Book: The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart
Author: Nancy Campbell Allen
Genre: Cozy Mystery; Historical Fiction; Romance; Proper Romance
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Length: 336 pages
This latest addition to the Proper Romance line is a love story/murder mystery set in Victorian London.
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.
Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an Advanced Reader Copy ebook.