Series: Sparks and Bainbridge #3
Publication Date: 6/8/21
Period: Post WWII – 1946
Number of Pages: 352
** 4.5 Stars **
Goodness! I do believe I have found another historical mystery series to love. This author is new to me – and I’m so glad to have found her. I was a bit concerned about coming into the series on the third book, but that didn’t impede my enjoyment of the story in the least. The book is excellently written, the plot is well defined with the clues dribbled out just right, the villain(s) get their just desserts, and our two intrepid ladies from the Right Sort Marriage Bureau have solved another case.
If you just looked on the surface, you would never believe that Mrs. Gwendolyn (Gwen) Bainbridge and Miss Iris Sparks would ever be in the same room with each other, much less great friends and business partners. However, if you do look beneath the surface, you will see two broken ladies trying their very best to recover from the ravages of the war. Gwen lost the love of her life – her husband Robbie – and ended up in a sanitarium for a while – and she lost guardianship of her only child to her dastardly father-in-law. Iris did many things in the war while working for the government. Most of those things weren’t polite and they certainly weren’t nice. She’s trying her best to come to grips with that past, to curb her recklessness – and to curb her drinking. Each of them seems to provide the encouragement and support the other needs.
So many things are set in motion when Lord Bainbridge, Gwen’s father-in-law, returns after six months in Africa where he was checking up on Bainbridge, Ltd. assets held there. He is in a nasty temper all of the time, treats everyone badly – even his sweet grandson. Of course, none of this is new to any of them – he’s always been that way. Instead of taking time with his family, he is immediately off to his club – and the pattern continues.
Gwen has become healthier and more stable over the last months, and she’s wanting to retrieve her guardianship of her son away from Lord Bainbridge – and she wants to claim her inheritance as well – which is also controlled by Lord Bainbridge. Lord Bainbridge, of course, isn’t happy about any of that and has no intention of relinquishing control of anything to Gwen.
Gwen overhears and even participates in some strange conversations – she doesn’t totally understand them, but she’ll puzzle them out. Then, there is a murder of an African man behind Lord Bainbridge’s club. There is absolutely nothing to identify the man and nobody saw anything. Then, things get really intense when Lord Bainbridge is kidnapped.
OMGoodness! Can Iris and her less than savory friends manage to save Gwen? Lord Bainbridge? Then, of course, there is a big surprise – welcome or not????
It took me a bit to get into the story, but goodness gracious – when I did – it was Annie Get Your Guns! I loved it! I loved the characters and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. I do worry about Iris’s love life though. I like the man she loves – and I think he loves her – but – with his profession, I can only see hurt in her future if he doesn’t mend his ways.
I can highly recommend this book and I hope you will love it as much as did.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.