Sunday, May 14, 2023

On My Radar: Allison Montclair's The Lady from Burma!


I always love finding new mysteries-- and new mystery series-- to read, and Allison Montclair's Sparks & Bainbridge historical series set in London right after the end of World War II has turned out to be one of my favorites. When I learned that Iris and Gwen were going to have a new crime to solve, I started to do a little happy dance, but I stopped. How could this be the fifth book already? I swear the first book only came out two years ago! Then I shook my head, closed my mouth, and danced a little jig anyway. I've just got to get used to this idea of time flying past at the speed of light.

In the meantime, let me share a little  about the new book!

Available July 25, 2023!


"In the immediate post-war days of London, two unlikely partners have undertaken an even more unlikely, if necessary, business venture - The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. The two partners are Miss Iris Sparks, a woman with a dangerous - and never discussed - past in British intelligence and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, a war widow with a young son entangled in a complicated aristocratic family. Mostly their clients are people trying to start (or restart) their lives in this much-changed world, but their new client is something different. A happily married woman has come to them to find a new wife for her husband. Dying of cancer, she wants the two to make sure her entomologist, academic husband finds someone new once she passes.

Shortly thereafter, she's found dead in Epping Forest, in what appears to be a suicide. But that doesn't make sense to either Sparks or Bainbridge. At the same time, Bainbridge is attempting to regain legal control of her life, opposed by the conservator who has been managing her assets - perhaps not always in her best interest. When that conservator is found dead, Bainbridge herself is one of the prime suspects. Attempting to make sense of two deaths at once, to protect themselves and their clients, the redoubtable owners of the Right Sort Marriage Bureau are once again on the case.

Sounds like yet another good one that I can't wait to read. The backgrounds and experiences of the two main characters are the real strengths in this series, and I've been rooting for Gwen to get control back of her life from the very first book. Fingers crossed that happens in this new installment!

I highly recommend this series, and if you haven't started it yet, I do suggest that you begin with the first book, The Right Sort of Man, because of the character development.


  1. Oh, that sounds intriguing, Cathy! And I really like the idea of the Marriage Bureau. It's not something you really see here, but it's a fit with those times, I think. Those two protagonists sound like interesting, strong characters, too.

    1. Yes, the marriage bureau concept is definitely a thing of that era. So many men coming back from the war and wanting to settle down and start raising a family. Ditto the women. And you couldn't ask for more interesting and strong characters than Sparks and Bainbridge.

  2. Iris and Gwen are such a fun pair! I loved the first book...but need to catch up on the rest. There's now five? Lots of books to look forward to reading, but I can't believe I'm so far behind. Again. ;D

  3. Woohoo! Nice to start the week with something to look forward to :)

  4. I can't wait for this one! I have missed Iris and Gwen.


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