THE MATCHMAKER’S LONELY HEART, by Nancy Campbell Allen, Shadow Mountain, Sept. 7, 2021, Paperback, $15.99 (Young Adult/ New Adult/ Adult Fiction)
A detective partners with a lonely-hearts columnist to solve a murder in Nancy Campbell Allen’s The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart.
London, 1885. Amelie Hampton is a hopeless romantic, which makes her the perfect columnist to answer lonely heart letters in The Marriage Gazette. When Amelie plays matchmaker with two anonymous lonely hearts, she also decides to secretly observe the couple’s blind date. To her surprise, the man who appears for the rendezvous is Harold Radcliffe ― a grieving widower and a member of Amelie’s book club.
Police detective Michael Baker has been struggling ever since his best friend and brother-in-law died in the line of fire. Because he knows the dangers of his job, he has vowed never to marry and subject a wife and family to the uncertainty of his profession. But when he meets Miss Hampton, he is captured by her innocence, beauty, and her quick mind.
When a woman’s body is pulled from the river, Michael suspects the woman’s husband ― Harold Radcliffe ― of foul play. Amelie refuses to believe that Harold is capable of such violence but agrees to help, imagining it will be like one of her favorite mystery novels. Her social connections and clever observations prove an asset to the case, and Amelie is determined to prove Mr. Radcliffe’s innocence. But the more time Amelie and Michael spend together, the more they trust each other, and the more they realize they are a good team, maybe the perfect match.
They also realize that Mr. Radcliffe is hiding more than one secret, and when his attention turns toward Amelie, Michael knows he must put an end to this case before the woman he loves comes to harm. —Synopsis provided by Shadow Mountain
Whenever I need a good escape, I pick up a Shadow Mountain Proper Romance. They’re light, easy, and offer a change of pace, location, and, in most cases, time. That’s true of the line’s latest novel, The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart.
In The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart, readers are introduced to two strong protagonists who are used to paving their own way. Amelia has found her way as a single woman, earning her own money and living without the constraints of a husband. Michael is devoted to his job. He’s strong and assured. The two seem an unlikely duo, but as is the case in romance novels, they find themselves falling for each other.
The other key element of The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is the mystery surrounding Mr. Radcliffe. It’s clear pretty early on that he’s up to no good, but that makes following the clues no less entertaining.
The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is fast-paced and diverting. Author Nancy Campbell Allen’s writing is clear and comfortable. Though there is a moment of violence and descriptions of death, it is still suitable for fans of young adult, new adult, and adult fiction.
© 2021, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.