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A Rogue's Company

(Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery #3)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  64 reviews
*A PW Pick of the Week!*

In Allison Monclair's A Rogue's Company, business becomes personal for the Right Sort Marriage Bureau when a new client, a brutal murder, two kidnappings, and the recently returned from Africa Lord Bainbridge threatens everything that one of the principals holds dear.

In London, 1946, the Right Sort Marriage Bureau is getting on its feet and expandin
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 8th 2021 by Minotaur Books
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Bryan Buchan I hadn't read the first two books in the series, and thoroughly enjoyed this one.…moreI hadn't read the first two books in the series, and thoroughly enjoyed this one.(less)

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Start your review of A Rogue's Company (Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery, #3)
Amazing women!

A new client gives pause to Gwendolyn Bainbridge and Iris Sparks, proprietors of The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. They hadn’t before considered International clients. When Mr. Simon Daile from Nyasaland, Africa approaches them seeking a bride, they realize that they need to provide for clients from outside their narrow focus. It also seems Mr. Daile knows of Gwen’s father-in-law, Lord Harold Bainbridge, and his mining activities. Small world!
Lord Bainbridge comes home early from Afr
Barb in Maryland
4.5 stars. I read it twice because I enjoyed it so much.

A few thoughts:

While I missed seeing our matchmakers at work, I really appreciated getting to know Gwen and Iris on a deeper level.
I also appreciated that Gwen's in-laws have acquired depth. They are still terrible people, but now the reader can see them in 3-D.
It was interesting to learn more about the Bainbridge company and its holdings, which allowed the author to touch on the effects of colonialism. Two of the characters she introduced
Barbara Rogers
Series: Sparks and Bainbridge #3
Publication Date: 6/8/21
Period: Post WWII - 1946
Number of Pages: 352
** 4.5 Stars **

Goodness! I do believe I have found another historical mystery series to love. This author is new to me – and I’m so glad to have found her. I was a bit concerned about coming into the series on the third book, but that didn’t impede my enjoyment of the story in the least. The book is excellently written, the plot is well defined with the clues dribbled out just right, the villain(s
Niki (mustreadalltheromance)
Jun 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
In 1946 London Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge are just beginning to expand their business, the Right Sort Marriage Bureau. It’s going rather well until Gwen’s father-in-law and legal guardian, Lord Bainbridge, returns from an extended trip to Africa and threatens everything she’s been working for, including sending her son to the boarding school her late husband was adamant he not attend.

In the midst of all this, the agency gets a new client who the ladies suspect of having ulter
Niki (nikilovestoread)
After loving the first two books in the Sparks & Bainbridge series, I was excited to read A Rogue's Company. I do agree with another reviewer that said this one was different than the previous two. I missed seeing the customers coming into the marriage bureau looking for love, but I can also see why that plot may start to feel overused and the author chose to go a different route with the third in the series. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this one, too. It was different, but still really well wri ...more
Jun 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, favorites
A Rogue's Company is the third exciting book in Allison Montclair's Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery series. I haven't read the first two books and while I was a bit confused with references to the main characters' prior exploits, I had no trouble following this stand-alone mystery. In fact, this is sure to be one of my favorite series ever! I'm excited to find I already had the first two books in my huge TBR pile. Yay! I started this book early yesterday evening and was already done with it early th ...more
Cathy Cole
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't be happier that I discovered Allison Montclair's Sparks & Bainbridge historical mystery series when the very first book, The Right Sort of Man, appeared. This series, now on book three, has done nothing but get better and better, and I think I spent most of the time while reading A Rogue's Company with a big smile on my face... that is when I wasn't actually laughing out loud.

Montclair doesn't spend a lot of time giving us period detail. A simple line mentioning "piles of rubble waiti
Helen Howerton
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Minotaur Books for this Advanced Reader Copy and the opportunity to review A Rogue’s Company. All opinions are my own.

A prologue describing a disaster on Lake Nyasa in 1946 affects events for Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge of The Right Sort Marriage Bureau in this, the third book in the historical mystery series by Allison Montclair. And soon, Iris and Gwen, our heroines, find themselves taking as a client a black man. This obviously sets up all sorts
Apr 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
This series seems to be getting a little darker with each book, but I'm not complaining. Iris and Gwen are making a success of the The Right Sort agency, although the agency figures less in this book than the first two. Gwen makes definite progress in getting back custody of her son, and Iris...well, Iris always has her own ways of working events and other people. Gwen's in-laws appear prominently in this installment, with a surprising outcome.

I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
Dianne Freeman
Jun 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I’m a big fan of the Sparks and Bainbridge mystery series and book 3, A Rogue’s Company didn’t disappoint! Set in post WWII London, Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge are partners in a marriage bureau, The Right Sort. Their very different experiences in the war have left them with complicated, messy lives. By this installment, both are gaining ground on sorting out those lives when Gwen’s father-in-law returns home from an extended stay in Africa to assert his authority over Gwen’s son. This story ...more
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

I’ve just realized that the title is a pun – or a spoiler, take your pick – on multiple levels. Iris Sparks, co-owner of the Right Sort Marriage Bureau, is keeping company with Archie Spelling, a known gangster. Quite willingly and fairly often.

Gwen Bainbridge, her friend and co-owner of the agency, very much on the other hand, has been forced to keep company with a gang of rogues because they’ve kidnapped her while she was in the unfortunate company – and
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This has very quickly become one of my favorite and most anticipated series. Set in London just post war, the main characters are Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge, two opposites who work like clockwork together. Iris is single and Gwen is a widowed mother living with her in-laws, and the two run a marriage bureau called the “Right Sort”. Each book opens with the approach of a client, and that sets off whatever delightful chain of events Montclair has in store for her reader.

Iris and Gwen have exp
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-2021
A Rogue’s Company by Allison Montclair begins with a brother and sister on a boat on an African lake when tragedy strikes. With that scene fresh in our minds, we find that Bainbridge family is under the scrutiny of an African man who is posing as a gardener. Why is he surveilling the Bainbridge family? What is his relationship to the brother and sister on the boat? What does all of this mean for for the match-making, mystery-solving duo of Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge? Especial ...more
Carolyn Bragg
May 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Who would think that a marriage bureau in 1946 run by two women, could be dangerous? Did the business attract the danger, or was it something or someone else?

In the mean time, Gwen is fighting her dead husband's father for her independence and the custody of her own son! The imperious man had taken advantage of her grief, had her admitted to an asylum and declared unfit, and the court granted him guardianship of her child, Ronnie.

Now, with no legal standing, and despite running a business, Gwen
Kathy Martin
Apr 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Gwen Bainbridge and her partner Iris Sparks are pleased with their marriage agency. They have managed to add on both a second office and a secretary. They are a bit surprised when Simon Daile comes in because they have never considered having Black African clients. Beyond that surprise is the certainty in Gwen's mind that the Mr. Daile was lying to her about something.

While dealing with finding potential partners for him, Gwen is dealing with problems at home. Her father-in-law Lord Harold Bainb
Apr 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Oh, man...what a rollercoaster of a story! Not only does it contain murder and mayhem in spades but the humour is stellar. So are the varied (from bland to blunt to stoic to funny to good natured to nasty) characters. I giggled many times at the clever bantering and back and forthing...the writing is perfection. And then some. My attention was grabbed and held immediately. The novel ended too soon!

Set after WWII Britain, Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwen Bainbridge are getting slightly ahead in the
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Things are looking up for Gwen and Iris in "A Rogue's Company," the latest Sparks and Bainbridge mystery by Allison Montclair. They've just expanded their marriage bureau and hired a new employee. Gwen feels she's close to regaining custody of her son, and her relationship with her mother-in-law has become, if not close, at least no longer adversarial.

The unexpected, and very unwelcome, arrival of Gwen's father-in-law upsets them both, as it leads to trouble for Gwen, two kidnappings, and the m
This third Sparks & Bainbridge mystery is just as good as the first two! To catch you up, Iris Sparks (middle-class, college-educated, WWII spy) and Gwendolyn Bainbridge (aristocracy, widow and mother, living with in-laws due to unfortunate custody situation) have started a matchmaking business, which has been going well. It's the late 1940s in London, with everyone still on rations and bombed-out buildings on every other block.
In this book, Gwen's pill of a father-in-law has recently returned
Kathleen Gray
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Lord Bainbridge is back from Africa and putting waste to Gwen's plan to keep his grandson-her son- from attending the horrid boarding school her late husband so despised. There's more, however, afoot, as she quickly discovers, along with her business partner Iris Sparks. Together, they run a matchmaking agency and they've been approached by an African man looking for a wife, Turns out there's more connections than they could have imagined and it all comes out when Gwen and Lord Bainbridge are ki ...more
Jun 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A Rogue's Company by Allison Montclair is the newest addition to this entertaining series. In the time after WWII Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge continue to provide a service to those in need of help finding love and marriage. Business has improved enough that they are able to expand their offices and hire a secretary! But things are never easy for our intrepid heroines....murder and kidnapping interferes with their day to day business. I love Iris and Gwen....they are engaging and fun but each ...more
Celia Morse
Mar 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Activities at the Right Sort Marriage Bureau take a back seat to widowed Gwen's family issues in the third installment of this series. Her father in law has just returned from Africa and reasserted control over Gwen's young son. Coincidentally the marriage bureau had just accepted it's first African client and a man is murdered at the African explorers club frequented by Gwen's father in law.

Of course none of this turns out to be coincidental. Gwen survives an accidental kidnapping with the help
Carol lowkey.bookish
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book had the humor and witty banter I have grown to love about this series. However, I missed the entertaining parts of the earlier books, reading about the clients who visit The Right Sort Marriage Bureau.

Gwen and Iris make for interesting characters and I enjoy reading about their lives. I really liked Sally’s character and hope he makes an appearance in the next book.

This book featured more information about Lord and Lady Bainbridge. Unfortunately, I don’t care for either of them, so th
Jun 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I'm new to this historical mystery series and I enjoyed it enough that I will now go back and catch up. The time is post WWII and the place is London. Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge run a marriage bureau and murder is always in the wings. Gwen is a war widow with a young son who is trying to regain custody of him from her father-in-law. Lord Bainbridge is now a major threat to all that Gwen holds dear. His Lordship is determined to send the boy away to boarding school.
Iris and Gwen have a
May 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This intelligent and dry-humored series has become a favorite. Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge, unlikely friends, have started a marital matchmaking agency. However, more serious situations keep intruding and they have been caught up in several murder investigations.

Gwen is a war widow with a young son, constrained to live in her aristocratic in-laws' home after having a breakdown when her husband died. Iris was some sort of secret operative during the war with some rather specialized skills.

Apr 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a delightful book to read. It takes place in 1946 London so there is a bit of historical fiction. Plus, it is a mystery sort of book too. The two main characters are Iris and Gwen who own a company together called The Right Sort Marriage Bureau which aims to match and bring singles together. Oddly enough, the Right Sort tends to bring mystery and detective work Iris and Gwen's way. In a Rouge's Company, Gwen's wealthy father-in-law returns from his work in Africa causing all sorts of tu ...more
Bryan Buchan
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
A Rogue's Company, while not "great literature" and unlikely to be parsed in university 101 courses, is possibly something better for pandemic-weary readers. It's quite simply a wonderful fun read, with a deft eye to atmosphere and setting, and as is necessary to a good mystery story, masterful plotting, with enough twists and turns to make even Theseus's head spin. The main characters, Gwendolyn Bainbridge and Iris Sparks, are well drawn and thoroughly believable. Gwen's father-in-law, Lord Har ...more
Jun 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I requested an ARC of this book, and all opinions are my own.

This is a new to me author and series, and being it's the third book of that series, I did find it initially hard to get into the story. However, I was quickly absorbed by the characters, and the mystery surrounding them.

Sparks & Bainbridge are perfect foils - the former being the more impetuous of the two, while the latter has in innate grace that allows her to fit in just about anywhere. They work very well together, and I found it e
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
This one may be my favorite of the three Sparks and Bainbridge books (and I hope there will be more to come). By now I feel I really know Gwen and Iris, and some of the supporting characters like Carolyne Bainbridge as well. I love how the plot of each book builds on the previous books (you must start at the beginning of the series). The characters are incredibly well developed, complex, messy, and fascinating. The story is intriguing and fast-paced and the mystery very tightly written. The writ ...more
Mar 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A Rogue's Company is just excellent - the Sparks and Bainbridge series gets better with each book! Gwen and Iris are fascinating characters and I love how they seem to bring out the best in each other, more so in each new book. The plot is so well done - the various mysteries converging into one sad and somewhat bitter ending. Watching Gwen regain her grip on her life and her son while Iris faces some of her vulnerabilities is compelling. The relationship with Archie and both women is also engag ...more
Apr 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
A Rogue's Company is the third book in the Sparks & Bainbridge mystery series. It follows two women, Gwen and Iris, who run the Right Sort Marriage Bureau in 1940s London. They always seem to find themselves in the middle of a mystery while trying to match up couples for marriage. This mystery begins to unravel when an unexpected kidnapping happens that causes Iris to further dig into hers and Gwen's past.

I liked this novel more than previous novels since there is more character and plot develop
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ALLISON MONTCLAIR grew up devouring hand-me-down Agatha Christie paperbacks and James Bond movies. As a result of this deplorable upbringing, Montclair became addicted to tales of crime, intrigue, and espionage. She now spends her spare time poking through the corners, nooks, and crannies of history, searching for the odd mysterious bits and transforming them into novels of her own. The Right Sort ...more

Other books in the series

Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery (3 books)
  • The Right Sort of Man (Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery #1)
  • A Royal Affair (Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery #2)

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