The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart
by Nancy Campbell Allen
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 07 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 21 Sep 2021
Shadow Mountain Publishing, Shadow Mountain
A romance develops as a detective partners with a lonely-hearts columnist to solve a murder mystery.
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.
"Allen pairs a matchmaker and a detective in this charming Victorian romance. Allen expertly combines mystery and romance into a fast-paced tale complete with plenty of surprises and a central relationship founded on mutual admiration and respect. Readers are sure to appreciate the strong, well-shaded heroine and twisty plot."
"Allen's chaste tale of Victorian romantic suspense will also appeal to historical mystery readers, and it would be great for mother-and-daughter reads. This has great appeal for teens who like historical fiction laced with mystery and romance."
"Michael and Amelie's slow-burning romances combines well with the fast-paced tale of surprise, death, and heart. The core of the story is their relationship; it builds from a place of admiration and respect, and eschews any forced obstacles to being together. Amelie is a nuanced heroine who is both naïve and fierce as she gathers her knowledge of fictional crimes and joins Michael in his off-duty undercover work. And the endearing secondary cast of friends and coworkers results in humor and warmth; they support Amelie's headstrong nature and Michael's softening heart. Charming...combines a Victorian murder mystery with an endearing romance between two souls."
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 201 members
A mysterious death, a brooding detective and a curious columnist. Great book! Amelie writes a matchmaking column for the Marriage Gazette and successfully helps with arranging matches. However, intrigued by one match, she finds herself watching through a restaurant window as one of her matches meets for the first time. Little did she know that the man in that match was one she knew and was interested in. and little did she know she was being observed by Detective Baker and would soon be questioned regarding who she was watching and why. Soon Amelie discovers that sometimes people are not as they seem. Some that appear harmless can be dangerous and that her and the ones she cares forth can be in danger. A wonderful book about facing dangers, reevaluating past decisions, and everyone working together for the good of all. I received an early copy and this is my honest review. I highly recommend this book.
This book was absolutely fantastic. It is full of mystery, intrigue, a twisting and turning plot, romance, and so much more. It is one of my new favorites! The characters were delightful and charming. I highly recommend this fast-paced, exciting book!
I so enjoyed this! There is a reason Allen has been one of my favorite authors for 20 years:} A little mystery, a little romance and some fun characters. This Victorian setting was so fun to read. Woman were just gaining their independence. I can tell this is the beginning of at least 3 girls stories. All are working and trying to navigate the new times that are happening in England. This is a sweet romance with some kissing, a little violence does happen. This is a murder mystery. Light on the mystery, heavy on the murder.
I thought this one was well done. I loved the setting and how everything played out. Kept me engaged and turning the pages. I like the supporting cast a lot and hope Ms. Allen will make this a series and write about Amelie's cousins.
A very good read! This is a Victorian murder mystery romance and the setting is immersive and well done. Amelie works for her aunt as writer/matchmaker and is very keen on her independence. She's caught by detective Michael Baker watching a couple that she matched, and he asks for her help in a murder case. Michael is pretty convinced of Harold's guilt, but proving it is not as easy. As the case evolves, so does the friendship between him and Amelie. This is a story full of action and danger, especially as the ending nears and the stakes get higher and more personal. It's also very romantic and I loved Michael and Amelie's relationship. Looks like it'll be a series and I'm looking forward to the next installment. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. A lighthearted Victorian romance between Amelie a lonely-hearts newspaper editor and Michael, a police detective. They meet, when they are both spying on the same man, Michael is spying because he thinks the man is a murderer and Amelie because he is one of her lonely-heart fix-ups that she has a secret crush on. Michael ropes Amelie into helping him investigate this man. As they work together to discover whether the man is guilty or innocent, Michael and Amelie slowly fall in love. This book did a nice job of discussing the troubles of working women at that time, and the difficulties of being respected by male professionals. The romance was well done and I loved the well-rounded and engaging cast of secondary characters.
This is a charming story that I highly recommend. A sweet romance, wonderful characters and a creepy villain!. Two months after being called to investigate the body of a young woman found floating in the Thames, Detective Michael Baker is still haunted by the fact that he believes the woman was murdered and not a suicide and that her "grieving" husband was responsible for the death. Even though they've officially been called off the case and told to leave it be, Detective Baker spends his evenings tailing Harold Radcliffe. On one such evening, he notices a young woman watching Mr. Radcliffe having dinner with a woman. Thinking this could be a chance to learn more, he follows her to question her about her association with Mr. Radcliffe. Amelie Hampton is surprised to find that Mr. Radcliffe was the author of a lonely hearts letter and since she set him up with Miss Franklin she had wanted to see how things turned out. Detective Baker gets her to agree to introduce him as a family friend at a book club meeting the following day. Mr. Radcliffe also attends and even though she thinks Mr. Radcliffe is charming and she has a bit of a tendre for him she agrees-if only to prove him wrong. Michael and Amelie work together and as they do, grow to appreciate each other and fall in love. And Amelie comes to see Mr. Radcliffe as he really is. But there are many twists and turns to capture the villain and to a happy ending. I received an ARC of this book but the opinion expressed is entirely my own
This was such a fun read! It is a mystery romance, but the murder mystery is focused more on the why/how aspect of murder and bringing the guilty party to justice instead of the classic whodunit. The murderer is known almost from the very beginning, just so you know. I know some people love books where they can speculate on who the murderer could be, but that isn't what this book is about. There is still plenty of excitement and intrigue, and there is never a dull moment in this novel. And the romance is so sweet. I love how the relationship develops. Partners in an investigation is always a fun romance trope. I do hope this book will be apart of a series since I love so many of the side characters (I adore Amelie's cousins and am intrigued by Winston and Ellis). Overall, this is a fun and romantic read and I am so greatful I got to review an advanced copy of this book!
I cannot find the words to express how much I enjoyed this book! I loved the storyline. The suspense was unexpected and a wonderful addition to the story. I loved how the two characters, both of whom were not necessarily looking for love, but found their perfect match with each other. Amelie Hampton works as a columnist, giving marriage advice in her Aunt's gazette. While a hopeless romantic, she clams up and gets nervous around gentleman. And she is hopelessly interested in Mr. Radcliffe, a recently widowed man in search of a new wife. Detective Michael Baker, who was involved in the case off Mr. Ratcliffe's deceased wife, feels like there is something wrong with the man. His instincts are telling him that the man in involved with her death. Fate puts the two together and together they attempt to discover the truth behind Mrs. Radcliffe's mysterious death and find love in the process.
Amelie works for a romance and matchmaking gazette and begins to fall for a Mr. Radcliffe. Of course he has killed his wife and Amelie becomes embroiled in the ensuing murder mystery. Enter Detective Michael Baker who comes to her rescue while falling for her. The characters were well written with deep enough backstories to be interesting. The plot was not very exciting or interesting: not quite a police procedural and not quite a who-dunnit. Though it has some interesting features and was easy to read, I am not sure I would actively promote this book to my patrons. I would give this a 3 of 5.
The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen was a fun read with a darker side than most Proper Romances. To be fair, most of Nancy Campbell Allen’s works in the Proper Romance line are a little out of the ordinary (she has several steampunk novels), but I’ve loved them all. Detective Michael Baker works with the Yard and is investigating the death of a young woman. He is certain her husband, Mr. Radcliffe, is somehow responsible. Amelie is a woman of Independent Means and works with her aunt’s “Marriage Gazette” paper. Two months after his wife’s death, Mr. Radcliffe is a client of her aunt’s paper and Amelie has set him up on a date. She follows to spy on the date and encounters Detective Baker. After a little confusion, he asks her to help him. I loved the development of the characters and Detective Baker’s reluctance to admit his growing feelings. His lost his work partner six months ago (who also happened to be his sister’s husband), and he really battled with the idea of whether it was even fair to pursue a woman. The relationship development in this story was well done. The mystery held a much more central role than some do in Proper Romance books. I loved Nancy Campbell Allen’s approach to the story. There was never another suspect in the book and I’m not sure if the reader was even supposed to wonder if Mr. Radcliffe was innocent. That being said, there are layers to this story of discovering just how involved Mr. Radcliffe is and what exactly is going on with him. The story was well set up for a sequel with other characters. I really look forward to (hopefully) seeing some of these characters again!
This book was fantastic! I really enjoy this Author's books and this one was no exception. I finished this one within a day, I couldn't put it down. Amelie was the perfect character for this role. And Michael was a sweetheart! Loved them both so much! She The bad guy was for sure a piece of work, it got a little crazy toward the end, but of course it all ended nicely. I liked the mystery and trying to figure out what happened. I really hope she writes more about the other characters in this book. I couldn't recommend this more, it is definitely on my to-buy list. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
Love blooms between unlikely couple Amelie Hampton and Michael Baker in "The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart", a charming murder mystery/romance by the talented Nancy Campbell Allen. The talkative, optimistic and naive Amelie Hampton is a romantic at heart, and pens an advice column while viewing life through rose-colored glasses. She teams up with the serious Detective Michael Baker, who vows to bring a murderer to justice, while Amelie is determined to prove his innocence. Although she quickly realizes her error (this is not a spoiler), she remains sweet and fun, albeit a bit more worldly-wise. Brimming with engaging and well-drawn characters, this quick-paced tale is delightful. The dialogue is clever and witty. Allen's prose is lovely. There are few grammatical errors in this clean, well-edited novel. Works I've read by this author have all been stand-alone books. However, there are great secondary characters here who merit their own stories, so I hope this is the first in a series. Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an ARC of this wonderful novel.
The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen is an amazing historical fiction that has it all: wonderful historical narrative, strong cast of complex characters, mystery, suspense, and a dash of romance. This book kept me captivated throughout. I really loved everything about this book. Set in Victorian London, 1880s, we are introduced to Amelie Hampton whom works at a newspaper/matchmaking business and through several occurrences and mysterious circumstances and a surprising murder involving a client (is that all he is?) she ends up working with Detective Michael Baker to help find out if the man in question, a Harold Radcliffe, is the true guilty party or if there is something else sinister is at bay. I really loved the combination of Amelie and Michael. Both are fascinating characters in their own right, however they compliment each other nicely. Throughout their investigation, the reader can see each working through their individual problems and pasts while evolving and growing as time goes on. They seem to help one another out literally and figuratively, and through this we can see their mutual attraction and interest growing. It was such a sweet, naturally evolving relationship, and it was really spot on. I also loved the murder/mystery plot and investigation. It was creative, yet realistic, and flowed nicely. Both characters brought something to the table and made it a success. I also loved the full cast of secondary characters. I really hope this is going to be part of a series, as there is so much material and potential for future books. I would most certainly read all of them. A wonderful book that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. 5/5 stars Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately (as of 3/25/21 no BB listing has been created, it will be added immediately upon creation) and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.
I received The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart as an ARC from Netgalley. It is my first novel by Nancy Campbell Allen and I was truly surprised by how much I liked it. I’d also like to start this review by noting that I do not usually read Proper Romances. I think some part of my brain used to associate them with lack of conflict and plot? I’m not sure, but either way, boy was I wrong. This book is a murder mystery romance and I did not realize how much I love that until reading this. Amelie is our heroine. She works columnist for her aunt’s newspaper. While spying on a potential couple she is playing matchmaker for. She is caught spying by Detective Michael Baker. And while her own actions were not nefarious, she soon becomes entangled into an ongoing murder investigation—the lead suspect of which was none other than the man she was matchmaking, who she also has a tendre for. From the very beginning of their interactions, I loved Amelie and Michael together. Their relationship starts a little strained, but the progression of their relationship was extremely sweet and I loved it. Beyond the romance, the murder plot was a little predictable (we already know who the bad guy is from the beginning) but still had intrigue for all the nuances that led up to the crime. There was definitely also violence and descriptions of crime scenes and blood so if that makes you queasy, please consider before reading! Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting, action-packed, but still very cute. My one complaint is that it felt like the romantic relationship progressed extremely slowly and then suddenly all at once. I would have liked a bit more of a natural progression once things got started (I know it’s vague but I don’t want to spoil anything obviously). I loved the setting of the book. Turn of the century England-- emerging technologies, women in the workplace, and the rise of women's suffrage. If you are a fan of A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins or the Dread Penny Society novels by Sarah M. Eden, I think you will love this book too!
Super cute romance about a plucky romantic who writes a lonely hearts column for a newspaper who decides to help solve a murder mystery! Amelie is so fun and positive, and maybe a little TOO trusting! Detective Michael Baker doesn't know what he's gotten himself into when he agrees to let her help! I love that this novel has romance AND suspense!
It was hard to put this one down. Despite a few flaws/ unanswered questions by the end, the story flowed well and the characters were relatable and, for the most part, likeable. Detective Baker is determined to see justice served, even if it ruffles a few feathers in the process. I did find it confusing how Amalie continually switched from calling him Detective Baker to Mr. Baker and back again with no explanation for the changes. Amelie is naive, and at times very foolish. Her cousins are a good counter to her naivety, and I hope to see more of them in future books.
I am a long time fan of Nancy Campbell Allen and this one doesn’t disappoint. I loved the characters. Amelia and Detective Baker were perfectly complemented and it was fun watching their relationship build. I love the mystery and suspense with a side of romance. Then when you put it in the 1800s, it makes for a perfect story! This is definitely one you won’t want to put down.
Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed this story! I loved all the characters, especially Amelie and Detective Baker. This is a murder mystery romance in London...reminded me of Sherlock Holmes time period. I liked how the story flowed, the characters developed, and the relationships and romance bloomed. I was entertained from beginning to end...even when I was anxious to pick up the book to read the next parts because I feared what may happen next. ;-) We are also introduced to several other characters that I really hope get their own books! I’m guessing we will get books on the cousins, Eva and Charlotte, but I would also like one on Clarissa, Michael’s sister. Here’s to hoping some of them get paired off with Winston and Ellis, as well. ;-)
The novel by Nancy Campbell Allen is the perfect mix between mystery and romance. To say it is a cute story feels weird since it is a murder/mystery/ I loved every character in the story, the secondary characters make the story so much better. I love a strong female character in a book and this novel is full of strong progressive female characters. Amelie is a hopeless romantic that works as a writer helping lonely hearts try to find love for the Marriage Gazette. She is also a huge fan of mystery novels. Detective Baker is work driven and not about love at all. But, this unlikely pair is thrown together when his case and her life become intertwined. When a body washes ashore, Amelie has to try to prove her acquaintance innocent and Detective Baker is trying to prove the guilt of her acquaintance. But as the two are trying to prove themselves correct they begin to see how perfect they are as a team. This is historical fiction and this was my first novel in this genre and this was a great first read for me. The style of writing was one that flowed well and progressed every chapter. The story is written in the third person but it is viewed from other perspectives. It is all tied up at the end but I hope we get a few more novels for the other characters that we grew to love in this story. This is a novel I will be recommending to others, especially someone who wants to read their first historical fiction. This was such a good story! Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing and Netgalley for the advanced copy to read and I look forward to more novels by Nancy Campbell Allen.
Oh my goodness this is my new favorite genre! Romantic suspense set in the late 1800's? Yes please!! I read this book rather quickly but I finished it late at night and I was hearing noises in my house and totally freaking myself out, Haha. The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart had it all: A dashing Detective as the hero, an independent heroine, and a dangerous villain. Plus the supporting characters were just as great. The danger and suspense felt very real. Mr. Radcliffe was so perfectly charming and simultaneously slimy. The romance was subtle and sweet. Michael and Amelie made a very good team working together and their relationship came about so perfectly. I loved the supporting characters Aunt Sally, the cousins, and detective Winston too. And I just need to say how much I loved Michael's brother Alexander being a supporting character with Downs Syndrome. So sweet. I absolutely 100% recommend this book and sincerely hope for a sequel!
Oh I simply adored this book. This was a new author to me, but one I will most certainly be seeking out now! Amelia and Michael had such wonderful chemistry, and it was a delight to watch them battle until they were both too tangled up to give up the case or each other. I was very impressed with the world Allen built, both in terms of London itself and the characters that filled the city. The dynamic between Amelia and her family was so wonderful to read, and I dearly hope there will be more stories about these Hampton women, because I would be ordering them right now! When it came to the mystery plot, it was fairly straightforward, and therefore a little bit predictable, but that is just so much more credit to Allen! Even though I had a fairly good idea where it was going, the way Allen wrote the mystery, and the characters caught up in it, made me desperate to keep reading. If you love a romantic mystery, you should definitely pick up this book!
***Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*** Enjoyable characters with a slow burn romance. There was no real mystery, but a few bouts of suspense. I really hope the author writes sequels about the cousins.
This was such a fun story. There were so many underlying events happening. The mystery was good, I didn't want to put it down. The romance built slowly and realistically. The characters were well developed and fun, and the villain was truly bad. I hope this is a first in a series of these cousins! I want more!!!!
This book had it all - romance, mystery, historical! It is set in London, late 1800’s. Amelie Hampton finds herself living with her cousins and working at The Marriage Gazette, her Aunt’s matchmaking/ advice column newspaper. Amelie finds herself swooning for Mr. Radcliffe, a recent widow with a niche for poetry. Little does she know, Mr. Radcliffe is actually a killer. Detective Michael Baker is trying to solve the murder of Mrs. Marie Radcliffe and to do so, he must get assistance from Amelie. Love also blooms during the case and Michael and Amelie fall hard for each other. This book is a wonderful read. The setting and characters couldn’t be better for fans of a nice mystery!
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. I really enjoyed this story. I loved the intrigue and detective work along with the romance in this book. Amelie is such a fun character. I love how she can be shy but fierce. Michael is the perfect compliment to her personality. I enjoyed all of the side characters as well and would love more stories in this setting. It was well written and kept me wanting to know what was going to happen. #thematchmakerslonelyheart #netgalley
This book was a delight! From the beginning with it's romantic advice to the interactions of the romantic pairing, this book had me laughing. It also had a villain with a dastardly plan that needed to be thwarted. I highly recommend this book. I received an ARC and wish to thank Shadow Mountain and the author for bringing us such an awesome story.
This was such a delightful read!! A bizarre thing to say about a murder mystery I know, but it truly was a lovely story. I loved the pace of the story and how she took the time for you to really get to know each of the characters well. I’m not sure if it was to do with the time period or her writing style or what, but I felt it had a bit of an Agatha Christie vibe to it. Never a bad thing!! I’d love to hear more of Amelie and Michaels crime solving adventures, and Nathanial too.
The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart- Nancy Campbell Allen ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 I needed a break from thrillers and when I seen this cover on NetGalley it intrigued me and I requested it and I was approved! Nothing is better than a little mystery and some romance mixed in set in the 1800’s. I did find it to be a bit slow in the beginning but then about 100 pages in I was hooked and really wanted to know how Amelie and Detective Baker were going to catch the killer he was after. The banter between the two was humorous and Amelie kept Michael on his toes. Overall a great little read and I will likely read more from Nancy Campbell Allen for a little getaway from the deep heavy thrillers I tend to gravitate too. . . . Pick up your copy September 7, 2021. Don’t worry I will remind you, because that’s right around my birthday. I think this will be a perfect birthday present for myself to add to my bookshelf. A big thank you to @netgalley and @shadowmountainpublishing for the ARC. I very much enjoyed this one.
This was such a fun mystery romance!!! I had to stay up and finish it!!! I loved Amelie. Her witty banter and eagerness to solve the case might get her into more trouble, but she can't help it. Michael Baker has a heart of gold. A true detective who wants to get the villain. And the villain was pure evil. Total creeper!!!!! Gave me the willies!!!!!! This was one of my favorites by Nancy Campbell Allen.
This was my first Nancy Campbell Allen novel, definitely won't be the last. The author has managed to combine my three favorite elements of a book: Historical Novel, Romance and Murder Mystery. We follow Amelie Hampton as she works for her aunt's Matchmaker newspaper in the late 19th century and Detective Michael Baker as he hunts down a cunning murderer. Michael catches Amelie watching his prime suspect - Harold Redcliff - outside a restaurant, making her his person of interest. The detective convinces Amelie to assist him in the investigation. She agrees, but only to prove the innocence of Harold Redcliff, whom she secretly fancies. When a murder occurs at a party to which Amelie, her two cousins (and BFFs), as well as Detective Baker, his partner Detective Wilson and Harold Redcliff are invited, the belief in Mr. Redcliff's innocence falters enormously for all three ladies. Amelie puts herself in great danger with her investigation, making herself the next potential target. I particularly enjoyed the protagonist's relationship with her cousins. The three young ladies stick together like peanut butter and jelly. The delicate bond that develops between Amelie and Michael was also delightful to watch. I also see potential for a series here as I would love to read more of Eva and Charlotte (Amelie's cousins) as well as Michael's partner Detective Wilson and also their supervisor Ellis. With all four, we unfortunately only got a glimpse into their lives.
Hi really enjoyed this book. The relationship development between the main characters was especially sweet. I could pictured in in my head how a grumpy detective deals with what he perceives as a particularly innocent young lady. And how that young lady worms her way into his heart. Just so cute. I was a little bit disappointed by the description of the villain. The author initially described him as very clever, but the way he reacted later in the book (writing letters to the heroine and making it obviously clear he's the villain) just seems very stupid. But overall it was a great book that I read in a few days. Hope to get more along the lines about the cousins.
This book was amazing! There was meddling, there was mystery, there was a slow simmering romance! I loved our Matchmaker and super sleuth, Amelie! The author did such an amazing job of developing each and every character and bringing life to them that it felt like I was part of the novel itself. Amelie was the best part of the novel. The author wrote her in such a way that made her so life like and personable. What do you get when you put a matchmaker with a penchant for romance novels and a detective who has lost his gumption for love together for an investigation into a murder mystery? You get an amazing story! It was a great read from beginning to end. I received an ARC for review.
I loved the storyline of this book! I think it’s a very descriptive and exciting read for the correct audience. I reduced my rating because I found the 1885 dialog a bit difficult to read. However that could be at no fault other than my own. Overall a decent read with good characters!
Wow, this book was so interesting. It was really good and different than I had expected. The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is the first book that I have read written by Nancy Allen Campbell, however I have loved all of the Proper Romance books so I wasn’t worried. Amelie Hampton is a hopeless romantic and she loves answering the lonely heart letters in The Marriage Gazette. Police detective Michael Baker has been struggling ever since his best friend and partner died. He knows that his job offers no promises and so he decides to never love or marry. However when a woman’s body is pulled from a river, Michael suspects that the husband, Mr. Harold Radcliffe is to blame. Amelie, knowing Mr. Radcliffe from a book club, refuses to believe that Mr. Radcliffe was capable of such a feet, but she agrees to help in order to prove Michael wrong. However as Michael and Amelie spend time together and investigate Mr. Radcliffe, they soon learn that something is terribly wrong. Amelie was such a fun character, I really liked her little quirks. She was kind, but she was also kind of oblivious. I also liked how although she was kind of naive, she did her best to learn and to be helpful. I loved reading about her falling in love with Micheal. She thought the funniest things about him, but as she spent time with him she began to fall for him. But Amelie would have to learn that all is not as it seems, and how to trust Michael. Micheal was such a sweetheart, he was a little rough around the edges but he was kind. Life had not been easy for him and he was jaded but he truly cared for those around him. I liked him from the beginning and it was always so much fun to read about him interacting with Amelie. However Micheal would have to learn to let Amelie in, and that love was worth the risks. Micheal and Amelie were such a lovely couple, I liked reading about their interactions. I was pulled in by the storyline and I wanted to see what happened, was Mr. Radcliffe truly who he said he was? I also liked the side characters, Amelie’s two cousins and Michael’s partner. I am excited to see if they have their own books The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart was a wonderful book. I would recommend it to those who like historical books with a hint of suspense. The characters were really fun! I was so engrossed in the story, I wanted to see how it would end. It was such an interesting blend of mystery and falling in love. I wouldn’t have quite pegged this book as a mystery, but let me say that it was quite good! The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is a clean historical romance. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required. I posted my review on Goodreads and Barnes and Nobles on 04/18/2021, I will post on blog, Amazon, and Bookbub closer to release date
Cute romance with a bit of mystery all tied into one. Was a bit slow to get started and some of the British lingo tripped me up a bit but overall a good read
4 1/2 stars for this gripping story about a matchmaker and a detective who end up combining their unique skills in order to investigate a mysterious death. This felt part romance, part Agatha Christie mystery, part delightful Victorian England story. The mystery in this is not so much of a "whodunnit" but still very much captivating. I will be the first to admit I wasn't sure what to expect going into this story having read some of the author's other stories with quite different styles. Very quickly in chapter one, I became hooked by the characters and the story and did not want to put it down. Once we reach encounter a second murder scene about a third of the way through the book, the story and the mystery became so captivating I didn't want to put the book down until I saw how everything worked out and reached a peaceful conclusion. In addition to thoroughly enjoying the two main characters, there was a fantastic set of side characters that I am definitely curious to learn more about in what I hope (but have yet to hear confirmation of) will be the start of a new series by this author. The three cousins living independently in a London boarding house in particular had such a sweet, supportive, almost sisterly bond that was both heartwarming and enjoyable to read about. Each of these women were strong and intelligent and had talents to contribute to the way the story unfolded. Can I also say that the first kiss in this story is SWOONWORTHY! I loved reading about these two characters and seeing them finally get together a good portion of the way through the story was rewarding and validating for me as a reader. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, the intrigue and murder mystery aspect, and the fabulously captivating twists and turns of the story. Definitely a book I will be mentioning to others and hyping up in anticipation for it's release in five more months.
Opening line: "My Dear Miss Franklin, I can only imagine the despondency you must feel at your mother's insistence that you entertain Mr. B's suit." Ms. Allen knows her way around romance and mystery storytelling and this story is another great example of her talent. Amelie is a hopeless romantic who works for her aunt's newspaper answering other hopeless romantics letters. She's head-strong, smart and finds herself in trouble because of her curiosity and innate tendency to solve mysteries. Michael Baker, on the other hand, is an actual detective who is good at his job in solving mysteries and guarding his heart. Too many people get hurt in his line of work, including family members. The case that he's trying to solve might just involve the young woman spying on his #1 suspect. After he bowls Amelie over trying to follow her through a park and soon their adventure begins. Adventures through scavenger hunts, a murder and another man vying for Amelie's attention bring the two closer and closer together. Ms. Allen introduces us to many new characters that I truly hope will be at least three more stories! Thanks to netgalley and Shadow Mountain for the early read!
Murder. Romance. Victorian England. Amelie Hampton is a woman of independent means. She works at her Aunt Sally’s newspaper, giving love advice. With her equally independent cousins by her side, she enjoys her work, in fact, spying on one couple she had matched. What she didn’t know was that someone was also spying on her. On her way home from watching her work in progress, she is confronted about what she knows about the gentleman she was spying on. Detective Michael Baker didn’t like that the husband of a dead woman pulled from the river was moving on with his romantic life two months after the wife’s passing. He had reason to believe that the man, Harold Radcliffe, had something to do with her death. When he catches sight of Amelie spying on a dinner between Mr. Radcliffe and another woman, he asks her what she knows about him. What follows is a cat and mouse game between Radcliffe and the Yard. The case gets personal as Detective Baker and Amelie fight their feelings for each other and Radcliffe turns his romantic intentions towards Amelie. If I was able to give the book 3.5 stars, I would. I enjoyed the characters of Amelie and Detective Baker and the evil of Mr. Radcliffe jumped off the pages of the novel. #netgalley #thematchmakerslonelyheart #shadowmountainpublishing
5/5 Stars The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen This was my first Proper Romance and I LOVED it. In truth, this was a romance murder mystery! I was generously given an advanced copy from @netgalley and I’m happy to say it was the best ARC I’ve read yet! Amalie Hampton is from the notorious side of the Hampton family. She’s a correspondent for the Marriage Gazette pairing people who write in with each other. She pairs a widower with a young girl but finds she fancies the man herself. She bumps into a detective who is investigating this specific gentleman for a horrible crime. The two create schemes to help solve the murder. But Amalie is caught between what her heart feels and what’s reality. This novel felt very Pride and Prejudice and I loved every moment of it! This book comes out in September and I’m here to say it’s worth it.
The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen, 326 pages. Shadow Mountain Publishing, 2021. $16. Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG BUYING ADVISORY: HS - ADVISABLE AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE Corresponding with lonely hearts that write to The Marriage Gazette is the perfect job for a romantic like Amelie. When she decides to look in from across the street as a client meets her date, Amelie is surprised to recognize the charming Mr. Radcliffe as said client’s date. Michael, a detective, is also watching the date because he is investigating Mr. Radcliffe’s involvement in a possible murder. Amelie and Michael decide to work together for the truth, each convinced they know the real character of Mr. Radcliffe. Allen’s books are always a joy for me to read because they keep readers engaged on the surface of what is happening while still feeling that something is lurking in the background. As the something creeps closer, readers can’t help the excitement that comes from figuring out the details with the characters involved. I love the dynamic that Michael and Amelie develop through the story, and I love how real the characters became to me, especially Michael -- I knew what he was thinking even during scenes that were from Amelie’s point of view! Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen
This was an entertaining read. I love when a romance has a separate mystery involved, too. I love that it gives added substance to the story. When I finished the book I found myself researching the history of women and working in the later 19th century. so props for making the story good enough to have me interested in learning more.
Wow, what a genuinely surprising read. The pairing of two seemingly opposite genres seemed like a recipe for disaster but instead propelled this love story straight into my favourites list. Amelie and Michael are the definition of opposites attract - one being all positive and bubbly, the other being cynical and serious. This leads to some great interactions between the two and the exploration of their feelings kept me coming back for more. I loved seeing how sweet Detective Baker was towards Amelie as the story progressed and how they both came to terms with what love really is. The heart of the story was of course the murder-mystery which kept the narrative flowing and provided some surprising moments. My only gripe is that the mystery was fairly one-note with the true suspect being revealed basically immediately with no twists or turns in terms of who killed the woman. However, this can be forgiven for such a lovely written romance.
I loved this storyline! Nancy Campbell Allen knows how to weave a romance and this one did not disappoint. #netgalley #thematchmakerslonelyheart
Imagine Sherlock Holmes but with romance. This book is everything!! I was brought to tears while also kept in suspense. It’s perfect for your friend who loves murder mysteries AND your friend who loves 1800s romance novels! Can’t recommend enough!
Amalie is a writer for her aunt's paper, The Marriage Gazette. After playing matchmaker to a subscriber, she keeps an eye on the couple to see that everything goes well. Detective Michael Baker has been keeping his own eye on the male half of the couple, Harold Radcliffe, whom he suspects of killing his wife. Amalie and Michael meet and an investigative partnership is formed. This was an enjoyable romantic Victorian crime story. Not a mystery, as we know the villain at the beginning. But it is fun to watch Amalie and Michael get evidence and develop a relationship. They are interesting people individually, wth the secondary characters and Victorian setting giving more dimension to the story. I'd be interested in seeing if this becomes a series, as I'd enjoy seeing these people involved in more investigations. I also liked the cover, which initially attracted me to the book.
The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart is a slow burn romance amid mystery, murder, and mayhem. If you like historical novels with strong female characters, lots of action, and sweet but swoony romance, you will love this suspenseful novel. I have read all of Nancy Campbell Allen's Steampunk Romances, and have thoroughly enjoyed them. This novel is certainly a departure from them, but it still contains all the wonderful plots, character development, and clever dialogue she is known for. I believe it is set in Victorian England. One thing I thought was charming was the subheadings in italics before each chapter, containing witty advice and news. Amelie Hampton writes for her aunt's newspaper, the Marriage Gazette. Michael Baker is a detective for Scotland Yard. One evening they literally bump into each other, as both of them are investigating a certain gentleman, Mr. Radcliffe. .Michael would say they bumped into each other; Amalie would say he "ran her to the ground.' Mr. Radcliffe is being investigated by Scotland Yard for the murder of his wife; Amalie is spying upon him because one of the ladies that has written the Marriage Gazette for advice is meeting Mr. Radcliffe for dinner. Michael enlists Amalie to introduce Michael at the next book club that both she and Mr. Radcliffe attend, so that he can do an undercover operation. With this introduction, Michael can investigate him covertly, without suspecting Michael of continuing to investigate him for the murder of his wife. Amelie certainly does not see how this "handsome and urbane" gentleman could have killed his wife, but she agrees to cooperate if Michael does not tell her aunt about her clandestine activities. Amelie, somehow never has a hatpin to keep her hat in place, and I love how the gift of a hatpin played a pivotal role in this novel. I hope that Nancy Campbell Allen continues to write about characters in this novel. Will it be Mr. Winston, or will it be Amelie's cousins or aunt?
Mystery AND Regency?!? Too good to be true. Except it's not, because this was SO good. I absolutely loved this read. The various elements to the plot, the way everything came together, the main character being a real person without her flaws being frustrating or annoying to read; all of it was just so good. If I HAD to find negative feedback, it'd be that the author's voice in this novel took some getting used to. It was a different voice than some of her other books I've read, so I'm not really sure how to describe why with this novel the voice felt off. But it wasn't enough to really make a huge impact, especially as all of the rest of the writing was so good. I will definitely be buying the hardcopy for my bookshelf.
Received as an ARC from Netgalley. This story takes place in the late 1800s and follows Amelie Hampton, a personal ad matchmaker. Due to her inquisitive nature, she unwittingly involved herself in a murder mystery. The story moves at a good pace and keeps your attention. The strongest takeaway from this read is that looks can be deceiving. We never truly know who someone is or is not.
Amelie Hampton is a writer for The Marriage Gazette with plenty of opinions about love and marriage, even if she is an unmarried miss. When Amelie gets a little over-invested in a match she set up between two anonymous readers, she decides to surreptitiously check in on their date. To her surprise, Amelie recognizes one of them as her acquaintance Harold Radcliffe. As she is leaving, Amelie is confronted by detective Michael Baker. It seems Mr. Radcliffe is under suspicion for murder. Amelie agrees to help the detective secure an introduction and is soon swept up in a dangerous police investigation, and possibly a romance. I liked the overall story. The investigation is engaging and the villain is downright creepy. I also really like the community of characters, especially Amelie’s cousins and their Aunt Sally. They have an interesting dynamic. Even though they are blood relations, their relationship feels like found family. Within the large extended family of Nortorious Hamptons, these four have chosen each other, or more likely, Sally has chosen these particular nieces to take under her wing and guide out into the world. Speaking of the Notorious Hamptons, I found that moniker confusing. It’s implied that they’re some sort of criminals, but from what I could tell, nothing was really explained. Perhaps we’ll learn more in a future book? I don’t know for sure if this will end up as the beginning of a series, but the narrative established potential storylines for both Eva and Charlotte, so I think it’s a distinct possibility.
Being chased by Detective Michael Baker and coerced into helping him with part of his undercover operation was likely not what Amelie Hampton had in mind when she went to see how a client’s date turned out. Matchmaker/ writer for The Marriage Gazette, Amelie can’t help getting personally involved because she loves to see women get their happily ever after. The beginning of the book immediately drew me in and had me engaged the entire time. There were so many things to like about this story: the mystery of the murder and the smugness of the killer; capturing a murderer and seeing justice prevail; the humorous banter between Amelie and Michael, and the suspenseful plot twists. I enjoyed reading about this Victorian period mystery and the descriptive details made me feel like I was right there. The cover was unique and was initially why I read the description of the book. I am so glad I read it. I highly recommend this book and hope there are more books to come. Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’m very familiar with this author’s work and she did not disappoint. I read a lot of historical romances and when I saw this I couldn’t help but to read it. Matchmaking and murder? All in all a cute romance and a nice story if a bit slow in the beginning.
It's 1885 in London and Amelie Hampton writes a column to answer lonely heart letters for the paper The Marriage Gazette. Wanting to ensure success for two anonymous people that Amelie has played matchmaker to, she decides to secretly watch the blind date. To her surprise, Amelie knows the man on the blind date, Harold Radcliff, who is a grieving widower and a member of her book club. Police detective Michael Baker is investigating the death of Harold Radcliff's wife. As a way to further his investigation, Michael teams up with Amelie to help solve the death of Mrs. Radcliff and they end up finding out that they are a better match than they originally thought. This is my first step into reading 'romance' as I used to stay away from this particular genre. Wanting to read out of my comfort zone, I felt like this was a good novel to start with since it is a mix of romance and mystery. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the story, including the romance. As someone who used to poke fun at the genre, I feel like I missed out on some great literature because I never felt like reading something different. I am glad that I picked this one up and really enjoyed Amelie and Michael's story. Much thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the ARC.
This was beautiful! I can always count on Shadow Mountain for a sweet and compelling historical romance. Nobody does it quite like them.