The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart

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Pub Date 07 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 21 Sep 2021

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A romance develops as a detective partners with a lonely-hearts columnist to solve a murder mystery.

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.

A romance develops as a detective partners with a lonely-hearts columnist to solve a murder mystery.

London, 1885

Amelie Hampton is a hopeless romantic, which makes her the perfect columnist to answer...

Advance Praise

"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."

—Publishers Weekly

"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."

—Foreword Reviews

"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...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781629729275
PRICE $15.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 239 members

Featured Reviews

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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