Sunday, February 8, 2015


Book 3 in the Caprice De Luca 
Home Staging Mystery series
Karen Rose Smith

Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Series, Book 3
Caprice De Luca's latest house staging is all about hearts, flowers, lace and chintz since Valentine's Day is around the corner.  She never expects her client to be murdered in the greenhouse the day of the open house.
With her six-month-old pup Lady by her side and her own love life in disarray, Caprice ferrets out clues from the victim's best friend, Caprice's mother, the housekeeper and a special male friend who insists his relationship with the victim was platonic.  However, as Caprice digs deeper, she finds the victim's past is filled with secrets that she kept from her husband for thirty years.
The past isn't merely history.  The present isn't always what it seems.  When hearts are involved, passion and even murder aren't far behind.

Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mysteries
STAGED TO DEATH, Book 1, December 2013
DEADLY DECOR, Book 2, June 2014
GILT BY ASSOCIATION, Book 3, February 2015
DRAPE EXPECTATIONS, Book 4, August 2015
SILENCE OF THE LAMPS, Book 5, March 2016 

Caprice De Luca's Fashion Style 
From Stevie Nicks to Audrey Hepburn
Karen Rose Smith

            My sleuth, Caprice De Luca, is thirty-two, but her Nana and her mother's lives and fashion trends have made an impact on her.  She chooses to wear vintage and retro fashion.  Her favorite fashion decades are the sixties and seventies, but she also dips into the 1930s and 40s for her fashion looks.

            Caprice is about ten pounds overweight.  I wanted to create an every-day woman as a sleuth so my readers could relate to her.  She is a home-stager by trade with a unique style her mostly high-end clients prefer.  That unique style carries over into her life.  She wears retro fashions which complement her curvy figure.  Most of all, she wears clothes that made her feel confident … or comfortable.

            Caprice shops in a vintage shop in Kismet, Pennsylvania, Secrets of the Past which carries actual vintage clothes and accessories as well as up and coming designers who create retro fashion.  There are particular women who are fashion icons.  Each has a unique style that she borrows on occasion.

            Since she could step back into the nineteen-sixties and nineteen-seventies and feel perfectly comfortable, her favorite icon is Stevie Nicks.  Caprice is basically a romantic flower child who wants to wake up each day with enough optimism to share.  Stevie Nicks' style fits many of her moods.  However where Stevie wore mostly black, Caprice is enthusiastic about color.  Maxi-skirts and dresses in gauzy and flowing fabrics are her dress up staples.  Tunics, fringed or tapestry vests, tie-dye shirts and bell bottoms are common choices for everyday wear.  Stevie was Bohemian chic, a natural look Caprice strives for.

            When Caprice needed a wow-everybody-dress for the Valentine's Day dance in GILT BY ASSOCIATION, Secrets of the Past didn't offer the right dress for her.  She shopped at her friend's boutique All About You.  There she found the perfect dress reminiscent of 1940's style-icon, Carole Lombard.  Carole Lombard, once labeled the most beautiful woman in the world, knew Hollywood glamour.  Big furs, big hats, and elegant satin gowns were her trade-mark looks.  The dress Caprice chose was straight out of Carole Lombard's world, with its 1940's fitted fuchsia satin beauty.  Her strappy matching haute heels were the perfect complement with her hair rolled and curled in a retro hairdo.  She wowed the guys who mattered—Seth Randolph and Grant Weatherford.

            There are those times when Caprice chooses to look classy, stylish, and elegant.  At those times, she turns to the fitted and tailored coats and fashions exemplified by fashion icon Audrey Hepburn.  She's not so much into the black turtlenecks that Audrey Hepburn wore, but that fitted red coat in Breakfast at Tiffany's, the white shirt and gathered skirt from Roman Holiday, the classic pearls, the kitten heels and ballerina flats that Audrey Hepburn often wore fit beautifully into Caprice's wardrobe.

            Caprice's brother Vince taught her to throw a mean baseball pitch, which can be a handy skill when confronting a murderer.  At times, Caprice prefers to dress in professionally comfortable clothes.  For a few of her open houses, she might take a page from fashion icon Katherine Hepburn's book.  Katherine Hepburn avoided glamour whenever she could.  She was well known for wearing khaki pants with an open collar shirt.  She also put high-waisted, flare-leg trousers and matching jackets in many women's wardrobes.  Caprice searches out those outfits as must-haves in her closet.  Along with Katherine Hepburn's style jodhpurs she feels neat and stylish for work or for taking her cocker spaniel Lady for a run in the dog park.

            I often PIN photos of vintage fashion on Pinterest, if you'd like to see what outfits and accessories Caprice might wear.  I hope your style and fashion picks make you as happy and comfortable as Caprice's do.

My Review

This third installment of the Caprice De Luca Mystery series is the best yet. Karen Rose Smith has really developed her characters since her first two books.

We're back in Kismet, PA where murder hits too close to home this time, when Caprice's mother's best friend is found dead. As Caprice comes across clue after clue, I had a pretty good feeling as to the identity of the killer. But there were enough twists to make me doubt myself at times.

Ms. Smith is a wonderful story teller. Her likable characters, obvious love for animals (they always have a big part in her stories), and talent for creating a whodunit that will keep you turning the pages, are only a few of the reasons that keep me coming back for more.

If you were a fan of the first two books, you're definitely going to love GILT BY ASSOCIATION. If you haven't read the other books in the series, you can still read this one and not feel lost. But I would recommend getting them all!

More about author
Karen Rose Smith

Karen Rose Smith is writing mysteries as well as romances now! Her plots, whether in mystery or romance, are all about relationships.

She began writing in her early teens when she listened to music and created stories to accompany the songs. After expressing feelings in poetry, earning a degree in English and French, completing short stories that became too long to find a market, she turned to her fascination with relationships to writing romances and now mysteries. This award-winning best-selling author (USA Today List, Borders Bestseller List, Amazon Romance Bestseller lists, Barnes and Noble Bestseller list) will see her 84th novel released in 2014. She has published with Silhouette, Harlequin, Kensington and Meteor/Kismet. Her awards include two Golden Leaf awards in short contemporary romance, the Golden Quill in traditional romance, two's awards for Best Special Editions and Romance Review's Today's Best series romance award. Jane Bowers of Romance Reviews Today states: "Karen Rose Smith's storyworlds are complete and realistic and lovely places to visit and revisit."

It is no secret that Karen married her college sweetheart and they have been married for over forty years. She believes in the power of commitment and the hope that goes along with the promise of everlasting love. Along with enjoying time with her husband, Karen enjoys cooking, gardening, shopping, listening to music and keeping her three rescued cats company or vice versa.

She has been busy indie publishing her SEARCH FOR LOVE series. In addition, she is writing her Caprice De Luca mystery series for Kensington as well as romances for Harlequin Special Edition. Readers can follow her on Facebook (Search--Karen Rose Smith) or on Twitter @karenrosesmith. Contact her through her website if you'd like to belong to her street team or her readers group on Facebook. She welcomes interaction with her readers on Facebook and Twitter, and would love to chat about plotlines, titles, emotions, heroes, heroines, music, books, gardening, cooking, or anything else readers deem noteworthy!

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  1. I need to read Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Series because this book sounds delightful. Thank you for the review.

  2. Thank you for the great review and background on Karen Rose Smith, also enjoyed the vintage pictures. Love this series and am looking forward to reading this one, too. And seeing Caprice training her pup!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I always love having Karen visit the blog.

  3. Love the puppy, Lisa...relaxing Sunday, to you, too! I love this series, too. Karen Rose Smith has created such a likeable character and Caprice's love of animals is only outmatched by Karen Rose Smith's real-life love of animals! :)

    1. Pat, I couldn't resist the puppy face. And you're right. The love that Karen and her husband show the feral cats that come to them is nothing short of wonderful.

  4. I can't help but put my love of animals and my penchant for vintage into these mysteries!

    1. Thrilled to have you, Karen! You shine through in all of your books. :-)

  5. My wife has introduced to me to Cozy Mysteries by telling the stories as she reads them. She has really enjoyed them, since discovering the mysteries about 6 months ago. And, I really look forward to hearing her sharing the stories with me. I'm especially looking forward to hearing Karen Rose's books.

    1. John, I love that she shares them with you! That's just wonderful. Thank you for stopping by!