Tuesday, December 30, 2014

DEADLY DECOR by Karen Rose Smith

Book 2 in the Caprice De Luca Mystery series
Karen Rose Smith

Quiet Kismet, Pennsylvania, may look like any other small town, but as a home stager, Caprice De Luca can see behind closed doors--and it seems someone has designs on murder. . .Life is a full house for Caprice these days. She's dating, she's rescuing adorable cocker spaniels, and she's decorating the roomy interiors of Kismet's most well-heeled residents with fun fantasy themes. But she's worried about her pregnant sister. Bella's marriage is coming apart like a bad wallpaper job, and to make matters worse, she's decided to meet up with a former flame Bob Preston, a house painter Caprice frequently employs. When he's found dead in a pool of green paint swirling with blood, it's time for Caprice to stage an investigation. With all eyes trained on Bella's husband, Caprice shifts her attention from finding the perfect curtains to finding the perfect culprit. . .

My Review

DEADLY DECOR is a perfect followup to the first book in this series, STAGED TO DEATH.

Carpirce De Luca, the namesake of this series, once again finds herself embroiled in a murder. This time her own sister, Bella, as well as Bella's husband, Joe, are both suspects in the killing!

Honestly, Ms. Smith had me scrambling for a guess on this one. She wrote in plenty of red herrings to throw the reader off track. I never did guess correctly! Once I knew "whodunit", I realized just how clever the author had been.

Decorating, the retro look, love of animals, strong relationships, and of course a great mystery, ensure there will be further adventures in the Caprice De Luca Mystery series.


Book 5 in the Library Lover's Mystery series
Jenn McKinlay

The New York Times bestselling Library Lover's mysteries continue with a hot new case...

Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company, goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous mystery.

Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine, Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all.

Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and exotic woman, it’ll take the help of both her library book club—the crafternooners—and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in hot water…

My Review

I have to start this review by saying Jenn McKinlay is one of my all time favorite authors. As I mention, a lot, her Cupcake Bakery series was the first cozy series I ever read, and sealed my love for cozies. This series, her Library Lover’s Mysteries, is the second cozy series I read. I looked up every book Ms. McKinlay has ever written, bought and read them all. If you like a good mystery, cozy or otherwise, funny, memorable characters, witty writing, and a well thought out plot, you have got to try Jenn McKinlay’s books!

ON BORROWED TIME is book 5 in the Library Lover’s Mystery series. Brava, Ms. McKinlay! This is the best book in the series so far.

With a fast moving plot, tons of action, an ending I didn’t see coming, I read ON BORROWED TIME in record time. I didn’t want to put it down, and I certainly didn’t want it to end. And with lines and scenes like the following…
She thought the idea of living on an island year-round was romantic, but she didn’t know if she could do it. >>> It had a certain allure, like not shaving her armpits or legs, but then it had a dark side as well---no toilet paper. Yeah, she was out.
…I was laughing out loud through many of the pages.

There are also reading group recommendations and tasty recipes included!

The Library Lover’s Mystery series is one I wish to see continue for a very long time. And, if the future books are anything like this one, my wish is certain to come true.  


Book 2 in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery series
Beverly Allen

Deadly thorns lurk among the roses in this Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery

Florist Audrey Bloom, co-owner of the Rose in Bloom, creates fragrant bouquets for brides. But when a wedding goes fatally wrong, it’s up to Audrey to sniff out a killer . . .

Everything is coming up roses for Audrey when her dazzling creations are picked to be featured on a wedding reality show. The hot series is filming an episode about a bride who’s bonkers for bells, and Audrey’s bouquets of campanulas, calla lilies, and Bells-of-Ireland are perfect for the bridal theme.
But Audrey’s debut quickly becomes a hothouse of trouble. Her ex, Brad, shows up as a crew member on the show, threatening her blossoming relationship with Nick the baker. To make matters worse, when one of the show’s hosts is found dead in the bell tower of a historic church, all the evidence points toward Brad.

Now Audrey needs to weed out the real killer before someone else’s chance at stardom is permanently nipped in the bud . . .

My Review

I have been looking forward to this book ever since finishing the first book in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery series, BLOOM AND DOOM. Author Beverly Allen did not disappoint me! I was reminded of all the reasons I dubbed this series to be one of my three favorite new series of 2014.

I adore Audrey and her friends and staff. They are a group of people I would love to hang out with. I’d spend a lot of time in the flower shop for sure. And any book that makes me want to be friends with fictional characters, is a book after my own heart.

Ms. Allen has a very smooth, no nonsense writing style. It’s like that of a natural born singer, clear and crisp. Not forced. Her knowledge of flowers and their meanings really shine through. I’ve learned so many interesting facts.

The murder is FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS was done in a way I have never read before. So very creative. The entire story moved and flowed quickly. Each page making me want to read the next and the next, straight through to the shocking reveal. I sure didn’t see that coming!

You will not be disappointed with this book. It will however leave you wanting more. I’m ready for the third book in the series to come out!

Pre-order your copy of FOR WHOM THE BLUEBELL TOLLS today. It releases January 6, 2015!  And while you’re at it, if you haven’t already, buy a copy of BLOOM AND DOOM to read while you wait!  

Have you read any of these titles or authors?

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

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Keep reading for the solutions to yesterday's  
Monday Mystery Mashup


Monday Mystery Mashup

1. Heaven Preserve Us

2. Progressive Dinner Deadly

3. Sudden Death Sudoku

4. Dark Chocolate Demise

5. Seven Threadly Sins


  1. Just finished On Borrowed Time. Great series.

  2. Happy New Year to you, Lisa K.!

    Sheila K.
    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  3. What a fabulous lineup today! I read KArne's first Caprice novel and was fortunate to just finish her newest one coming in January. each gets better and better.
    I agree with you as to Jenn's writing. Tops all the way!
    Thanks for a new author for me to check out.

    1. You're welcome! I'm sure Karen's latest is wonderful. And you are going to love Beverly Allen's series.

  4. You have so many good cozies on. I loved your book reviews. I've never read the cupcake bakery series. Sounds like it's right down my alley. Thank you so much for telling us about these cozies. :)

    Susan Bernhardt