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The Matchmaker of Kenmare: A Novel of Ireland    by Frank Delaney order for
Matchmaker of Kenmare
by Frank Delaney
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

It's 1943. Kate Begley is known far and wide as being a very successful matchmaker. Her patch of Ireland is almost always busy, and she and her grandmother have the market cornered. Along comes Ben, a collector of stories and myths to be recorded for history. Ben has a sad story himself. His bride of but a few weeks, actress Venetia Kelly, was kidnapped and he has dedicated his life to finding her.

Author Frank Delaney has created two people and woven their lives together much like so many other stories? Not so. Delaney has a mystical knack of putting a spin on his characters. Ben is a perfect example. He loves Kate but knows she views him as only a very best friend. How he handles this is almost beyond belief. But, one thinks, that is Ben. How could such a man do anything else? On the other end of the spectrum, there is the man who buys a set of teeth from a local merchant so he can be eligible to be helped by Kate's matchmaking skills.

Kate and Ben travel to war-torn France to find Kate's brand new husband, Charles Miller, an American military intelligence officer who crosses to the continent on clandestine forays. Kate is sure she can locate him with a piece of string, a needle and a map. Apart from these enchanting characters, the history of the period in which this novel is set enlightened me a great deal. Delaney portrays World War II in Europe and the condition of endangered citizens who are just trying to get along while watching a war happening around them.

Frank Delaney has written four other books Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show, Shannon, Ireland and Tipperary set in Ireland. Each is as fine as The Matchmaker of Kenmare. Don't miss any of them.

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