cover image To Spark a Match

To Spark a Match

Jen Turano. Bethany House, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-7642-4021-8

Turano (A Match in the Making) captivates with a historical romance that finds its quirky heroine caught between a secret investigation and matchmaking season in 19th-century New York. Accident-prone Adelaide Duveen (“I’m the lady who suffers mayhem on a frequent basis”) spends her time devouring spy novels and rescuing stray cats instead of seeking a rich husband. At 23, she’s on the verge of accepting her “fate as a confirmed spinster.” After suffering a wardrobe malfunction at a dreary high-society dinner party, she bumps into handsome Gideon Abbott lurking in the house’s library. When Gideon admits he’s working undercover to investigate the potentially dangerous admirer of an enigmatic opera singer; Adelaide offers to help. Gideon’s not sure he wants her involved, however, and he convinces his elegant friend Camilla to reintroduce Adelaide to high society. As Camilla works to transform the “mad cat lady” into a “diamond of the first water,” it remains to be seen whether Adelaide will be the hit of the season or if she’ll find her way into trouble first—especially as Gideon’s case reveals itself to be thornier than it seems on the surface. Turano charms with her offbeat characters, and she has a knack for funny, flirty dialogue (Adelaide: “Discretion is my middle name.” Gideon: “Your middle name is Winifred, after your maternal grandmother”) that keeps the plot ticking along. Turano’s fans will find this irresistible. (Nov.)