The Unkept Woman By Allison Montclair: Review/Giveaway

Sep 10, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

In 1946, two women, who shouldn’t have been friends or even known each other, opened The Right Sort marriage agency. Women, whose work was prized during the war years, are booted out of their jobs when the men returned home. There’s also a definite shortage of marriageable men due to the high death toll. How’s a girl supposed to meet the right sort of guy? Before, there was The Right Sort.

Sparks, Iris that is, won’t talk about what she did during the war, some sort of intelligence work is her partner Gwen Bainbridge’s best guess. Sparks was involved with a married man, but that’s over. At least until he shows up out of the blue. Now what?

Gwen is a widow who lost her mind for a bit when told of her husband’s death. Her father and mother-in-law were quick to take charge of her life. She was sent to a mental hospital, had regular meetings with a therapist, lost control of her money, was forced to live with her in-laws upon her release, and worst of all, lost custody of her son, Ronnie. Her father-in-law continually threatens to send the boy to boarding school.

Excellent at surveillance, Sparks knows when someone is following her. The question is why? Of course, it didn’t take much to figure it out. The woman was way too obvious. It seems she’s looking for Sparks’ married lover, claiming she knew him well in France, and is now having his baby.

Sparks is shocked to find the police believe she’s dead when there she stands, living proof she’s not. It’s especially hard on Detective Sergeant Mike Kinsey, a former lover, now married to someone else.

As Sparks sorts out her personal life from her past life and tries to fit in with her current life, Gwen is doing something of the sort herself. Her father-in-law is ill, has revealed a shady past of his own, and may be willing to negotiate Gwen’s current state of affairs. In the end, the best we can do is keep moving forward.

This is book four of the series. Sparks and Gwen are unlikely friends but fiercely devoted. They advocate for the best match for their clients and, despite restrictions set by society, are finding their way. The mystery is a good one, clues scattered about, mistaken identities to unravel, and a fluctuating society to navigate in the meantime. It’s a series I enjoy and can reread. I look forward to book five and beyond.

To enter to win a copy of The Unkept Woman, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “unkept,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 17, 2022. US only, and must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book from Amazon or click here. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She’s editor for Peace, Love, and Crime: Crime Stories Inspired by the Songs of the ’60s, with twenty-two cozy stories. She also edited A Murder of Crows, twenty-one stories featuring animals and crime (no animals were harmed). She also writes for magazines, newsletters, and the occasional guest blog. Both anthologies are available at the usual outlets, print or ebook.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance.

  2. sounds interesting. would love to try this one.
    thanks txmhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  3. Sounds like a fun series, thanks for the introduction and the chance to win a copy of The Unkept Woman. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  4. I’d like to be included!

  5. We have a winner!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.