The Matchmaker of Kenmare — Frank Delaney

Frank Delaney’s new novel The Matchmaker of Kenmare is set against the dramatic backdrop of Europe in 1943. Its narrator is Ben McCarthy (returning from Delaney’s previous novel Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show), who lets the story unfold in the style of a memoir. Ben’s wife Venetia Kelly has mysteriously disappeared. To assuage his anxiety, Ben begins collecting folklore Irish folklore as part of a government project. In the process, he comes into contact with the titular matchmaker, Kate Begley. The two soon form a close bond, and Kate does everything in her power to aid the grieving narrator. The plot turns when a U.S. intelligence officer named Charles Miller enters the picture. He strikes up a romance with Kate, but their relationship is tested when he asks her — and Ben — to use their country’s neutral status to travel through enemy territory in order to find a man the American’s need before D-Day. Their mission soon turns to finding the man Kate believes she loves, a plot doubled in Ben’s search for his wife Venetia. The Matchmaker of Kenmare, new in hardback from Random House, will appeal to those who enjoy sweeping, richly detailed historical romances with a literary bent.