The Avid Reader
, June 05, 2019
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The Right Sort of Man is an entertaining historical mystery. The author captured post-war London with her vivid descriptions of the bombed out areas, rationing and modes of public transportation (tube, tram, and bus). Numerous items continued to be rationed in England for many years after the war (food, clothes, petrol). I enjoyed Allison Montclair’s writing style with its appealing dialogue and her delightful protagonists. Iris Sparks is an intelligent woman who did special work for the government during the war (which she cannot talk about). Sparks has a unique skill set and is well connected. She thrives on action and has left a string of unhappy beaus in her wake including DS Mike Kinsey. Sparks does love her typewriter though. I especially loved Iris Sparks droll wit. Gwen Bainbridge is a widow with a six year old son and a fascination with Ronald Coleman. Gwen had a hard time after she was notified of her husband’s death. She needed some medical assistance which her in-laws used to grab guardianship of their only grandchild. Gwen is now forced to live with the in-laws to be near her son. Going into business with Iris is her way of obtaining some independence and getting her self-confidence back. When one of their clients is murdered and another accused of the crime, the only way to save their business is to solve the murder themselves. While Iris has the skills for investigating, it is new to Gwen. She soon finds herself enjoying new experiences like riding a tram. I liked the evolution of Gwen’s character. Salvatore “Sally” Danielli was a pleasing addition. He is a complex man with hidden depths (he is working on a play too). There are two mysteries in The Right Sort of Man. One is more complex and dominates the story while the other drifts along in the background (and is simpler). I had a good time following the clues and solving both puzzles. The Right Sort of Man has a great ending. I am hoping there will be more novels featuring this enterprising duo. You will find yourself rooting for Gwen and Sparks in the charming The Right Sort of Man.