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Book Review of The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen
A murder mystery in a proper romance? What?!?! Yes! It’s true! Nancy Campbell Allen has outdone herself this time! It’s not a steampunk novel like some of her others–all of which I have enjoyed–but I’m loving this fun new twist! The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart not only has fun characters, it also has murder, intrigue, romance, and secrets.
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.”
My Book Review:
What a fun book! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I like the contrasting viewpoints of Amelie and Michael as they switch off. The characters make this book. Amelie has such a great voice in the book. She’s a good, strong, smart female character, but not too overbearing. I like how Amelie usually tries to see the good in everyone—except Michael, that is. For some reason she sees only distrust of him at first. I like how Amelie is ok with who she is even though she’s not following all the cultural norms.
Michael also makes a great character. He’s very even-keeled, down to earth, and practical. He’s the steady hand you want to grab for when you’re falling. He’s smart, too. All of these qualities endear him to the reader. He’s very likable and relatable.
The story is unique and fun. I love that there’s mystery in it! The book is well written. It flows well and has great descriptions and dialogues. I’ve read many of Nancy Campbell Allen’s books, and The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is one of my new faves! At first I was disappointed that it’s not steampunk, but as I started reading I didn’t care anymore. It’s a great read!
Content Rating: PG-13 (There isn’t any profanity or “intimacy” in this book. There is some violence as there are a couple of murders. They don’t go into a ton of detail, but they still happened.)
Age Recommendation: YA+
My Rating: 4/5
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/3FLUdqD