It is my pleasure to welcome Karen Rose Smith, author of the Caprice De Luca mysteries to the blog today.
The Best Places to Visit in my Cozy Town
by Karen Rose Smith
Since my sleuth Caprice loves animals and takes in strays, PERKY PAWS is one of her favorite businesses in Kismet to shop in. The shop is animal friendly. The front case carries an assortment of biscuits: peanut butter nuggets, gingerman-sized ginger biscuits, pumpkin biscuits, and cheese and bacon biscuits. Colorful dog cookies also decorate the case and are adorned with yogurt icing. Her pup, Lady, notices them, too, and stands at the case as if she expects one to jump out at her and she could eat it. At PERKY PAWS, Caprice can pick up anything she needs from a kitty bed to good food for her furry friends to eat.
BLUE MOON GRILLE
The BLUE MOON GRILLE holds memories for Caprice. She shared a romantic date there with Dr. Seth Randolph. The line for seating sometimes stretches through its reception area on the first floor of an arts and crafts mall and practically out the front door. Stairs lead to the second floor dining area and the deck outside. Chatter in the main dining room is loud sometimes around the bar but there is a gas fireplace that makes it cozy on wintry nights. Sliding glass doors open to the outside deck. There is always a vase of wildflowers on the tables. Black wrought iron chairs with rounded backs have cushy cushions tied to the backs and the seats. The glass-topped tables hold white placemats, silverware and crystal. The outside deck is lovely on a moonlit night. The night Seth and Caprice have dinner there, Seth arranges for a guitarist to play Caprice’s favorite music from the 60’s and 70’s. The restaurant is especially known for its huge soft pretzels with crab and cheese topping.
FRANCIS OF ASSISI CHURCH and GARDENS
The De Lucas are Catholic and Caprice’s faith is important to her. They attend Mass and other services at St. Francis of Assisi Church. Behind the church there is a garden with a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, who is considered the patron saint and protector of animals. Caprice’s admiration for St. Francis must play a part in her love for animals. Her sister calls her a “stray magnet” and she finds homes for the strays she takes in. When Caprice needs to think through a situation, she sometimes sits in the St. Francis garden. The statue always has seasonal flowers planted around it from daffodils and hyacinths in spring, to geraniums in summer to mums in the fall. It’s a peaceful and relaxing spot with a cement bench that fits three.
OLDER AND BETTER
Caprice is a retro girl. Her house was built in the 1950’s. She has decorated her house with 1950’s furniture and 1960’s colors. Her Nana Celia collected Fostoria crystal through the years and handed it down to Caprice’s mom. Caprice often uses antiques in house stagings. One of her favorite shops to peruse–from furniture to antique jewelry is OLDER AND BETTER owned by Isaac Hobbs. Isaac often gives Caprice important gossip and information about collectibles that helps her solve murder cases. In his shop she can weave in and out of primitive cupboards, pie safes, and hand carved rockers.
ALL ABOUT YOU
ALL ABOUT YOU is a unique dress shop opened by Caprice’s good friend Roz Winslow. In the first book of the series STAGED TO DEATH, Roz was a suspect in her husband’s murder investigation. Once all the dust settled, she decided to use her fashion sense to open a store where all women (not just those who are a size 2) can find fashions they like. In book 3, GILT BY ASSOCIATION, Caprice finds a forties style fuchsia dress for the Valentine’s Day dance.
All About You is located in what Kismet residents called Restoration Row. It is a street of row houses in an old section of town. Officially a developer named the street Bristol Row when his company refurbished the houses, sand blasting brick, refacing the fronts, putting siding over clapboard, adding black shutters, and making the street respectable once again. Roz rented one of the houses for All About You.
The store has an unusual layout, with two stories and separate rooms for specific types of fashions. The back entrance has an inside stairway with a chair lift for anyone disabled who wants to shop there. There is a ramp out back, too, for the first floor, and limited parking. Roz has gone to a lot of trouble to make this boutique exactly the way she wanted with women shoppers in mind.
You can read more about Caprice, her family and her penchant for solving murders in the Caprice De Luca Home-stager Mystery series—STAGED TO DEATH – December 2013, DEADLY DECOR – June 2014, and GILT BY ASSOCIATION – February 2015, DRAPE EXPECTATIONS – August 2015, all published by Kensington Books.
Meet the author
Award winning and best-selling author, Karen Rose Smith’s plots are all about emotion. She began writing in her early teens when she listened to music and created stories to accompany the songs. An only child, she spent a lot of time in her imagination and with books–Nancy Drew, Zane Gray, The Black Stallion and Anne of Green Gables. She dreamed of brothers and sisters and a big family like her mother and father came from. This is the root of her plotlines that include small communities and family relationships as part of everyday living. Residing in Pennsylvania with her husband and four rescued cats, she welcomes interaction with readers on Facebook at KarenRoseSmithBooks, on Twitter @karenrosesmith and through her website http://www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com.
Karen, thank you so much for joining us today. I loved learning more about Kismet. It certainly sounds like some place I would like to visit.
Gilt By Association
by Karen Rose Smith
Gilt by Association
(A Caprice DeLuca Mystery)
• Series: A Caprice DeLuca Mystery
• Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: Kensington (January 27, 2015)
• ISBN-13: 978-0758284884
Between training her new puppy, helping her sister with her baby, and searching for the perfect vintage dress for Kismet’s Valentine’s Day dance, home-stager Caprice De Luca has a lot on her to-do list. But she’s never too busy to do a little staging, and she’s looking forward to thawing February’s frozen real estate market with her Hearts and Flowers Open House. Her client Louise Downing’s romantically decorated home practically staged itself. But when Louise is found murdered, Caprice is forced to turn her attention from sweethearts to suspects. And as the truth comes out in stages, she discovers that Louise had more secrets than a box of chocolate truffles…
About This Author
Award winning and best-selling author, Karen Rose Smith’s plots are all about emotion. She began writing in her early teens when she listened to music and created stories to accompany the songs. An only child, she spent a lot of time in her imagination and with books–Nancy Drew, Zane Gray, The Black Stallion and Anne of Green Gables. She dreamed of brothers and sisters and a big family like her mother and father came from. This is the root of her plotlines that include small communities and family relationships as part of everyday living. Residing in Pennsylvania with her husband and four rescued cats, she welcomes interaction with readers on social media.
My thoughts: I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is my first visit to Kismet and my first introduction to Caprice and her family/friends. This is the third book in the series, yet it is easy to follow along without having read the previous books. However, I’m sure that like me, you will want to go back and read the first two books if you have not done so already. I’d like to learn a bit more about Caprice’s family and her relationships with Grant and Dr. Seth.
Gilt by Association is an engaging read. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. I love that Caprice is an animal lover and is in to vintage/retro style. The love theme Caprice is incorporating in to the home staging makes this a great February read. If you are looking for a good solid cozy mystery read, then I recommend you read Gilt by Association. And you might want to join me in checking out the first two books in the series: Staged to Death and Deadly Decor.
If you would like to win a print copy of this book, visit the Great Escapes Tour Page for a chance to win.