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"The perfect combination of animals, a delightful cozy town and a suspenseful mystery." --Cozy Mystery Book Reviews.net
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Silence of the Lamps
By Karen Rose Smith
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Karen Rose Smith
All rights reserved.
Caprice De Luca caught sight of the guest who stepped over the threshold. She braced for trouble on this balmy June Saturday afternoon.
Spinning on her kitten heels, her long, straight brown hair flowing over her shoulder, she rushed to the living room of the 4,000-square-foot house. She'd staged the stone and stucco home with the theme of French Country Flair. Bringing the rustic country flavor from the outside in, she'd used the colors of lavender and green, rust and yellow, mixing them for inviting warmth. Carved curved legs on the furniture, upholstered in toile with its pastoral scenes, mixed with the gray distressed wood side tables.
Prospective buyers who entered should have been screened by real estate agents. So how had Drew Pierson ended up standing in the foyer of today's open house?
The chef was her sister Nikki's archenemy. Ever since he'd opened Portable Edibles, a catering company that competed with Nikki's Catered Capers, the two of them had been in a battle to make their businesses succeed.
Just why was he here?
Caprice hurried to the dining room with its wall-length, whitewashed wood hutch, rushed past the table with its pale blue tablecloth and white, gently scalloped stoneware dinnerware, and headed for the scents emanating from the grand kitchen. She hardly noticed the still lifes of flowers that she'd arranged on the walls.
The floor of the kitchen mimicked rustic brick, reflecting the colors in the floor-to-ceiling fireplace. Blue-and-rust plaid cushions graced the chairs in the bay-windowed breakfast nook. Two-toned cupboards — white on top, dark cherry on the bottom — along with copper pots hanging over the granite island made the space inviting for cooking or family-centered activities.
Nikki and her servers had almost finished readying the chafing dishes and serving platters in the state-of-the-art kitchen. The combination of Nikki's culinary skills and Caprice's staging talent would pull in prospective buyers. More often than not, houses sold quickly because of their efforts, and the real estate agent on board made a hefty profit. The luxury broker today was Denise Langford, and Caprice wondered if Drew Pierson knew her and that's how he'd added his name to her list.
While one server poured vin d'orange into crystal glasses, another took a cheese soufflé from the double oven. Nikki's assistant was stirring soupe au pistou — a thick vegetable soup with vermicelli — while a platter of pan bagnat hors d'oeuvres, which were basically tuna, tomato, green pepper, olive, and sliced hard-boiled egg sandwiches, rested beside her.
Since Caprice had gone over the menu carefully with Nikki, she knew other chafing dishes held blanquette de veau — veal in white sauce with carrots, leeks, onions, and cloves — and poulet basquaise, which was pan-fried chicken dipped in pepper sauce. Nikki was stirring the boeuf bourguignon. The braised beef cooked in wine with carrots and potatoes and garnished with bacon smelled wonderful.
Nikki was so intent on stirring the dish in front of her that she didn't see Caprice approach. Caprice was about to warn her that Drew Pierson had arrived when he appeared beside Caprice, looking over the food to be offered to interested house buyers.
"I thought I'd stop by and see what my competition was offering today," he said smoothly.
At the sound of Drew's voice, Nikki's head snapped up, her eyes widened, and she frowned.
"You're thinking of buying a French country bungalow?" Caprice asked, giving her sister time to compose herself.
"I told Denise Langford I wouldn't mind having a look at this place," he answered.
This "place" was definitely out of Drew's budget, since he was a fledgling business owner. Portable Edibles couldn't be making that much money yet.
Drew ignored Caprice and stared down at the boeuf bourguignon, sniffed it, then smiled at Nikki. "Anyone can make boeuf bourguignon, but I see you added bacon. Nice touch."
"Don't think I'm going to serve you any of my food," Nikki responded, her tone kept in tight restraint. "If it were up to me, I'd have you removed from the property."
Drew, his handsome face producing a fake smile, clicked his tongue against his teeth. "Your envy is showing. I guess you heard I'll be catering the exclusive fund-raising dinner at the Country Squire Golf and Recreation Club. My bid came in lower than yours."
Caprice had to wonder about that conclusion. Nikki's bids were more than competitive. It was quite possible that someone on the selection committee for the dinner had favored Drew. She could read her sister well, and she saw that Nikki was thinking the same thing.
"Just because you won that job doesn't mean your food will win the taste test," Nikki offered. "I have a growing client base. Do you? I have repeat customers. Do you?"
"Your social media following is pitiful," he responded with bitterness, and Caprice wondered where that bitterness was coming from. What had Nikki ever done to Drew? They'd actually worked well together when she'd first hired him to assist her on a few catering jobs. It was after she'd turned him down as a partner that their relationship had fallen apart.
"I believe in growing my business one happy customer at a time," Nikki returned. "My followings will grow. The way ten thousand followers suddenly flowed into your Twitter stream, I suspect you bought them. How loyal do you think they're going to be?"
Everyone in the vicinity was listening and watching now, and Caprice knew the sparring match between Nikki and Drew would only escalate.
Caprice leaned a little closer to him. "We'll serve you if you want so you can sample Nikki's food to see exactly how delicious it is. But I don't think you want a scene here any more than she does. That could be bad for business, and business is what you're all about, isn't it?"
She didn't know what had made her throw that question in. But when she saw the look on Drew's face, she understood this wasn't just about business. There was something personal underlying his rancor for Nikki. Still, she must have gotten through to him.
He took a step back from the food and her sister. "Good luck, Nikki. You're going to need it, because I'm going to cut your business off at the knees."
After that shot, he turned and headed for the front door.
Everyone around Nikki went back to what they'd been doing and pretended they hadn't heard anything. But Nikki knew better and she looked upset.
"I knew you two were competing, but I didn't realize he nursed a vendetta against you. What gives?" Caprice asked.
Nikki lowered her voice. "It's more than professional. You're right. He made a pass at me before I turned him down as a partner. I had already turned him down as a love interest. I think that rejection really bothered him. Rejected by me both ways, he decided to try to wipe out my business. But he can't. My food's better than his. He's an efficient cook and he'll do fine at catering, but I don't think he has the creative spark to make his dishes really special. I'm determined to show him up next Sunday."
"What's next Sunday?" Caprice asked, thinking about her schedule.
"It's the wedding expo. Area bakeries, caterers, photographers, dress shops, and flower stores are going to be showing their wares. I'll have sample menus for couples planning their wedding and food they can taste. Drew will too. But mine's going to be better."
Of course it was. Nicoletta De Luca could rise to any challenge. Couldn't she?
* * *
Caprice sat with her sister Bella on a bench in the front yard of their childhood home the following evening, eating a slice of cake. The weather couldn't have been more perfect as dusk shadowed the lawn.
"You outdid yourself with the coconut cake this time, and the fluffy icing is wonderful. I don't think I have your recipe. You're going to have to e-mail it to me."
"I know coconut cake is Mom's favorite and she doesn't make it much for herself because Dad would rather have chocolate. Just like Joe and the kids. No palate at all."
Caprice laughed. Her sister Bella was nothing but blunt. With her curly black hair, sparkling brown eyes, and heart-shaped face, she'd always been a beauty. She was two years younger than Caprice but usually felt she knew best and never hesitated to give advice. She was the married sibling, and with a husband, three kids, a part-time job, and a burgeoning online business making costumes and christening outfits for kids, she was one busy lady.
"We have a house showing tomorrow night. Keep your fingers crossed," Bella pleaded.
When Bella and Joe had decided to sell their home and look for something to fit their growing family, Caprice had staged the home for them.
"I'll do better than crossing my fingers. I'll visualize the right couple finding your house."
After a few moments of comfortable sister silence, Bella nudged Caprice's arm. "Look at Mom with Benny."
Their mom sat on a lawn chair under a red maple, holding Bella's five-month-old son. Caprice could see he was almost asleep.
"Since Megan and Timmy are out of school," Bella explained, "I'm working only evenings at All About You. That way Joe can stay with the kids on those nights. Mom said she'd come over a few mornings and babysit Benny to give me time to sew costumes and christening outfits. I'm keeping up with the orders as long as I have blocks of time at the machine."
Bella's costume business was taking off. At some point, she might stop working at All About You, a dress shop that Caprice's best friend, Roz Winslow, owned. With her degree in fashion design, Bella worked there part-time, and it was a good fit for now. Roz was dating Caprice's brother, Vince, and Caprice didn't see either of them in the front yard. That didn't surprise her. They might have snuck around back to make out. Never too old to steal a few kisses.
Her gaze targeted Grant Weatherford, who was tossing a soccer ball to five-year-old Megan and nine-year-old Timmy, Bella's older children. Her heart did a little flip-flop when he caught her eye and smiled in that way he had of making her feel special. They'd been dating for about two months and, in spite of herself, she was dreaming about a future with him.
Suddenly Caprice's cocker spaniel, Lady, came running up to her, wound around her leg, and then settled on her foot. Patches was Grant's cocker, not golden like Lady but with patches of brown and white in a curlier coat. He scampered over too, followed by Caprice's uncle Dom. Her uncle had experienced a divorce and a financial downturn and was living with her parents temporarily until he got back on his feet. He and her family had had their differences, but he seemed to be at peace with them now, especially with Nana, her paternal grandmother, who was sitting on the porch in the shade talking to Nikki and watching them all.
Her uncle Dom, her dad's younger brother, grinned down at her. "A man doesn't need to go to a gym when he has dogs to chase."
Patches sniffed at Bella's white sneaker. She moved her foot and then got to her feet. "I'll let you enjoy your hairy companions."
Bella tolerated animals, but she wasn't a lover of them like Caprice, Grant, and her uncle.
Uncle Dom pushed his tortoiseshell-framed oval glasses higher on his nose and lowered himself onto the bench, stooping down to rub Patches's ear. She knew the dog liked to be scratched there, and apparently her uncle had discovered that too.
"How's the job hunt?" she asked him.
He grimaced. "I have two interviews lined up, one with a bank and another with an insurance agency. I never thought I'd be an insurance salesman, but it's something people need."
Her uncle had worked for a large financial agency that had collapsed with the economic downturn. He was having trouble finding a job in that sector. Even if he could, she wasn't sure he was enthusiastic about it. He definitely wasn't enthusiastic about becoming an insurance salesman.
"Tell me something, Uncle Dom. What do you love to do? What have you always wanted to do?" She was a big believer in putting your heart in your work for your life path to be a success. Bella was doing that with her online costume-making business, and orders were pouring in. Caprice had done that when she'd turned from interior decorating to house staging for high-end clients. She'd needed to turn something she loved into a business that would work in the present economy. Nikki invested her heart in her cooking. Her mom threw her heart into her teaching. Her dad, a mason, had put his life into building structures he could be proud of. She knew Vince and Grant cared about their clients in their law partnership. Yep, to be a success, you had to do what you loved to do.
Her uncle thought about her question for a moment, then motioned to Patches and Lady. "I've always wanted to tend to animals. Being around Lady and your cats has brought that home again. But I'm a little old to be a veterinarian."
"You're never too old if that's what you want to do. But you could tend to animals in another way."
"And that is?" he asked with a raised brow.
"Have you ever thought about being a pet sitter? I use one at times, and I have clients who would like to have their pets taken care of in their homes. They can't find someone to do it. To really make it a business, you'd have to be bonded and insured. But that's possible, isn't it?"
Her uncle studied the dogs again, patted Patches at his feet, and then nodded. "I never thought about pet sitting. But, you know, I think I'd like it."
"I can give you the name of the pet sitter I use who lives in York, if you'd like to interview her. That might give you an idea of whether you want to do it or not. Do you have your phone on you? I can give you her number."
After her uncle took out his phone and entered the number, Grant approached them. He nodded to her uncle. "Thanks for giving the dogs a run."
"Anytime," her uncle responded, rising to his feet. He gave Caprice's arm a squeeze. "Thanks for your idea. I'll let you know what I decide."
Once her uncle had moved off and joined her dad and Bella's husband, Joe, in conversation, Grant asked, "Are you ready to leave? We could go back to your place for a while."
There was a look in his eyes that told her he wanted to be someplace private with her. Maybe they'd have a make-out session of their own.
* * *
An hour later, Caprice brought tall glasses of iced tea into her living room. Grant stood at the floor-to-ceiling, turquoise-carpeted cat tree. As he petted her white Persian named Mirabelle, who was on a lower shelf, he studied Sophia, her long-haired calico, who was on the top shelf.
He said to Sophia, "I'm glad to see you two are getting along now." He glanced at Caprice. "Do they still squabble?"
"Now and then. Mostly if Mirabelle wants to be friendly and Sophia doesn't want to be bothered. But considering Mirabelle's been here only two and a half months, they're doing well."
She nodded to Lady and Patches, who were gnawing on toys near the sofa. "Mirabelle still stays out of Lady's way, but she doesn't seem scared of her anymore. And look at her. She doesn't even mind Patches being here."
Grant came to join Caprice on the sofa. It was striped in purple and lime and fuchsia to complement the sixties decor, including a lava lamp.
As he sat beside her — very close beside her — she took a sip of tea and then placed the sweating glass on the mosaic-topped coffee table. She hadn't turned the air on because the night breeze floated in the open windows.
"Dinner at your mom and dad's is always like a family reunion," he mused.
"That's why we do it once a month, whether there's a special occasion or not. Everybody enjoys going all-out — Nikki's antipasto, Nana's ravioli, Bella's lima bean casserole and cake, my bread, Vince's choice of wine."
"The weather was perfect for the kids to play outside afterward."
Kids were sometimes a sore subject with Grant, though he tried not to let it show. He'd experienced a tragedy in his past. His daughter had drowned, and his marriage had broken up because of it. When he'd moved to Kismet to join her brother's law practice — she and her family had gotten to know him when he'd been her brother's college roommate — he'd started a new life. Yet he really hadn't been ready to move on. It had been only in the past few months that Caprice had felt he was putting the past behind him ... or not regretting it as much.
"Megan and Timmy can be a handful," she agreed. "It's great when they can be outdoors to release some of that energy. Just wait until Benny joins in the fray."
Apparently wanting to leave the subject of children, Grant changed the direction of their conversation. "Last night at Grocery Fresh, I ran into a client who'd stopped in at your open house."
Excerpted from Silence of the Lamps 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
Kept me going all the way to the end! Love the cooking and puppy trainin Another great story! Kept me going all the way to the end with a surprise ending! Love the cooking and puppy training tips all throughout the story! The author paints beautiful pictures making it easy to see the setting!
Silence of the Lamps is the fifth book #5 in the Caprice De Luca mystery series but you can easily read this as a stand alone mystery. It is fun to read them all and find out about the previous mysteries she has solved. Caprice is a home stager and interior decorator who just happens to stumble upon dead bodies. Because they live in a relatively small town, the suspect usually includes a friend or relative of Caprice, so she can't help but get involved in solving the crime. In this book, her sister Nikki was not a friend of the victim and had recently had a public argument with him about stealing one of her recipes. They were both caterers in direct competition with one another. Caprice begins asking questions and nosing around. The more she finds out, the suspect list grows exponentially. Drew had a lot of enemies. Can she solve the crime before her sister is the prime suspect and gets arrested? One of the things I love about this series is the relationship between the DeLuca family members. The interactions between Caprice and her sisters is so realistic you almost feel like part of the family. Their personal lives are a large part of the story as well. Their love lives, friendships, careers and experiences help make the story realistic. The mystery story line moved quickly although there were far too many suspects for me to keep track of. The ending was totally unexpected, but you could go back and see hints along the way. Another great addition to this series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Title: Silence of the Lamps-Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Book 5 Author: Karen Rose Smith Published: 4-26-2016 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 352 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuths ISBN: 13: 9781617737725 ASIN: B0138NHG52 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.5 Stars I received a copy of "Silence of the Lamps" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Description Business has never been better for home stager Caprice De Luca, but her personal life could stand a few renovations. Just when she thought things were getting serious with her boyfriend Grant, his pretty ex-wife swoops into town and nabs his attention. Uncle Dom is living with her parents and desperately needs a new job. And her sister Nikki's catering business is threatened when rival Drew Pierson starts eating away at her share of the market. Things could not possibly get more chaotic when Drew is found bludgeoned to death by one of his grandmother's antique Tiffany lamps--and Nikki is the number one suspect. Now, Caprice must act fast to illuminate the truth and clear her sister's name--before a cold-blooded killer puts her lights out next… My Review: Caprice's sister, Nicki, is the suspect in the Murder of her personal adversary who was out to ruin her and her business. Caprice will stop at nothing to clear her sister by finding the real killer. Karen Rose Smith has written, Caprice, Nicki and the others with individual personalities, flaws and quirks to keep the reader wanting to read on to learn more about the characters. She gives descriptions of events oan places to allow the reader to imagine themselves involved in the scenes. I fell in love with cozy mysteries years ago and have been lucky enough to find a few authors I can call my favorites. I enjoy the way Karen Rose Smith writes her stories that always leave me with a smile on my face and my imagination rich with new scenes to relive. Take a moment to check her and other cozy authors if you have not read any before. I have rated "Silence of the Lamps" a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I hope other readers find it as much a fun read as I do.
This time Caprice gets into danger slightly less foolishly--she really should get a PI license! Like she said in the book, animal rescue and house staging are her loves and Caprice is very good at both! I do like the other story lines that are woven into the mystery. Uncle Dom and Halo the Cat are winners! Each book has gotten better!
I love well plotted cozy mysteries, particularly those with a delightful array of animals. Thus, it’s no surprise that Silence of the Lamps gets my approval. This page turner of a mystery has plenty of surprises for the reader. But that isn’t the only thing to recommend it. Part of what makes Karen Rose Smith’s mysteries a pleasure to read is the human element. Caprice has a large, loving, and complex family. While the mystery keeps the reader guessing, it is the array of characters that keep readers returning time and again. Caprice’s caring and empathy shine in her efforts to help others, both animals and human. These characteristics also make her a good investigator. In Silence of the Lamps, murder hits close to home. When Drew Pierson, an employee turned rival is discovered dead, Caprice’s sister Nikki is the prime suspect. With her sister in danger of being arrested, Caprice immediately starts her own investigation, swiftly discovering that Drew Pierson had many enemies. But which of these is the killer? What more could a mystery lover want? - a cleverly plotted mystery, caring, likable characters, wonderful cats and dogs, and many happy resolutions. I didn’t even mention the recipes at the end. 5/5 I received a copy of Silence of the Lamps from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. —Crittermom
Silence of the Lamps by Karen Rose Smith (A Caprice De Luca Mystery) by Karen Rose Smith do review of this book Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery #5 Cats, dogs, recipes and murder too! SILENCE OF THE LAMPS Caprice's house staging is disrupted by Drew Pierson, a caterer who opened Portable Edibles, a business in direct competition with her sister Nikki's Catered Capers. Nikki turned down Drew as a possible partner and he seems determined to undermine and bury her. However his successful launch of a deal for his blackberry barbecue sauce must have stirred up his enemies. When Nikki visits the house where Drew lives with his grandmother to resolve differences, she and Caprice find him dead--murdered with the base of a valuable Tiffany lamp. Caprice discovers clues about Drew's sly business dealings--from stealing recipes from another chef, to friends who hold grudges, to a sister who will now inherit half of her grandmother's estate since Drew is dead. In the midst of her own romantic relationship upheaval, helping her uncle set up his pet sitting-business, assisting a friend care for a pregnant stray cat, Caprice follows the suspect trail, inadvertently putting herself in danger once more. this is Caprice De Luca and Grant Weatherford and her sister,Nikki’s story. Caprice De Luca is an interior designer turned home stager. Nikki founded her catering company, Nikki's Catered Caper. Grant Weatherford is a lawyer. Drew Pierson is a sous chef, Drew is Nikki’s ex-suitor. Caprice is determined to uncover who murdered Drew Pierson? read this wonderful well written book book to find out? Silence of the Lamps by Karen Rose Smith is a 5 stars book. I highly recommend this book! I am looking forward to reading more books by Karen Rose Smith. STAGED TO DEATH, Book 1 DEADLY DECOR, Book 2 GILT BY ASSOCIATION, Book 3 DRAPE EXPECTATIONS, Book 4 SILENCE OF THE LAMPS, Book 5 SHADES OF WRATH, Book 6
The Caprice De Luca Home Staging series is perfect for anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, and no explicit scenes or profanity will be found. Although Silence of the Lamps can stand alone, I recommend reading the series in order for a better sense of character development. Familiar characters put in an appearance, Caprice’s sister, Nikki, is linked to the murder victim, and there’s an unexpected wrinkle in Caprice’s relationship with Grant, from which she learns some important lessons in trust. I look for character depth in what I read and that is one of my favorite things about this series – because that’s not always something you find in mysteries. Caprice is a totally loveable character, aptly described by the term “free spirit” … She’s extremely knowledgeable and talented at interior design and staging high-end homes, her dress is colorfully retro, she has a deep love and nurturing spirit for animals, and family means the world to her. I got a kick when she told a friend that dressing in her retro style gave her lots more from which to choose, and she’s right! The mystery plot is well developed and, rather than being filled with suspenseful action, involves the logical, step-by-step questioning of potential suspects – a style that I enjoy very much. I’ve come to know Caprice, her Italian family, love interests, and pets more with each book, which makes me eagerly anticipate beginning a new story. Karen gives occasional descriptions of home staging and tidbits about pets, all of which I found interesting and enriching to the story. Karen is a rescuer of cats herself, and I love how that passion shines through in all that she writes. Silence of the Lamps is a true “comfort” read for me and I highly recommend it, as well as the whole series, to all who enjoy cozy mysteries. Within the cozy mystery genre, 5 stars. Thank you to Karen and Kensington Publishing for providing a electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
If you love Cozies, then The Silence of the Lamps is for you! Smith once again takes us around Kismet with Caprice and her fur babies. And of course her family! Caprice and her sister, Nikki, find the body of Nikki's ex-employee, and current business rival, there's a chance that the focus of the investigation will be on Nikki. So Caprice sets out to find the killer and clear her sister. There are lovely new fur babies - you'll meet Halo, the sweet tortoiseshell, who will steal your heart, and there are new recipes to try. All while Caprice stages lovely homes for sale!
‘Silence of the Lamps’ is my favorite Caprice De Luca mystery so far! The fifth in series, I connected with Caprice in ways that I hadn’t in the earlier mysteries. Among what I like about Caprice is her love of color and retro designs which has put her ahead of the competition in her home staging business. Remembering fine details of furnishings is pure Caprice, as in one scene in particular one sees her eye for recognizing various pieces as original or copies of the original. Most especially, I appreciate her love of cats and dogs and how she rescues and finds homes for them. In ‘Silence of the Lamps’, the author introduces us to another of her own rescue cats through Caprice; there are both similarities and differences between the two rescued pets. One will read pet care information woven gently into the pages to perhaps encourage pet owners, and help loving pet owners become even better pet owners. Pet owners will enjoy this series, as both pups and kits to add to the story. One thing that resonated this time is the vulnerability that Caprice demonstrates as opposed to the security usually reflected by the overall happy young woman. Who you see with Caprice is who you get; she is not duplicitous. Early in the novel, we find Caprice and her sister Nikki at a wedding expo. Nikki and her catering crew are providing samples of foods that could be catered to a wedding, including her new spin on an old favorite for a wedding cake. They see Drew, who once worked for Nikki and has since started his own catering business. Not only is he trying to take her customers, but one of the recipes he has out for sampling is Nikki’s. Nikki and Caprice went to Drew’s grandmother’s home where he was staying as Nikki wanted to have a polite discussion about business. Unfortunately when the sisters arrived, the door was open, and they find Drew murdered. Caprice could not stand by and see her sister accused of murder, and began to ask a few questions. Then, when Drew‘s grandmother asked Caprice for help, she was ready to go against the advice of her boyfriend, Grant and her brother, Vince, who are law partners. Sadly, the more she asked questions about Drew, the more she learned that was negative about him; he had used and abused most of the people in his life. Nikki knew so little about Drew personally that it seemed like they were beginning from square one, without the advantage of the forensics available to the police. The plot is incredibly well-written and executed! There are twists and a red herring or two that keep readers on their toes. The novel started out at a good rate of speed and increased throughout, making it hard to put down. The suspense increases exponentially even as the risk to Caprice and to Drew’s grandmother increases. The ending was satisfying for every area of concern, and I am looking forward to the next. I highly recommend ‘Silence of the Lamps’ to every cozy mystery lover who enjoys home décor, modern female sleuths, those who love cats and dogs, and a bit of romance to sweeten the story. With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Karen Rose Smith's Silence of the Lamps Grant, Grant….What are you going to do? Stay with Caprice who you told to trust you or workout issues with your ex-wife and leave Caprice alone??? While Caprice De Luca is facing this issue, she is investigating who murdered Drew Pierson, once an employee of her sister , Nikki De Luca. Drew is trying to take business away from Nikki. He has turned into a formidable rival. Nikki and Caprice discover Drew dead at his house. Who would have killed him? When Nikki becomes the main suspects, Caprice dives into solving the murder. She finds a lot of colorful, well defined suspects. Which one was responsible? This book is the fifth on in A Caprice De Luca Mystery Series. It can be read as a stand alone. You will find intrigue, suspense, suspects, humor, family values, forgiveness, the awaited romantic decision and great food with recipes at the end of the story. The author cat “ Halo” makes a cameo appearance. Come spend some time in Kismet, Pennsylvania with the De Luca family, friends, dogs and cats for very enjoyable reading. Thanks to Net Gallery, Kensington Publishing and the author for the eBook. My opinion is my own
Great Book! This is a great book; this is the fifth book in the Caprice De Luca Mystery series by Karen Rose Smith. Caprice De Luca is a home stager and business has never been better. This book can be read as a standalone but once you read one book you will want to go back and read the other books in this series. Her sister Nikki’s catering business is threatened when a competitor Drew Pierson moves to town. When Drew is found bludgeoned to death, Nikki becomes the primary suspect. Caprice puts her sleuthing skills to the test to find out what really happened. If you are looking for a great book then you need to read this one. I am looking forward to the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Caprice De Luca, home stager and her sister Nikki a caterer seem to have a great business going for them. That is until chef Drew Pierson, who used to work for Nikki.. Once again Drew displays the mean ways that got him fired before. Now Drew happens to be Nikki's biggest competitor. Caprice is a Smart, sassy young lady who juggles her business, lending a hand to Nikki, and dealing with her loving family. 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.
Silence of the Lamps is the fifth book in the Caprice De Luca mystery series. I have had the pleasure of reading each and every book in this series. I have loved each one! I believe that this one is the best. I say that because each of the characters has grown throughout the series into wonderful additions. The author, Karen Rose Smith makes you feel like they are your neighbors and friends. The detail she writes in describing the houses that are being staged is amazing. She goes into such detail about the types of furniture and decor i can't imagine the amount of research that goes into each of these books. Caprice's business as a home stager is growing leaps and bounds. Her sisters catering business is also doing well until Drew threatens Niki and try's to take away her clients. All of this takes place at a Bridal Expo where there are a lot of witnesses. Unfortunately Drew ends up dead and guess who finds the body? Yep, Caprice and Niki. They find him dead on the floor of his grandmothers house. Niki had gone there to finally challenge Drew but instead becomes the prime suspect in his murder. The police have told Caprice to stand down and let them handle things. We all know Caprice and know that that is never going to happen and she ends up smack dab in the middle of the investigation. On top of all of this she thinks things are getting hot and heavy in her relationship with Grant when the bottom falls out. His ex wife shows up and Caprice can't help but reflect on her past with men and shut down. What will happen with them? Will it be Deja vu for Caprice and Grant go back to his ex or will he choose Caprice??? I loved all of the twists and turns and suspense in this book. It will have you wanting to keep reading till the wee hours saying, just one more chapter. I totally enjoy this series and can't wait to see what happens next.
Silence of the Lamps is the fifth book in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery series penned by Karen Rose Smith. I believe this is the best book in this series to date! The main character, Caprice De Luca, is an interior designer turned home stager, with an uncanny ability to help solve whodunits. This series is set in the small town of Kismet, PA. With Caprice’s sister, Nikki, catering themed foods to accompany each home showing, Caprice's staging business is thriving. Her relationship with lawyer, Grant Weatherford, has grown into one of true companionship. To complete her “family”, Caprice has several pets; a cocker spaniel, Lady, and two cats, Mirabelle and Sophia. When Nikki founded her catering company, Nikki's Catered Caper's, she hired a sous chef, Drew Pierson. Although Drew was initially charming, that business relationship failed. Drew established his own competing catering company, and outbid Nikki on an upcoming wedding reception. He, also, made a grand appearance at the wedding expo they both are attending. Before long Nikki realized Drew is passing off one of her recipes (and other individuals) as his own at the expo. Nikki decided to confront Drew but, Caprice and Nikki found is his dead body at his grandmother's house, Nikki quickly becomes the primary suspect. Caprice is determined to prove Nikki’s innocence. In the midst of this mess, Grant’s ex-wife enters the picture. Will Caprice put the pieces together and determine whodunit? Will her relationship with Grant survive the turmoil? Will Caprice become the next victim? Will Vince and Roz and/or Dulcina and Rod further their individual relationships? Will Caprice and Uncle Dom find a loving home for a cat named Halo? You will have to read the book to learn the answers to these questions. All of the characters are fully developed in this superbly written plot and subplots. Ms. Smith has skillfully integrated mystery, suspense, and romance. I’ve had the opportunity to read all of the books in this series. This series take has grown and the characters and plots have continually developed. Each book can be read as a stand-alone, but I suggest that you read them in order. That makes it much easier to follow the family relationships that are referenced in the books and to keep track of the other characters. This installment has intrigue, suspense, suspects, humor, family values, cute animals, forgiveness, romance, great food with delicious recipes that complement the story and an introduction to the next book in the series. I highly recommend this, along with the other books in this series, you will not be disappointed. I’m delighted to know there will be another addition to this series titled Shades of Wrath and eagerly await its release. Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed in this review are my own.
Silence of the Lamps by Karen Rose Smith is the fifth book in the Caprice De Luca series. Caprice's sister, Nikki owns Nikki's Catered Capers. She has been having trouble with Drew Pierson. Drew used to work with Nikki until she spurned his advances and did not want him to become her partner. He is now out to make her life miserable and shut down her business. Nikki and Drew had a heated exchange at an open house that Caprice was staging. Then another incident at the local wedding expo. Nikki goes over to Drew's house (actually he lives with his grandmother, Rowena) to talk to him with Caprice and they find Drew dead on the floor. A beautiful Tiffany lampshade is nearby and the base is missing (I wonder what killed him). Nikki ends up being at the top of the suspect list (of course). Caprice will do anything she can to clear her sister's name (as expected). Caprice (despite warnings from loved one's) is determined to find the real killer. Join us is Kismet for another Caprice investigation and her intriguing vintage fashions. Silence of the Lamps was my least favorite book in the series (which I have really enjoyed up to this point). The novel contained very little mystery. The clues were not provided until before the killer was revealed (not that you really need the clues to solve the crime). The focus of this book seemed to be on Caprice and her relationship with Grant, the animals (a cat that needed rescued, Lady and Patches), Uncle Dom becoming a pet sitter, and Caprice's constant need for someone to watch her dog (which I really do not understand). I read cozy mysteries for the (you are going to be shocked) the mystery! Silence of the Lamps is nicely written and easy to read (it had a good flow as well). The characters are interesting, and I enjoy Caprice's unique style of dress and decorating (vintage). I give Silence of the Lamps 3 out of 5 stars. If this novel just had more mystery (clues, investigation) and less about finding pet sitters, I would love it. I received a complimentary copy of Silence of the Lamps from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
Caprice De Luca is eagerly awaiting prospective buyers to view a home for sale that she has worked hard to stage to perfection. She is surprised to find chef Drew Pierson, archenemy to her sister, Nikki among the visitors. Drew is the owner of Portable Edibles and a competitor to Nikki’s catering company called Catered Capers. Caprice’s staging talents combined with Nikki’s catering talents at a house showing usually ends with a quick sale. Drew immediately begins making petty and disparaging remarks about Nikki’s food offerings and her business in general. Their animosity started after Nikki turned Drew down to join her business and his passes to be her boyfriend. The man is a braggart and Nikki knows he copied and used some of her recipes calling them his own. Caprice has a large, close-knit family who all live nearby one another. Caprice’s other sister, Bella, is pretty, married, mom to three and also a good cook. Good cooks run in the family. Grant Weatherford is a guy who makes Caprice’s heart go pitter-patter. Grant and his wife divorced after they lost their daughter. Caprice and Grant are good friends but Caprice would like to see it go a bit further than just friends. But she is not sure where Grant stands when he tells her that his ex-wife is coming to town for a week and they plan to spend some time together and talk. Unsure if that means there is a chance they may get back together or not, Caprice graciously says she understands. Caprice has two cats named Mirabelle and Sophia, plus a dog named Lady. She is a good pet mom and takes very good care of her pets keeping them safe. If she has to be away for an evening, she will usually leave Lady with her Mom. When Drew Pierson is found dead and Caprice and Nikki are the ones to discover his body at the home of the woman who raised him, the police begin to suspect Nikki as she and Drew did not have a good relationship. Drew had been hit over the head with a blunt object. Caprice knows that there are two beautiful Tiffany lamps in the home thinks they are originals and very valuable. She notices that the base of one of the lamps is missing and wonders if that could have been the murder weapon. As Caprice has been inadvertently involved in solving other murders, the police are leery of her and ask her to stay out of the investigation. But that goes against her nature and she can’t help but put clues together. As she uncovers more information, she finds herself in danger and closer to discovering who the murderer is. This is a very good book with lots of events that add clues and make the reader really think. The identity of the murderer surprised me in the end. I know others will be going “hummmmm” as they read the book. I must add that I loved how nice and clean this book is. Well done, Karen Rose Smith! Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley
I have read every book in this series so it is no surprise that I was excited to pick up this book. It had a lot of strong points and was a pretty good read. I only gave it 4 stars because it didn't cover as much as I would have liked about Caprice and Grants relationship. I felt that I needed a complete resolution to happened between some of the characters. I'm sure some of those answers will be in the next book, which I will happily purchase.
Caprice DeLuca is in the middle of an open house when her sister Nikki's nemesis and business rival, Drew Pierson, shows up and interrupts the event with some taunting words to Nikki and threatening her business before several guests. Drew use to work for Nikki and when she refused to go into partnership with him, Drew did all he could to undermine Nikki. Now it seems both are going to be in the Wedding Expo to advertise their wares and hopefully grow their business. It seems many of his recipes may not be his own as he shows up at the expo with the same dish as Nikki, which was her original recipe. When she and Caprice find Drew's body in his grandmother's house, an apparent victim of a homicide, Nikki is high on the suspect list . Caprice is busy trying to find the killer before her sister, Nikki, gets charged with it and at the same time, has to deal with her new boyfriend, Grant, and the fact his ex-wife has showed up and Grant is spending time with her. Will Caprice be able to solve this mystery and settle things with Grant,or will she another victim? This is another well written and entertaining read from Karen Rose Smith. The characters are well drawn and the mystery was great. There were a few possible suspects to choose from and I didn't know until the end who it was. I love this series not to mention the mouth watering recipes by the author that are included at the end of each of the books. If you are a fan of cozy mysteries, then I recommend this series. **Please note: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
I received an ARC of Silence of the Lamps. This is the fifth book in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery series. I have read all the books in this series, and, I have enjoyed each one more than the previous one. Caprice and her family and friends are described so well that it's easy to visualize each one as the story unfolds. As in the rest, there's a murder and someone near to Caprice is under suspicion. The plot never takes a straight shot from crime to solution. Of course, Caprice did help solve this latest murder mystery, but the reader was kept guessing through the entire book. This latest book contains a number of turns and there was a surprise secondary issue or two as well. The path to true love isn't smooth and easy for Caprice and Grant. There may be a new man in the life of Caprice's sister, Nikki. Her uncle Dom is working on a new career. I'm looking forward to these relationships and career challenges becoming more developed in future books. This continues to be one of my favorite series to read and I always look forward to each new book.
Caprice De Luca is a compassionate woman. She loves her family, her animals and Grant. Could her life get any better? There is one talent Caprice has that scares everyone. She's able to solve murders. She fights for justice even if she puts herself in danger. When she and her sister discover Drew Pierson's body, Caprice is determined to find who killed Nikki's nemesis. They were competitors and Drew had vowed to destroy her sister. Now Nikki is a suspect. Caprice is a compelling character. I love that has her own unique style. She's a true friend and a loving person. I like that she cares for strays and works to find them a forever home. Her relationship with Grant is new and Caprice is unsure of herself. I wish that she had more faith in his intentions. I love the small town setting. It feels good. This mystery is well plotted and filled with plenty of suspects. Drew had many enemies. I was caught off guard by the ending. It was completely unexpected. Karen Rose Smith pulled me into the story with the well-defined characters and the compelling story. I never miss a Caprice De Luca Mystery. An added bonus is the delicious recipes. I received a copy in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
SILENCE OF THE LAMPS is sure to light up your reading life. Author Karen Rose Smith’s Caprice De Luca Home Staging mysteries have been a very welcome addition to the cozy mystery genre ever since book one, STAGED TO DEATH. I’ve enjoyed following this group of characters from the beginning. Ms. Smith has really let them grow, and evolve, bringing out new layers in each one of them with every book. SILENCE OF THE LAMPS may just be the best in the series so far (It’s hard to pick only one). With it’s terrific storyline, packed with action, intrigue, and humor, this book is solid page turner! Pick up a copy of SILENCE OF THE LAMPS, find a quiet spot, and prepare to be illuminated. Remember to check out the back of the book for tasty recipes, and excerpt SHADES OF WRATH, coming December 2016!
I enjoyed this installment of this fun cozy series. The author created such a believable scenario that it was quite easy to disappear into the story and become wrapped up in murder and mystery. The plot was interesting and I was kept guessing until the very end. I look forward to reading more in this series. I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
When Caprice's sister began her catering business, she had tried working with another chef, Drew Pierson, to help with all the cooking tasks. But soon she realized that despite his initial charm, it was not going to work out. Drew retaliated by opening up his own competing catering business, most recently winning the bid on an upcoming wedding reception. Caprice is concerned when he also appears at the wedding expo they both are attending. But when Nikki finds out Drew is passing off one of her recipes as his own at the expo, she decides to have it out with him. Unfortunately, what she finds instead is his dead body. With Nikki one of the prime suspects in Drew's murder, Caprice once again begins to nose around to find out who else has a motive. But this time, she does it with a heavy heart, since Grant's ex-wife is in town, and he has decided to spend some time with her. Does this mean the end of their relationship? I enjoy this mystery series and find enough twists and turns in the murder to keep guessing until the end. The characters, including animal pets, are enjoyable. As a fan of the author, I also follow her on Facebook and her blog. I was therefore delighted to find that she has incorporated Halo and her kittens into this story. I also anticipate, based on the snippet from the next book in the series, that the beloved Sunnybud will also become immortalized in print. Kudos to Karen Rose Smith for this. She truly brings these stories to life for her loyal fans. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Another winner in the Caprice De Luca series by Karen Rose Smith. Caprice is trying to make certain her sister’s name is cleared when a rival is murdered. This involves dealing with many people in her hometown who have connections with her family. All while running her home staging business, having her boyfriend re-connect with his ex-wife, and rescuing a stray cat. One of the things I like about Karen Rose Smith’s work is that it is pretty true to life. From romantic tangles that are realistic, to the research done into fashion, home staging, and pets and rescue work. The characters are real and the reader feels like part of the group. Personally, I need Nana in my life. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.