THE SILENCE OF THE LAMPS Karen Rose Smith
A Caprice De Luca Mystery , Book 5
Kensington Books
ISBN: 978-1-6177-3772-5
May 2016
Cozy Mystery

Present Day Kismet, Pennsylvania

Caprice De Luca stages high-end homes for sale. After the owners declutter a house, she picks a theme that suits it and does her decorating thing with a flair. She then holds open house with her many realtor friends and their clients; her sister Nikki caters the affairs with delicious food. While holding an open house (themed French Country Flair) a rival chef of Nikki's shows up, one Drew Pierson, who is not above a bit of client stealing. Nikki later decides to confront Drew, and she and Caprice go to his grandmother's house where he has been living. Nikki enters first, but soon comes out upset after finding a bloody Drew lying on the floor inside. Caprice goes in and determines that Drew is dead and calls the police.

Caprice is no stranger to the detectives who show up. It's not the first murder she has been involved with. She was instrumental in clearing friends and other family members of murder charges. Now it looks as though Nikki is about to become a person of interest in this case. Detective Jones, especially, does not welcome Caprice's meddling. Her brother Vince, an attorney, warns her against it, as does Vince's law partner, Grant Weatherford, whom she has been seeing a lot of lately. But nothing stops the tenacious Caprice from helping her beloved sister or any other innocent. If the only way to do so is to find the guilty party, so be it . . .

With its many well-defined characters and their interesting interrelationships, its suspenseful plot, and touches of romance, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMPS is also a treat for the inner eye. Ms. Smith paints vivid pictures of the ways Caprice sets the scene and shows off Caprice's love of wearing retro clothing. The whole story flows smoothly and rapidly. I highly recommend THE SILENCE OF THE LAMPS. If this would be your first Caprice De Luca home staging mystery, it can be read as a stand-alone, but afterward, the earlier books in the series will still be fresh.

Jane Bowers