Staged to Death (Caprice Deluca Home Stager Mysteries)
“. . . a good read for both cozy and romance fans.”
Caprice De Luca lives in the nice town of Kismet, PA, where everyone knows your name and where she owns a growing home staging business for upscale clients. Perky and independent, she has also been described as caring too much about others. Just ask all those stray animals she rescues.
Caprice is lucky. She belongs to a boisterous, loveable Italian family who would like nothing better than to see her meet Mr. Right and get married; however, she has been spectacularly unlucky in the romance department.
Her old high school friend Roz is selling the family mansion and asks Caprice to stage the faux castle for sale. During an open house Caprice stumbles on Roz’s husband passionately kissing another woman in the upstairs gym. Then a few days later he’s found stabbed to death with a dagger from his sword collection. The police are convinced Roz did it.
Wanting to help her old friend, Caprice calls Grant, her brother’s law partner. Against his warning and advice, Caprice goes out of her way to find other plausible suspects and prove Roz’s innocence. In the process she discovers dozens of people who are not exactly mourning the death of the husband, a ruthless executive at a pharmaceutical company.
Along the way Caprice meets a hunky young doctor who wants to get to know her a lot better. She is excited about this new romance, but those old feelings for Grant might complicate her new relationship.
Karen Rose Smith has written a tight little murder mystery with plenty of engaging subplots. Her expertise as a successful romance writer becomes evident in the tension created between Caprice and her love interests.
Ms. Smith is also able to develop believable characters. The reader will want to be part of Caprice’s wonderful family with their delicious dinners (recipes at the end of the book) and friendly infighting. Finally, the author’s plotting skills are impressive, as the reader is not likely to guess the real killer until the big reveal at the end.
This book is a good read for both cozy and romance fans.