, about two women — one aristocratic and tall, one more outgoing and middle class — who formed a wartime marriage bureau.

And then this month Shelf Awareness sent me a fictional book about a marriage bureau with two women — one aristocratic and tall, one ebullient and middle class
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Maria
+++ I was invited to view this ARC through NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it +++
An interesting historical mystery set in post-war London, featuring two strong women, both dealing with their own struggles.
I liked the gallery of characters, especially Gwen, and her poignant fight for the custody of her son, and how the author, Allison Montclair, left in the world of possibility the improbable romance with Des.
The effects of bombing in London during World War II and the depiction of this era ar
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Julianne Bailey
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a phenomenal debut! Everything about this mystery worked for me. There was strong character development, great use of setting, tons of historical detail, and a solid and strongly plotted mystery. The writing was fabulous, with perfect touches of humor scattered throughout. This author has now been promoted to auto-buy status for me, and I cannot wait for the next in the series! Highly recommend, especially for fans of Charles Todd, Jacqueline Winspear and Susan Elia Macneal.

Thank you so mu
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Marlene
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

It’s ironic that the protagonists in The Right Sort of Man are absolutely not looking for the right sort, or even the wrong sort of man for themselves. Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge operate a marriage bureau, and they are in the barely profitable business of finding the right sort of man for other women – as well as the other way around.

And that’s where things hit a snag for our intrepid entrepreneurs. One of their clients has just been murdered – and the
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Julie
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic historical mystery set in England in the aftermath of the Second World War fans of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series are going to adore, The Right Sort of Man introduces two eccentric, intelligent and entertaining sleuths set to become huge reader favorites: Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs Gwendolyn Bainbridge.

Shop girl Tillie La Salle wants to marry a millionaire and escape her drab and unexciting life in Shadwell. With opportunities for women being few and far between in post-war
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Jolie
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued when I read the blurb for this book. I have read plenty about pre-WWII London. I have also read plenty about London during the war. But I haven’t read anything about the years after the war. So, that made me want to pick up The Right Sort of Man. I am glad that I did because The Right Sort of Man was a great read!!

The Right Sort of Man takes place in June of 1946. A young woman approaches The Right Sort Marriage Bureau with hopes of being matched with a young man. She leaves the
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The Lit Bitch
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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Bex | TotallyBex.com
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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Sharon
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"So she lived in the Bainbridge house, a very large, very well-appointed house indeed, and watched her son as he basked in the care of a governess and a tutor, and was allowed to interact with him as much as a mother might while having absolutely no maternal authority over his existence whatsoever. And she thought if she hadn’t been driven mad before, this velvet prison might very well do the trick on its own."

Gwen Bainbridge is a widow with a young son and when her affluent husband died in the
...more
Bayley
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-favorites, arcs, 2019
I always forget I love mystery novels until I am reading a mystery novel. Maybe this book will be the spark (see what I did there?) that will lead me into a hole full of untimely death and other elements of the criminal.
I had so much fun reading this book! The Right Sort of Man is about Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge and Miss. Iris Sparks, proprietors of The Right Sort Marriage Bureau! Their little business is doing fine during the summer of 1946, setting up couples in a London rebuilding from World
...more
Sharon
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"So she lived in the Bainbridge house, a very large, very well-appointed house indeed, and watched her son as he basked in the care of a governess and a tutor, and was allowed to interact with him as much as a mother might while having absolutely no maternal authority over his existence whatsoever. And she thought if she hadn’t been driven mad before, this velvet prison might very well do the trick on its own."

Gwen Bainbridge is a widow with a young son and when her affluent husband died in the
...more
"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 wome
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Katreader
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE RIGHT SORT OF MAN by Allison Montclair
The First Marriage Bureau Mystery

As London continues to recover from World War II its inhabitants are looking for stability and happiness. Tillie La Salle wants a life that will lead her out of her neighborhood and into matrimony. Enter the Right Sort of Marriage Bureau. Although Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, proprietors, find Tillie to be somewhat shady, they arrange a meeting with a prospective match. But instead of a happy ending, Ti
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Kathy Martin
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 a
...more
Anne
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair is a wonder period mystery, which takes place shortly after World War II in London. Tillie La Salle is visiting the Right Sort of Marriage Bureau run by Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge. The Right Sort is one of two marriage bureaus licensed in London at this time and Iris and Gwen take their job seriously. Iris is apparently an ex-spy, as many were during the war and Gwen is a society widow, her husband having been killed in said war. The ...more
Sally
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
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 secret ...more
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