More goes wrong than could be imagined when Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge of The Right Sort Marriage Bureau are unexpectedly engaged to dig into the past of a suitor of a royal princess in Allison Montclair’s sequel.
The repartee is fast and amusing ... so enjoyable readers will undoubtedly race to buy The Right Sort of Man, the first Sparks Bainbridge mystery, as soon as they finish it. Allison Montclair has created two fascinating characters in Iris and Gwen: they are captivating, drawing us effortlessly into their lives, both personal and professional. I look forward to their next adventure in the turbulent world of post-war England.
... one big cheer for each of two delightful main characters, Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge, and an even bigger one for the author. The second volume of her Sparks & Bainbridge mystery series is, if possible, even better than its clever, effervescent predecessor, The Right Sort of Man ... Moments of real danger and feeling punctuate runs of witty dialogue. Oh, yes, the charming characters and twisty plot simply beg to become a screenplay. But it’ll be hard to improve on these fast-turning pages.
The balance Montclair strikes between humor and hard truths is arresting ... Gwen and Iris sling banter that makes them sound like the war-hardened women they are, but a scene in a therapist’s office makes the depth of their separate sorrows, and their care for one another, abundantly clear. Descriptions of neighborhoods where one building stands next to bombed-out rubble are unnerving and add to the sense of danger ... The climactic scene laying out the whodunit (and why) is like a maraschino cherry in a complex cocktail. Here’s to the return of these formidable women, and to many more chances to enjoy their company.