- Title: The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart: Proper Romance Victorian
- Author: Nancy Campbell Allen
- Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Mystery/Suspense, Inspirational Fiction
- Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (September 7, 2021)
- Length: (336) pages
- Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook
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.
An intriguing historical mystery from a new-to-me author. I look forward to more from this author!
Amelie is a bit of an anomaly. In that day and age (1880s), women were not really supposed to be working for newspaper offices. Or rather, proper, genteel women didn’t. Amelie does not consider herself to be a proper young lady, and doesn’t really expect to ever get married.
But…she does have a bit of a “tendre” towards a certain Harold Radcliffe. And when he turns out to be “Mr. Dashing” that had written a personals ad to the Gazette where Amelie is employed, she’s just not sure what to think. Then…she’s caught spying on Mr. Radcliffe by a certain handsome but gruff police detective, Mr. Baker.
Amelie agrees to join forces with Michael Baker as a means of clearing Radcliffe’s name, because the detective seems to think that Radcliffe had something to do with the death of his wife.
The ensuing chase towards tracking down clues and the bad guys was quite entertaining. Lots of twists and turns, action, and even a few more murders.
If you enjoy historical mysteries, I highly recommend this one!
Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Nancy Campbell Allen is the author of fifteen published novels and numerous novellas, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. In 2005, her work won the Utah Best of State award, and she received a Whitney Award for My Fair Gentleman. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel, and research and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children.