SLAY BELLS RING – Karen Rose Smith
A Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery , Book 7
Present Day Kismet, Pennsylvania
The holidays are coming, and Christmas makes a natural theme for the house Caprice De Luca is currently staging for sale. It's a lovely old house presently owned by a popular family in town. Chris Merriweather builds toys in his workshop and sells them in his shop. He also plays Santa every Christmas. But Chris's wife Sara worries about him. She doesn't understand his wanting to sell their home, and he seems to have something weighing on his mind. Perhaps it has something to do with his recent trip to Washington, D.C. for an annual reunion with other Vietnam veterans? Sara confides in Caprice whose father is also a Vietnam vet and a good friend of Chris's.
Kismet is a small town where secrets are hard to keep, and everyone wants to know them all. Soon the question of the day is who would want to kill Santa Clause . . . and why?
Caprice can't help herself; she has to start asking questions. With her large family and her many contacts, she has sources the police do not, and she has unofficially helped to solve more than one murder in the past.
If you have read any of the Caprice De Luca books, you will be glad to catch up with the large cast of characters that includes cats and dogs. (Caprice is a magnet for stray and needy animals.) Relationships are very important, and you'll also want to catch up with a romance or two, especially the one between Caprice and her brother's law partner, Grant Weatherford.
Ms. Smith is a prodigious writer who writes traditional romances as well as cozy mysteries; all have warmth and family. I've never found anything uncomfortable as she leads us through the steps of falling in love or solving a mystery.
Though I hope for more of this series, I'll be watching for a new cozy mystery series starting next January with MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES. If you haven't read any of Ms. Smith's work, I urge you to check out karenrosesmith.com . If you have read her, then you know what I'm talking about.