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A Royal Affair: A Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery    by Allison Montclair order for
Royal Affair
by Allison Montclair
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

A Royal Affair follows The Right Sort of Man as the second in Allison Montclair's engagingly witty historical mystery series. Centered on the founders (and sole employees) of The Right Sort Marriage Bureau, it's set in post WW II London.

Quick witted, impetuous and resourceful Iris Sparks was a spy during the war and still has Special Ops connections. Gwendolyn Bainbridge was widowed by the war. Her subsequent breakdown allowed her aristocratic in-laws to assume custody of her son. She lives with them, but they are in charge.

Because of their successful investigation (of a murder) in the first episode, Iris and Gwen are approached by a representative of the royal family. Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip are close to an engagement and there's question of a possible scandal in the suitor's past.

Since the cause is matrimonial and the payment would help finance a bigger office and even a secretary, they start digging into the background of a naval attache in Athens at the end of the Great War. When the Greek government was overturned, he helped escort Prince Andrea, Princess Alice and her young family from Corfu to London.

There's murder and more before it's all sorted. British Intelligence muddy the waters, but Oracles get to the truth, expose a spy network and earn the gratitude of the heir to the throne.

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