Thursday, November 13, 2014

Staged to Death by Karen Rose Smith

In Staged to Death, Caprice De Luca stages homes to look their best. This is especially helpful for those wishing to sell their homes. Her old friend Roz Winslow has recently asked her to revitalize her mansion in hopes of bringing in prospective buyers. When Roz's husband is found dead, stabbed with his own antique dagger, Caprice is determined to support her friend and find the killer.

I enjoyed this cozy mystery. All in all, it was quite a good book with an interesting easy-to-follow mystery. Some fascinating family dynamics rounded out the story. There were a couple of awkward spots in the writing, though. In a few cases, it was hard to tell which "she" was being talked about and I had to reread those sections. Also, there was one character introduction that was unusual. I don`t want to nitpick, so I won't go into details. [Note: I read an uncorrected proof of this book. Hopefully, those things were fixed before final printing.]

I found Caprice's home staging business interesting and I liked learning more about it. I didn't quite understand staging a home with a theme, especially one that's being sold, but to each his own, I guess. I also liked all of the side stories: retro clothing, animal rescue, cooking, antiques, party planning, etc. However, I think the mystery suffered a little and got lost in the side stories and Caprice's profession. Perhaps Caprice's interests should have been pared down a little so more focus could have been put on the mystery itself.

The author included a few recipes for the food that was mentioned in the book. All of them sound delicious. Since this book was about staging a house, though, I'm not sure why they were included. I would have been just as happy to see something related to the main part of the story. Some examples: staging tips; furniture arranging tips; real world statistics about home sales for homes that have been staged versus those that haven't been. That sort of thing.

This is my first book that I`ve read from this author. I was a little worried when I found out that she also wrote romance books. I was afraid that this book was going to contain more romance and less mystery. However, that wasn't the case. There was a bit of romance, but nothing over the top.


For more information about this book, please visit the Kensington Books website.

For more information about the author and her other books, please visit Karen Rose Smith's website or Karen Rose Smith Mysteries.

Thanks to those nice people from Kensington Books for this review copy.

Staged to Death by Karen Rose Smith, Kensington Books, ©2013. ISBN 9780758284846(Advance Uncorrected Proof), 357p.

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