Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Series: The Right Sort of Marriage Bureau
The Right Sort of Man—Book 1
First comes love, then comes murder.
In a London slowly recovering from 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, quick-witted and impulsive, 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 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 his 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.
Little do they know that this will put their very lives at risk.
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 agency with high expectations. But, a few hours later, she is found dead in an alley. A young man is arrested and charged with her murder. What do they have in common? They were both clients of The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. Eager to clear the agency’s name and prove the innocence of the young man, the owners launch an investigation of their own. Will they be able to clear their names? Will they save the young man from execution?
Like I stated in the first paragraph, I haven’t read any books that dealt with the aftermath of World War 2. The author did a fantastic job of showing the damage that London endured during the bombings. She also did a tremendous job of showing how the people of London were recovering.
I enjoyed the mystery angle of the book. The author did a fantastic job of keeping who the killer was until the end of the book. I thought that it was two people and it ended up being neither. The killer was revealed in a plot twist that took me by surprise.
I liked that the author had the two main characters be female. I also liked that she had them running their own business. There was a sense of woman empowerment throughout the book. Gwen and Iris didn’t back down when a man told them too. They were dismissed throughout the book. In the end, they ended up freeing an innocent man from jail and getting a killer off the street.
I did feel bad for Gwen. She lost it when her husband was killed, which is understandable. She was committed, and in that week, her in-laws were granted custody of her son. I did like seeing her start to realize that she didn’t have to take their crap anymore. I cheered her own when she began taking back her life. The scene where she told off her mother in law was fantastic.
I liked Iris but couldn’t get a handle on her. All I knew was that she was a spy and she was engaged twice. But, as the book went on, the author revealed the different aspects of Iris’s life. I am going to stop right here with her. But I will say this. Don’t take anything about Iris at face value. I did, and I was surprised at what was revealed during the last half of the book.
The end of the book was exciting. I loved how the killer was revealed. Never, in a million years, would I have thought that person was the killer. I liked how the author left the book open for other books in the series.
I would give The Right Sort of Man an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.
I would reread The Right Sort of Man I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**