A Thousand Steps

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Friday, August 3, 2018

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Staged To Death by Karen Rose Smith- Feature and Review

Cozy mystery, Book 1 in the Caprice DeLuca home-stager mystery series

Caprice DeLuca stages houses for high-end clients. When she discovers a body in the castle-mansion she staged to sell and starts asking questions, she finds herself in danger. On the way to solving the murder, Caprice's large Italian family helps and hinders. She also finds romance with Dr. Seth Randolph. But does her brother's partner, attorney Grant Weatherford, care about her, too? Or is he just worried she'll get herself killed and her family will blame him?



Staged to Death (Caprice De Luca Mystery #1)Staged to Death by Karen Rose Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Staged to Death by Karen Rose Smith is a 2015 Kensington publication.

I enjoy a good cozy mystery from time to time but it's been a while since I found a series I really, really liked. This one just might fit the bill. This is the first book in the series and it's off to a wonderful start!

When Roz and her husband, Ted, decided too sell their spacious castle style home, Caprice is hired to do a 'staging' to help the property sell. However, Roz and Caprice can not convince Ted to remove his collection of swords and daggers in time for the open house. But, when the ladies discover Ted murdered with his own dagger, suspicions fall on Roz. Caprice is convinced her friend did not kill her husband despite the fact he was having an affair. So, before Roz can be arrested for a crime she did not commit, Roz decides to do a little detective work on her own. Naturally, this is very dangerous and Caprice could find herself becoming the next murder victim.

Caprice and Roz discover Ted had been keeping quite a few secrets from Roz, not just his relationship with another woman, but also a great many issues at his job. But, the fact remains that Roz will need an attorney which puts Caprice back in touch with Grant, a guy she once had feelings for. But, Grant is a widower so he may not be quite ready for a relationship, so perhaps being just friends works best for them? Grant is not the only guy showing interest in Caprice though. Could there be a little romance in the air?

I really enjoyed reading about Caprice and her Italian family and all their dramas, quirks, and flaws. The staging job, while close to interior design, is a very important role for those who are wishing to sell a home.

You couldn't find a better friend in Caprice and her instincts for detective work are above average, but she does put herself in dangerous positions, so I could understand her family having concerns.

Plus, anyone who loves pets and is willing to take in strays and help them find a home gets my approval.

The story is written by the cozy mystery rule book with little violence, sexual content, and language. Some cozies as of late have begun to steer away from some this and that's a shame since many people love cozies for that very reason.

I also thought the characters felt real and Caprice is not silly or foolish like some amateur sleuths can be. In fact, I admired her loyalty, her intuitions, and the hard work she put into helping to find a murderer, but also the work she puts into being a good daughter, sister and friend, and pet owner. I wasn't sure about her love interest, but we will have to see how that plays out in the future. Either way I'm cheering her on! The story was light and easy to read with a compelling mystery, appealing characters, and some awesome recipes added at the end. This was a very enjoyable read.








Award-winning author Karen Rose Smith was born in Pennsylvania. Although she was an only child, she remembers the bonds of an extended family. Family is a strong theme in her books and she suspects her childhood memories are the reason.

In college, Karen began writing poetry and also met her husband to be. They both began married life as teachers, but when their son was born, Karen decided to try her hand at a home-decorating business.

She returned to teaching for a while but changes in her life led her to writing relationship novels. Now she writes romances as well as mysteries full time. Her first book was published in 1992; her 80th novel will be published in 2013. A winner of New Jersey's Golden Leaf Award in Short Contemporary Romance, Colorado Romance Writers Award Of Excellence for short contemporary, as well as the Phoenix Desert Rose Chapter's Golden Quill for Traditional Romance, she has also been honored with Cataromance.com's award for Best Special Edition and Washington Romance Writers Career Achievement Award. Her romances have made both the USA TODAY list and the Amazon Romance and Contemporary Romance Bestseller lists.

She has written for Meteor/Kismet, Kensington, Silhouette and Harlequin. Readers can contact Karen through her website, on Facebook (Karen Rose Smith Author) and on Twitter @ Karenrosesmith. 

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