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The Unkept Woman: Sparks & Bainbridge #4    by Allison Montclair order for
Unkept Woman
by Allison Montclair
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Unkept Woman follows A Rogue's Company as the 4th in Allison Montclair's delightful series starring an odd couple of businesswomen/detectives in 1946 London, England. Together, Gwendolyn Bainbridge (widowed in the war and with a small son) and ex-intelligence officer Iris Sparks, run The Right Sort Marriage Bureau, bringing couples together.

This episode opens on a murder, the victim initially identified (from nearby letters) as Miss Iris Sparks! It isn't Iris, of course, but it is her flat and she quickly becomes a person of interest in the investigation. Iris's ex-lover Andrew had showed up in her flat a few days earlier, to 'lie low', forcing her to move in with Gwen.

While this plot thread evolves, the ladies learn that their close friend Salvatore 'Sally' Danielli has been hired by the government as a guide for a Russian cultural delegation, half bound to be spies. And Gwen continues to fight her father-in-law for custody of her son Ronnie and control of her inheritance from her dead husband.

As always, Gwen and Iris wend their ways (the latter on the run from the authorities) through a convoluted and perilous plot, sharing witty exchanges en route. I really enjoy this series.

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