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‘The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart’ Book Review: This is a Charming New Historical Mystery

This new romantic mystery is an entertaining detective novel full of romance and suspense.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions in the book review are my own.


The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart Book Cover

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.


The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart Book Review - Featured image

The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is a sweet, captivating read with an unputdownable quality – ultimately leading to a thrilling climax. It is also a mystery – and a pageturner full of suspense.

If you loved the recent PBS mystery series Miss Scarlet and the Duke, then you’ll likely enjoy this historical mystery that includes a bit of a love triangle between a villainous rogue and a handsome, witty detective.

I wanted to find out more about Detective Baker and the fanciful and wide-eyed Amelie from the start. Their interactions were fun to read with a believable slow-build romance – making the pair a compatible and appealing investigative duo even if Amelie’s choices and naivete could be frustrating at times.

But since Amelie reads like an older teenager – personality-wise and level of innocence – this would also be a good book for teens and adults. Still, the light-hearted crime story contains numerous romantic moments sure to please all the hopeless romantics out there who can relate to the female protagonist (a hopeless romantic herself in a Catherine Morland kind of way).

Besides the appealing love story, I particularly enjoyed Amelie’s interactions with her two female cousins (who are a bit more experienced and worldly than Amelie) and her independent Aunt Sally, who runs The Marriage Gazette. If I have any complaints, it’s that I wanted more with these characters.

So, if there is ever a sequel or a spinoff, I would love an entire series dedicated to Aunt Sally as I found her intriguing even if she was underused.


Overall, if you adore swoon-worthy romances with clever heroines and dashing detectives, this is the story for you. The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is an absolute delight and the perfect escapist read for all romantic mystery fans.

It’s a captivating book with well-crafted characters, a tantalizing mystery, and a swoony romance; just don’t expect anything serious!


The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart would make a fun movie! But I think it has potential as a series – just keep the romance an even slower burn!

The setup of The Marriage Gazette mixed with detectives would be such an entertaining show – a la Miss Fisher style. Each of the cousins could have their individual stories – as could the wealthy, successful aunt. I would definitely watch.

Content Note: The romance is wholesome and sweet. The book overall is PG-esque since it is a murder mystery. But nothing graphic.

Do you plan to check out The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart? If you’ve already read it, do you agree with our book review? Let us know in the comments!

Four corsets rating
Five Vintage Hearts Rating


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.






The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart Blog Tour Graphic

Join the virtual book tour of THE MATCHMAKER’S LONELY HEART, Nancy Campbell Allen’s highly acclaimed historical novel, September 6-19, 2021. Thirty popular online influencers specializing in historical romance, mystery/suspense, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of its release with spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in London, England.


Sept 06         Timeless Novels (Review)

Sept 07         The Book Diva Reads (Excerpt)

Sept 07         Wishful Endings (Review)

Sept 08         Robin Loves Reading (Review)

Sept 08         A Darn Good Read (Review)

Sept 08         Storeybook Reviews (Spotlight)

Sept 08         Austenesque Reviews (Review)

Sept 09         Bookfoolery (Review)

Sept 09         The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)

Sept 10         The Bluestocking (Review)

Sept 10         Bookworm Lisa (Review)

Sept 10         The Silver Petticoat Review (Review)

Sept 11         Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Sept 11         My Bookish Bliss (Review)

Sept 11         Nurse Bookie (Review)

Sept 12         The Bibliophile Files (Review)

Sept 12         My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight)

Sept 13         Heidi Reads (Excerpt)

Sept 13         Reading with Emily (Review)

Sept 13         Our Book Confessions (Review)

Sept 14         Rosanne E. Lortz (Review)

Sept 14         Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Sept 14         Beauty in the Binding (Spotlight)

Sept 15         All-of-a-Kind Mom (Review)

Sept 15         Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

Sept 15         Life of Literature (Review)

Sept 16         From Pemberley to Milton (Review)

Sept 16         Probably at the Library (Spotlight)

Sept 17         Greenish Bookshelf (Review)

Sept 17         Relz Reviewz (Review)

Sept 18         Novel Kicks (Review)

Sept 19         Historical Fiction with Spirit (Excerpt)

The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart Book Review: This is a Charming New Historical Mystery; pinterest image


By on September 10th, 2021

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a writer and digital publisher full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

More posts by this author.

4 thoughts on “‘The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart’ Book Review: This is a Charming New Historical Mystery”

  1. Lovely review, Amber. I am glad you enjoyed it too. It did remind me of the TV series Miss Scarlet and the Duke which I also enjoyed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Best, LA

  2. when listing events with names of book sites – could we please have city ? tu love your sueggstions and reviews— i want fresh, innocent not graphic reads — again thank you just call me pollyanna — with a hickey—-


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