Between her booming business, her family, and her work rescuing stray animals, home stager Caprice De Luca’s life is packed. But when a murder unsettles peaceful Kismet, Pennsylvania, she adds amateur sleuth to her resume.
Thanks to a wealthy patron, Kismet’s women’s shelter, Sunrise Tomorrow, has inherited a run-down mansion. Now the shelter’s director, Wendy Newcomb, wants Caprice’s decorating expertise. Caprice is happy to help, but when she glimpses a few heated encounters between Wendy and some locals, she fears that Wendy may be in need of protection herself.
When Wendy is found dead inside the old house, Caprice is compelled to poke around in her affairs—and discovers she had her share of enemies. Now, with countless clients, a TV gig that could make her a household name, and rumors of a marriage proposal on its way, Caprice must find time to design an investigation that will lure a crafty killer into the wide open—before someone else winds up in a state of permanent disrepair . . .
About the Author
After writing romances for twenty years, Karen Rose Smith is excited to see her Caprice De Luca home-stager mystery series published. Her sleuth reflects many of her interests: interior decorating, cooking, retro fashion, gardening, and, most of all, taking in stray animals. Married to her college sweetheart, Karen has convinced her husband that felines can make purr-fect housemates. They share their home in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania with their three rescued cats. For more about Karen, please visit her website www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com.
Read an Excerpt
Shades of Wrath
By Karen Rose Smith
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Karen Rose Smith
All rights reserved.
The mansion that stood before Caprice De Luca was a bit rundown but still magnificent. As an early September breeze tossed her long dark brown hair, as well as the leaves around her feet, Caprice remembered that the Tudor revival had hit America during the 1920s and 1930s when this edifice had been built. It was a monstrous home, yet charming, too, because of the steeply pitched roof with prominent cross gables. Those gables were embellished with half-timbering against stucco walls. Decorative chimney pots topped the thick brick chimney.
End-of-the-day light flickered against the tall windows arranged in groups of three. Each had diamond-shaped panes that reflected the sunlight. As a home stager, Caprice considered how light shone into a room. However, she wouldn't be looking at this house to stage it to sell. She'd be planning how to furnish and decorate it.
Caprice ascended the front steps, passing under the arched portico that supported a room above it. She couldn't wait to see the inside. Wendy Newcomb had said she'd be waiting for her.
This estate had been donated to Sunrise Tomorrow, a cause that had been a passion of Wendy Newcomb's since she'd established a foundation for the women's shelter in Kismet about a decade ago. She ate and slept her work, advocating for and caring for women who were victims of domestic violence. Caprice was here today to take a look at the mansion and propose ideas for decorating it so that it was suitable for a housing facility for women who were in need of transitional care. She was going to make their rooms feel like places they'd want to spend time.
The heavy, wood-paneled door stood slightly open. Before Caprice understood what was happening, a yellow tabby cat ran up the steps and slipped inside. Did the Wyatt estate have a resident feline?
Caprice pushed the door open wider, but it took an effort. Maybe the hinges were just warped ... or maybe that door was meant to be a barricade. Instantly, she was in awe of the Carrara marble floor in the grand foyer and the spacious living room before her. She'd started across the foyer when she heard angry voices near the wide, curved stairway that led to the second floor. Since the mansion was practically empty, except for sawhorses, ladders, and building supplies, she could hear some of what was being said across the room.
A man's voice rose and carried all the way to the foyer. "Where is she?" he demanded.
Caprice recognized Wendy's voice, lower than his. She couldn't catch every word. From what she knew of Wendy, the director of Sunrise Tomorrow was trying to remain calm and serene in the face of an angry male.
Whatever explanation Wendy gave didn't seem to satisfy the man, and now Caprice recognized his voice too. It belonged to Warren Shaeffer, CEO of Kismet's Millennium Printing and the president of the town's Chamber of Commerce. He didn't fly off the handle easily. Stoic was usually his middle name. Apparently not today.
Moving closer to the stairway, Caprice saw Warren point his finger at Wendy. "You have no right to interfere."
Unsure exactly what to do, Caprice continued to approach them. She could see Wendy was red-faced. Oblivious to a third party, Wendy poked Warren Shaeffer in the chest and determined in a clipped voice. "I don't need to tell you anything. You'd better leave before I call the police. I don't think you'd want the general public to know that you can't hold your temper."
Suddenly Shaeffer shifted on his feet and spotted Caprice. He seemed to take a breath, rein in his anger, intentionally relax his shoulders, and act as if this interchange with Wendy was no big deal.
Caprice was almost at Wendy's side now as he made a nonchalantly composed remark that she didn't expect. "I'll look forward to seeing both of you at the next Chamber of Commerce meeting." With a forced smile at Caprice, he hurried to the front door and exited the house.
Wendy looked so relieved as he left. She pasted on a smile just as forced as his had been and pretended as if her conversation with him hadn't affected her at all. "That was an unexpected meeting," she apologized. "Come on, let me show you around. The workmen have left for the day."
It was obvious Wendy didn't want to talk about the encounter that had just happened. But as she walked beside Caprice and led her up the stairs, Caprice could see the woman's hands were shaking a little. A result of stress ... her position ... the legacy of the Wyatt estate? Or because of Warren Shaeffer?
Caprice had never seen him lose his temper. As head of the Chamber of Commerce, she had watched him remain cool over many a heated discussion. However, those discussions hadn't been personal. Today's discussion with Wendy had sounded very personal.
The stairs led to a second-floor hallway. As they reached the second-floor landing, Caprice could see a balustrade that stretched from one side of the hall to the other. It overlooked the spacious foyer.
She could smell the dust in the air, spotted sawhorses down the hall and drop cloths in the first bedroom. Roller window shades, perhaps collected from the upstairs rooms, lay in a stack near the balustrade. Sitting next to the pile of shades was a yellow tabby blinking at her with jewel-like green eyes.
Caprice started toward the wooden railing, intending to get closer to the cat.
Wendy caught her arm. "Oh, no! Don't go there. The balusters aren't stable. I told the contractor he should put a warning sawhorse there or something, but he hasn't. I'll remind him again tomorrow."
Caprice glanced down at the pile of shades, with their scalloped edge and fringes and wooden bar across the front for lowering and raising the window covering. They were yellowed and looked as old as the house. Then she again studied the feline.
"Are you friendly?" she asked him.
As if in answer, he stretched and came to her, rubbing against her retro plaid slacks with an insert side pleat that ran from knee to ankle. Retro fashion was one of her passions. Cats and dogs were another. She crouched down and offered him her hand. He butted his head against it.
"He's very friendly," Wendy said. "I found him curled up in one of the bedrooms upstairs when nights began turning colder. I've been here almost every day to check on something, so I feed him wet food, then leave a bowl of dry in the bedroom upstairs. I've named him Sunnybud. I think he slips in through a broken basement window when the door isn't open. He doesn't seem to mind the workers who are in and out."
The tabby purred as Caprice petted him. Then suddenly he left her, crossing to sit once more beside the pile of window shades.
Wendy motioned to the rest of the upstairs and began walking. Caprice glanced over her shoulder at the tabby who seemed content where he was.
As they walked down the hall, she asked Wendy, "Is most of the work here cosmetic, or are there structural issues?"
"Fortunately, inside the house, most of the work is cosmetic — steaming off wallpaper, patch plastering, painting, modernizing a few of the bathrooms. We also have to add a new roof. I don't want any problems in the next few years with leakage. But all in all, the mansion is in amazingly good shape. Houses were built to last in the 1920s. This one had a grand past with good upkeep until the last dozen years or so. When Leona got sick, everything seemed to be a burden, even lifting the phone to call a plumber."
Leona Wyatt had faced a battle with cancer. Scuttlebutt had it she thought she'd won after her first bout with it. But eight years later it had come roaring back and had taken her.
"She had children, didn't she? Couldn't they help her?"
A look passed over Wendy's face that Caprice couldn't quite decipher. But then Caprice learned its meaning — disgust. Wendy said, "Her son and daughter didn't pay much attention to her, even when she was sick. They were no help at all."
Caprice wondered if that was why Leona Wyatt had left her son and daughter money in trust, yet left the mansion and the rest of her money to Sunrise Tomorrow. She'd heard the Wyatt siblings were squabbling over the fact they felt they should have received the legacy left to the Sunrise Tomorrow Foundation. However, there had been a stipulation in Leona's will that if they contested it, they would receive nothing. The Wyatt estate had been through probate and settled without incident. Apparently the brother and sister hadn't wanted to take a chance on contesting the will and losing ... or spending years in court awaiting a decision.
Caprice followed Wendy from room to room, snapping photos on her phone, loving a peek into the house that had to be filled with memories of days gone by. They chatted about goings-on in Kismet as they walked. When they finished on the second floor, they descended the back stairs into the kitchen area where a brick fireplace stretched from floor to ceiling in the sitting area. A butler's pantry and maid's suite were located behind the kitchen. Caprice noted the utility room was almost as large as her living room.
Wendy explained, "I want to uphold the original grandeur of the house, yet I want it to be homey too. Does that make sense?"
"Perfect sense. You said this would be a transitional facility. Just what does that mean?"
An old-time deacon's bench still sat in one corner of the kitchen. Wendy motioned to it, and they both took a seat there.
"Most of the women who come to Sunrise Tomorrow need a port in a storm for a couple of nights until they find shelter with a friend or a family member," Wendy explained. "Once they've left their immediate situation, obtained a PFA — Protect from Abuse order — most are involved in programs such as counseling and job training."
She shifted a bit on the bench. "But some women need a haven for longer than a few nights. Before the Wyatt legacy came through, I'd encouraged the board of the foundation to consider buying some sort of apartment building to house women in those circumstances. Now the Wyatt estate will be perfect for that. Clients can stay a month or two or three, do job training onsite, pick up skills they need, as well as gain self-confidence and independence. Our main facility will be what it still is — an emergency haven with services for follow-up. But this place? This place can be so much more. I'm excited about it, Caprice, because we can help so many more women."
Caprice waited a beat, but then asked, "Do you want to talk about what happened earlier ... when I first arrived?"
Wendy stared into the empty fireplace, soot-stained from years of use. "I can't talk about most of it, you know that. Although I'm not a therapist, the work I do is confidential. It has to be."
Wendy said that last with such vehemence Caprice studied the woman's face. There were lines around her eyes and around her mouth. Her nose looked as if it might have been broken. Strands of gray salted her medium brown hair. Caprice didn't know Wendy's story. Nobody did, as far as she knew. And that was a feat to keep background a secret in a town the size of Kismet. On the other hand, Wendy's present-day life seemed to be an open book. She lived with her significant other, Sebastian Thompson, and his two sons. But her past was a blank slate on the gossip mill.
"I know you have to keep confidences," Caprice agreed. "But that discussion I walked in on concerned you, too, didn't it?"
After hesitating, Wendy admitted, "It did. And I'll confess Warren Shaeffer scares me. He has one of those Jekyll-Hyde personalities. Only those closest to him see the Mr. Hyde side."
No, Wendy couldn't break any confidences, but what she was implying was that Warren's wife had probably sought services at the shelter. His question, Where is she? could mean that Wendy had helped his wife relocate somewhere else, at least for now.
Obviously wanting this discussion to be over, Wendy stood. "Let me show you the rest of the house. I have a meeting in half an hour, but we can finish touring the inside anyway. You can explore the grounds when you come to actually do the decorating. I'm going to trust you with the furnishings for most of it. I think you understand what I want. But after you turn your proposal in, I'd like to discuss updating our original quarters. Do you have time to fit that into your schedule too?"
Furnishing and decorating the Wyatt estate and updating the original Sunrise Tomorrow facility could bring in substantial income. She'd fit it into her schedule somehow.
"I'd be glad to talk about updating. When would you like to do that?"
"Why don't we keep that less formal? Why don't you come to dinner on Saturday with me and Sebastian and the boys?"
Caprice didn't know how long Wendy had been living with architect Sebastian Thompson and his sons, but it sounded as if they'd formed a family.
"I'd like that. Where do you live?"
"We live in the Poplar Grove Co-housing Development. Do you know where that is?"
Although Caprice wasn't exactly sure what co-housing meant, she'd passed the Poplar Grove development on occasion. It was located east of town.
"I've never visited the development itself, but I've gotten a glimpse of it when I visited Ace Richland's estate."
"That's right, you helped him out of a sticky situation not so long ago."
Last spring, Ace — a rock star legend — had found himself a suspect in a murder investigation, and Caprice had indeed helped clear his name. Treating that lightly, however, she responded, "Ace and I have gotten to know each other since he bought the house I staged."
"He's on tour now, isn't he?"
"He's zigzagging across the country. He returns every couple of weeks to spend time with his daughter."
"The way it should be," Wendy said. "Sebastian complains he wants to spend time with his boys, but they don't want to spend time with him anymore. You have to take advantage of bonding time while you can."
"I'd like to find out more about co-housing."
"Basically, it's cooperative living. We're not self-sustaining like many co-housing communities, but we help out each other when we can. I'm sure Sebastian can tell you all about it. He's the one who developed the mission statement."
"I look forward to it," Caprice said.
As Wendy walked Caprice out of the kitchen into a smaller dining room and then a much larger one, Caprice began envisioning the colors she would use to warm up the house as well as the groupings of furniture she'd select that would invite conversation. This project could easily consume her.
She smiled to herself. It was exactly the kind of project she liked best.
* * *
Caprice would have loved to have taken her dog, Lady, along to the Wyatt estate, but she hadn't known what she'd find there. She also hadn't known whether Wendy liked dogs or not. So she'd asked her neighbor Dulcina if she'd watch Lady while she took care of business. Now as she climbed the steps onto Dulcina's porch, she couldn't help thinking about Warren Shaeffer and his anger toward Wendy ... and Wendy's obvious fear.
However, when Dulcina opened the door, Caprice forgot about her experience at the Wyatt estate. Halo, the tortoiseshell stray cat who'd been pregnant when Dulcina had adopted her in July, wound around her legs. Halo's seven-week-old tortie kitten, Miss Paddington, and Caprice's cocker, Lady, chased each other through the living room.
Caprice couldn't help but laugh. "How do you get any work done?"
"They were all napping until about fifteen minutes ago. Then Paddy decided she wanted crunchies and the gang all woke up."
Mason and Tia, Halo's other two kittens, now came racing into the living room too. Halo was a silver-haired tortie with tabby-like stripes and golden spots of coloring. Her firstborn was Miss Paddington, who had a unique tortoiseshell split-color face — tan and gold on one side and dark brown on the other. Her body was likewise defined. Mason, a gray-striped tabby with a white chest, was the boy in the bunch, and as rowdy as could be. Tia, third-born, had fur that displayed striking tortoiseshell colors and lots of white. A princess, she usually held herself above the fray. But not this evening. They were all joining in.
Caprice stepped inside, careful to watch the screen door so no fur babies escaped.
"Coffee?" Dulcina asked.
"Sure. I have time."
The kittens and Lady continued their chase, but Halo followed Caprice into the kitchen. She was becoming quite attached to humans. No one knew her whole story. Caprice's Uncle Dom had found her when he was pet-sitting for a client. Caprice had captured her and taken her to her veterinarian, who surmised Halo had been in an accident. She had a slight limp and he suspected a broken bone had healed. Dulcina had decided to take in Halo, even though she'd been pregnant. The birth of the kittens had been a joy to watch and experience. They were seven weeks old now, and Caprice had some good news for Dulcina.
Excerpted from Shades of Wrath by Karen Rose Smith. Copyright © 2016 Karen Rose Smith. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Another great book by karen Boyd. Lots of suspense, family values. Only 218 pages!
Shades of Wrath by Karen Rose Smith is the sixth book in the Caprice De Luca series and every book seems to get better than the last one. In this story, Caprice has been hired to redecorate a transition home for abused women. She is thrilled to be helping the Sunshine Tomorrow Foundation with the home that was willed to them by a wealthy patron and friend of the shelter's director, Wendy Newcombe. In her job helping abused women and their families, Wendy has made many enemies. This only makes the case more difficult to solve when her body is found in the mansion, dead from a hit on the head forcing her over a balustrade. Caprice is a busy bee in this book. She is competing in a competition to redecorate a home, she is trying to find out who killed Wendy, her courtship with Grant is moving right along and she is still trying to do her job as a stager/decorator. I really enjoy this series! The home makeovers, the pets, Caprice’s large and involved family, and the added element of romance keeps me happily reading this series. The characters are realistic and are people that I would want to meet and be friends with. The mystery is not always the easiest to solve, as there are usually many viable suspects. Caprice is smart, caring and loyal which makes the reader want to know her, not just have her solve the mystery. This book touches on her faith and the importance of it in her life as well as her values and love of family. I like that there is usually some kind of important issue in each book. This one deals with domestic violence. It touches not only on physical violence, but also on emotional and mental abuse. This part of the story was well written and fit the story very well. Overall, if you enjoy cozy mysteries, this series is one that I highly recommend. You do not have to read them in order, but it will certainly help you get to know Caprice, her family and her friends. Pick one up and enjoy!
3 of the things I enjoy about this series are the people, the snippets about staging homes, and the mysteries themselves. This book had a theme of domestic abuse that was done very well and provided information that could be helpful. This time I was very close to the end, before I knew who did it and that is always a good thing for me as a reader.
Karen Rose Smith is on the fast track to be added to my list of favorite authors. Caprice DeLuca is a home stager, currently working in a tudor revival mansion, monstrous but charming. When the woman who hired Caprice is murdered, Caprice steps in to "help" solve the murder. Caprice is stretching hereslf very thin, she has also entered herself in a model home make-over challenge, which will be televised. Caprice and 2 other designers, will put their talents to the test and the TV audience will select the winner.Caprice will be there, as long as the murder in the mansion doesn't distract her. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Another fun adventure with Caprice. I love how Caprice is evolving. Not just in terms of her relationship with Grant or the expansion of her work, but how she really did try during much of this book to be safer when investigating. So often the characters promise to try to be safe and do stupid things, Caprice is really trying to honor the wishes of her family. The story is well told as always and keeps you guessing. From the final clue, I knew that this had come up somewhere in the story, but I couldn't remember where. As it turns out, Caprice remembered too late too. It turns out that the murderer was a reasonable choice, with motive and the temperament to commit the crime. I'll keep reading this series and hope that Caprice continues her character development. I enjoy seeing what Karen Rose Smith has in store for us.
Title: Shades of Wrath - Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Book 6 Author: Karen Rose Smith Published: 11-29-2016 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 352 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuths ISBN: 13: 9781617737749 ASIN: B01CMGW67E Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.5 Stars I received a copy of "Shades of Wrath" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Description Between her booming business, her family, and her work rescuing stray animals, home stager Caprice De Luca's life is packed. But when a murder unsettles peaceful Kismet, Pennsylvania, she adds amateur sleuth to her resume. Thanks to a wealthy patron, Kismet's women's shelter, Sunshine Tomorrow, has inherited a run-down mansion. Now the shelter's director, Wendy Newcomb, wants Caprice's decorating expertise. Caprice is happy to help, but when she glimpses a few heated encounters between Wendy and some locals, she fears that Wendy may be in need of protection herself. When Wendy is found dead inside the old house, Caprice is compelled to poke around in her affairs—and discovers she had her share of enemies. Now, with countless clients, a TV gig that could make her a household name, and rumors of a marriage proposal on its way, Caprice must find time to design an investigation that will lure a crafty killer into the wide open—before someone else winds up in a state of permanent disrepair… My Review: You have go to love a character like Caprice De Luca in "Shades of Wrath". She is a woman with style and flair, a strong sense of family and has a heart that is big enough to care for lost and abandoned animals. It was her busy life that first drew me to this series a few years ago. Since then I have had the pleasure of enjoying Ms. Smith's talented style of writing which enables her to develop characters with multiple layers and scenes that seem to pop off the pages full vibrant color and emotions. You will be drawn into the story as you unravel the threads of the plot and sub plots to reweave them to discover the who and why of the mystery. Take a moment or two out of your day to enjoy "Shades of Wrath". My rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars. I look forward to seeing what Caprice is up to next.
Karen Rose Smith's Shades of Wrath Domestic abuse, women's shelter, window shades, broken balustrade, murder, reality home staging tv show, breaking and entering, safe homes, a hidden ledger,lots of personal secrets mix together with strong family relationships, care of animals and friendships. Several romantic interests evolve. Pets get homes: Bella gets Sunnybud, the cat. Uncle Dom adopts Tia and Mason, the kittens. Dulcina keeps Halo and Paddington, the cats, Both Caprice and Grant's dogs, Lady and Patches are involved in the story plus Dover, the dog of the decease's family. Great array of well-defined, well developed characters involved in an unpredictable plot. Moves at a steady pace with vivid descriptions of the houses and area where Caprice works. Plus lots of food ideas and recipes at the end. This book is the sixth in the Caprice De Luca Mystery series. It can be read as a stand alone. I volunteered to read the advanced reader copy. Thanks to Net Gallery, the author and publisher for the eBook. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Shades of Wrath by Karen Rose Smith is the sixth book in A Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery. Caprice is a home stager and interior designer in Kismet, Pennsylvania. Sunrise Tomorrow, a women’s shelter started by Wendy Newcomb, has just inherited the Wyatt estate. Sunrise Tomorrow will now be able to provide long-term housing in this new facility. Wendy has asked Caprice to submit design ideas for the space. Caprice goes to meet Wendy at the Wyatt mansion and finds her dead in the entry with the balustrade broken above. Wendy had called Caprice the previous evening asking for Detective Brett Carstead’s phone number and mentioned blackmail (and now she is dead). Caprice, of course, starts investigating to find out who would have wanted to hurt Wendy. Caprice gets a call from Roland Vaughn of Vaughn Contracting. Roland builds homes in Maryland and is having a televised contest. He has three new model homes that need decorating. Caprice and two other designers will each get a home to design. The viewers will vote for their favorite design and designer. The winner will get a contract for design three model homes (and could lead to more work after that). Caprice cannot pass up this wonderful opportunity and finds a way to fit in among her other work and her sleuthing. The romance between Caprice and Grant is heating up now that Grant has resolved issues with his ex-wife (over the loss of their little girl). There are also some adorable little kittens that need a forever home, and Caprice knows the person who can use two little balls of fluff in their life. Caprice has a full life and just the right vintage fashion for each occasion. Shades of Wrath is a chance to catch up on the life of Caprice De Luca as well as her family and friends (and do not forget the animals). While this is the sixth book in the series, it can be read alone. The author does provide the information the reader needs to enjoy the book. We get updates on Vincent, Bella, Nikki (Caprice’s brother and sisters) as well as her Uncle Dom. Nana dishes out advice to Caprice and Seth (Caprice’s old love interest) stops by for a visit. Shades of Wrath is easy to read (the author has a nice conversational style of writing) and has engaging characters (most of them are in Caprice’s family). Karen Rose Smith adroitly handles the sensitive subject of spousal abuse. I give Shades of Wrath 3.5 out of 5 stars. As with many of the cozy mysteries I have read lately, the mystery was not the primary focus of the book. The whodunit is like a supporting actor in a television show (they are present, but they never get to be the star). I believe most readers will be able to solve the crime (narrow list of suspects). The ending will make fans of the series very pleased.
I absolutely love these cozy mysteries starring Caprice DeLuca. She is a very strong, compelling woman who loves a good puzzle. She has reinvented herself with the decline in the economy and is loving her business of staging homes. She is quiet busy with her work, but also she has a love of animals and helps with rescues and finding them forever homes. In this mystery she touches on a very tough issue, domestic abuse, and gives the reader a realistic view of it. Wendy Newcomb had established a woman's shelter in Kismet and is planning to expand her foundation and invites Caprice to an old Tudor home being renovated as housing for transitional care with the possibility of her doing the decorating. After meeting with Wendy it's decided that Caprice with formulate a design and they would discuss putting the final touches on it. Unfortunately for Caprice before anything can be put into motion Wendy is found dead in the Tudor mansion. As the investigation heats up so does Caprice's business and love life. As the story unfolds Caprice takes the opportunity to be involved in a reality show which will showcase her talents and she starts taking a deeper look at her relationship with Grant. Of course there's a kitty rescue involved in the story so Caprice's love of animals comes shining through. This is a wonderful mystery with lots of twists and turns that kept me turning the pages quickly. The secondary characters are engaging and well integrated into the story. The plot flows effortlessly and brings beautiful imagery. The author brings an artful touch to the book by including recipes at the end. Each recipe is taken from the story and I love them. I have tried several. If you like a good, clean mystery then this one is perfect for you. Even though this book is part of a series this is an easy stand alone story. I think this is my favorite book in the series so far, but then again I say that every time because each story keeps getting better and better. I look forward tot he next one in the series. I volunteered to read the advanced reader copy from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Caprice DeLuca is a strong woman who has the love and support of her family and friends. Her home staging business is doing well and allows her to be creative. Her latest job is to decorate a housing facility for women who were victims of domestic violence. Wendy Newcomb, the founder, is passionate about this cause. Caprice is impressed, but apparently not everyone feels the same. Someone murdered Wendy. Caprice wants to help find the killer. Asking a few questions won't be dangerous. Will it? Shades Of Wrath is a strong addition to this series. I enjoy Caprice's style. She's a likeable character. She loves her family, her friends and is a dedicated animal lover. Grant Weatherford, her boyfriend, respects her choices and decisions. They are a perfect couple. Karen Rose Smith has written a feisty heroine and strong hero who has her back. Their commitment to each other is heartwarming. This is a well told mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. Kismet is a quaint and friendly town that I would love to visit inspite of their crime rate. Shades Of Wrath is a compelling mystery that drew me in from the first page. I can't wait to see what happens next. I know Caprice will be using her sleuthing skills again very soon.
This is part of a mystery series staring Caprice De Luca who is designer and animal rescuer. On her new case she is going to remodel an old home for a women's shelter when the director is found dead at the Mansion. This is the first mystery that I've read by this author however have read other of her books in romance. Enjoyed the suspense and characters and charmed by the appearance of "Sunnybud". Recommend this author and series of mysteries with task now to go back and read the first books to enjoy. Ebook from Netgalley and publisher with thanks.. Opinions are entirely my own.
Shades of Wrath is the sixth book in Karen Rose Smith’s Caprice De Luca mystery series. Once again the main character, Caprice De Luca - trained interior decorator turned home stager, returns to carry on this enjoyable series. Her love for design as well as family and finding homes for animals is evident also. Caprice’s blooming relationship with attorney, Grant Weatherford, continues to flourish with serious airs being conveyed. Caprice has submitted a plan to revitalize an old tutor-style mansion that has been donated to Sunrise Tomorrow, a foundation that assists women who are dealing with domestic violence. The mansion will be a shelter for those who need a safe haven as well as a transitional care facility. Unfortunately before Caprice can begin her magical ability to decorate it, the mansion claims the life of Wendy Newcomb, head honch of Sunrise Tomorrow. Karen Rose Smith continues the story of Caprice and her nose for detecting who done it and as a special touch she has worked her many feline family into some of the four legged friends in this book. Even if you haven’t read any of the earlier books, you can read this as a stand- alone but you will want to go back read the earlier books too.
Shades of Wrath written by Karen Rose Smith was a book that captured me from the very first line. The story was written in such a way that I felt as if I was taken to Kismet, Pennsylvania and placed right into Sunshine Tomorrow, the women's shelter who provides a safe haven for those courageous enough to leave an abusive relationship. This book touches on real life situations, and while this is a cozy mystery, meant to bring the reader pleasure, it also heightens awareness to the domestic violence issue that happen every day. Caprice de Luca was portrayed as caring and sensitive in this book and I was able to connect with her immediately. She has no problem looking into the murder of the director of Sunshine Tomorrow, Wendy Newcomb and when she finds herself in danger, she digs her heels and and won't stop looking until the murderer is found and brought to justice. The ending took me by surprise, I had no idea who the murderer was. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good cozy mystery. I will definitely read more in this series. I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
This is absolutely the very best Caprice De Luca Mystery in the series to date! The author is at the peak of her writing talent with ‘Shades of Wrath’. The interactions of Caprice with family, clients, and those involved with the mystery are outstanding, and the topic at the heart is timely and addressed with sensitivity. Sixth in the Caprice De Luca Mystery series, it can be read as a standalone. Caprice is in the midst of several home staging projects. The feelings she has for Grant, the man she has been dating, are much more serious. She has a huge, fun and challenging job of furnishing a gorgeous Tudor mansion recently donated to Sunrise Tomorrow shelter, a safe place for women and their children who are victims of domestic abuse, as a much-needed addition to their smaller facility. The home had originally been owned by Leona Wyatt, who was befriended by Wendy, Director of Sunrise Tomorrow, in her final years. The bequest was resented by Leona’s children, but the terms of the will include that if they contested the will, they would lose what was left to them. Caprice prepared for the design meeting with fabric samples and photos of proposed furnishings, but the meeting didn’t go as planned. When Caprice drove up to the home, it was surrounded by police. Wendy had been murdered. Caprice stopped working on mysteries or murder cases; her family and Grant had worried about her safety after she came too close to being a victim as a result of her questions. When she met with Lizbeth, the interim director, Lizbeth asked her to see what she could find out about the murder. Caprice agreed only because the open murder case could hold up the opening of the new facility, and allowed Grant to have her back rather than making decisions on her own. I like Caprice. She is a wise, loving young woman who is secure in who she is. Before one even meets her, the vintage or colorful clothing she wears is the first clue. She rescues cats and dogs and finds homes for them. Caprice only knows what she has learned from others about domestic abuse. I wish every family could be like the De Luca’s; they provide a loving, nurturing place for their children. The primary characters are drawn perfectly and with depth and care; those secondary for this novel only are defined as well as necessary for their roles. The dialog and actions of each person exemplifies who they are. There are layers to the mystery that makes it more fascinating. The list of suspects seems to keep growing, as Wendy had many contacts who could help the women in the shelter find, receive counseling and housing, even be relocated if necessary. The plot twists served to enhance the mystery. This armchair sleuth was hard pressed to figure it out, and was surprised when finding out who the real bad guy/ bad gal was. The suspense leading to the arrest for the murderer was intense. The resolution to the mystery and changes in the relationships of Caprice and her siblings was better than satisfactory. I highly recommend this to fans of well-written cozy mysteries, pet lovers, and those who enjoy interior design. Sunnybud, you will live on in all of our hearts through this and future novels. With a grateful heart, I received an eARC from NetGalley; as a courtesy, I am posting my honest review for which no compensation was received.
I voluntarily reviewed this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.I enjoyed reading this book ,it was wuite entertaining with likeable characters.I highly recommend it.
For me The Caprice De Luca Mystery series is a must read and Shades of Wrath ticks all the points that makes this series a tremendous example of the genre. It is the time we get to spend with Caprice and her family and friends that keep me coming back even more than the excellent plots. The warmth and caring of those closest to Caprice bring something special to the books that I love. I am delighted to see her relationship with Grant develop and love how much he respects as wells as loves her. The mystery is intriguing and has unique elements that make this series stand out among the proliferation of amazing cozy series that have come out recent years. Caprice is excited about designing a transitional facility for a women's shelter and greatly admires the director of the program. After she witnesses a couple of encounters between Wendy, the director, and men who are probably angry about the help Wendy has given their wives, Caprice realizes how dangerous working with battered woman can be, so she is upset but not surprised to discover that the woman has been murdered. Domestic abuse is a sensitive topic that few cozy authors would address; Ms Smith handles directly without being graphic; well done, Karen Rose Smith. As a FB and blog follower I have become attached to the feral cats that Ms Smith has taken in, so seeing Halo, Paddy, Tia, Mason, and especially Sunnybud in roles in the book made the story even more poignant, but even those who are not familiar with the cats are sure to love the scenes with these precious babies. I received an early ready copy of this book via NetGalley but my review is voluntary and the opinion all my own. I review every book I love and I really love Shades of Wrath.
Caprice De Luca is looking forward to the new opportunity of redecorating a mansion recently inherited by Sunrise Tomorrow, a foundation developed as a women's shelter. But then the director, Wendy Newcomb is found murdered and Caprice once again feels obligated to help seek out the murderer. But is it someone in Wendy's personal life or someone associated with the shelter that committed this act? I really enjoy this series and the main characters. It is enjoyable watching the growing relationship between Caprice and Grant, as well as the close connections she has with her family.There were several twists to the story before the murderer is finally caught. I also liked the attention given in this story to domestic violence, a situation that all too often goes undiscovered and misunderstood. I look forward to the next book in this series to see how things work out with Caprice and Grant, as well as Uncle Dom, Nikki and Brett. Finally, I would like to mention one standout cat in this story. For those of us who follow the author's blog, Sunnybud was the subject of a daily adventure as Karen tried to tame this lovable stray. Unfortunately he passed away to the sadness of Karen, her family and followers. I loved that finally, at least in this story, Sunnybud has found his forever home at last. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and have voluntarily written this review.