Review: The Right Sort of Man (Sparks and Bainbridge Mystery #1) by Allison Montclair

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 right moment.

It is a new mystery series set in the 1940s, just after the end of the war and these two women are opening a marriage match making business which I thought sounded odd but yet intriguing!


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 World War II, two very different women join forces to launch a business venture in the heart of Mayfair—The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Miss Iris Sparks, avuncular and unmarried, and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, practical and widowed with a young son, are determined to achieve some independence and do some good in a rapidly changing world.

But the promising start to their marriage bureau is threatened when their newest client, Tillie La Salle, is found murdered and the man arrested for the crime is one Dickie Trower, the prospective husband they matched her with. While the police are convinced they have their man, Miss Sparks and Mrs. Bainbridge are not. To clear Trower’s name—and to rescue their fledging operation’s reputation—Sparks and Bainbridge decide to investigate on their own, using the skills and contacts they’ve each acquired through life and their individual adventures during the recent war.

In this charming, compelling mystery, Allison Montclair blends meticulous research with two brilliantly imagined main characters into the first in a wonderful new series (summary from Goodreads).


This series is one to watch! I was hooked from the very beginning. I loved the concept of a match making service as the backdrop for this series. I thought it was new and interesting take on the typical detective novels. The way the two main characters played off each other was fantastic and made the story such a pleasure to read. It played such a central part of the story and I was getting all the ‘girl power’ vibes from them as a team and I loved it.

While this book is meant to be a historical mystery, I felt that it was more of a detective and friendship novel as the focus was on the mystery and the friendship between the two main characters, rather any of the historical parts. I think the period helped make it feel a little more cozy and it was a convenient setting for the profession, but beyond that I think the main focus was the story rather than the period. Either way I loved it so it didn’t matter if the focus wasn’t on the historical time period.

I also liked that this novel tackled some pretty big issues such as mental health. In this book, one of the main characters deals with some mental health issues and I loved that the author didn’t shy away from it. I know that sometimes that sort of thing might make some readers uncomfortable, but this author does it in such a classy way and I really felt it added lot of genuine-ness to the story and characters.

This book had a lot to enjoy…..humor, two strong but yet very different main characters, a little history, and an interesting mystery. I can’t wait to see the direction these two take in the next book!

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Minotaur Books
Free review copy provided by publisher, Minotaur Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: historical mystery


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