Karen Rose Smith, a prolific and best-selling romance author for over twenty years, has ventured into the mystery genre with an outstanding new series featuring Caprice De Luca. “Deadly Decor” is the second book in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Series. This book is squarely in the romantic suspense category.
It isn’t a surprise that one of the great strengths of this book is the romance between the main character, Caprice, and three charming suitors, a doctor, a veterinarian and a lawyer. I rooted for her to stay with each of the three men and they were all amazing in their own right. My guess is we will see this romantic square again in the next book. (Is that what you call it when there are 3 suitors?) I have never read any of Karen Rose Smith’s romances, but based on the romance in this mystery, I understand why she is so successful.
However, romance isn’t the only appealing feature of “Deadly Decor.” I was fascinated by the occupation of home staging and how she goes further to make the open house an event which includes catering by her sister, Nikki. The author includes recipes from the book on her web page.
Caprice also has a passion for animal rescue. She rescues a pregnant cocker spaniel and we eventually have lots of adorable puppies bouncing through the story.
In Karen’s bio on her web page she states that she modeled Caprice a little after herself. She too rescues animals. Her cats are featured often on her blog and Facebook page.
Karen says she writes about emotion. In “Deadly Décor”, Caprice’s sister Bella is pregnant with her third child, which is putting stress on her marriage. Here again her romance background shows as she skillfully handles the emotion involved in this type of situation. When Bella’s old boyfriend, who also happens to be a painter Caprice frequently hires, is found dead, Caprice decides to figure out who killed him before Bella or Bella’s husband, Joe is convicted of the murder.
I strongly recommend this series. It’s a great summer read. It has it all, romance, food, art, pets and an engaging mystery. I think it would appeal equally to romance and cozy mystery lovers.
I have only one small criticism of the book, the cover art. Caprice is an interior decorator and home stager. The kitchen, which appears to be in her home, is dated and unattractive. This is the only aspect of the book that doesn't ring true to me.
Five stars out of five.
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In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge. I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work.