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Slay Bells Ring (A Caprice De Luca Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – October 31, 2017
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Ms. Smith is a prodigious writer who writes traditional romances as well as cozy mysteries; all have warmth and family. Jane Bowers, RRT
"If you love cozy mysteries, pets, strong family elements with a dash of romance, you will love this series." the-bookreview.com
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Caprice is a fabulous protagonist, loyal, family oriented, animal rescuer, style diva (even if she is stuck in the 70's), and very intelligent. I adore her family and her friends as well. The whole ensemble is perfect. I was pulled into "Slay Bells Ring" because of the cover and the fact I love author Karen Rose Smith's writing style. As soon as I started reading, I could not put this one down. The mystery was layered and intriguing. The characters were smart and well developed. And did I mention DOGS, lol. Seriously fabulous read no matter the season.
I would recommend "Slay Bells Ring" to anyone that enjoys a fabulous cozy mystery that is well written, character driven, and a blast to read. It can be read as a standalone, but read the others in this great series as well, you will love them too. I read this during the Halloween season, but thanks to the writing of this wonderful author, I was transported to a wonderful winter land. I could just imagine myself at Christmas time and I loved it. Did I mention that the cover is gorgeous, check it out for sure and buy this funtastic read now.
Caprice and Grant are planning for their future but have not yet set a wedding date. She is busy with home staging and interior decorating jobs along with Christmas preparations. Her newest contract is with Sara and Chris Merriweather, old family friends who are selling their gorgeous historic home to move into a condo in a retirement community.
Chris plays Santa Claus at the Santa house as he does every year. He suffers from PTSD after being in Viet Nam, but this is something he always looks forward to. Children love Blitz, his dog, almost as much as Santa. Yet Blitz was locked in the Santa house the night Chris was found bludgeoned to death with one of the candy cane decor stands stuck into the ground next to the house.
Caprice had harrowing escapades in the past while trying to help find the bad guy in murders for friends and lets the police handle such things now. How can she refuse to help Sara, however, after the long friendship with her parents? The chief of police, a family friend, Mack Powalski, can’t be part of the investigation due to his friendship with Chris. There are several possible suspects, including a couple of friends who are also Viet Nam vets. In recent months, Chris simply hasn’t been himself and even his wife doesn’t know why. At least until his secrets begin to be revealed.
Caprice and her nana are people I would want to meet if they were real. Caprice has a talent for coordinating fashions, furnishings, and colors, as well as communicating with people and animals. All the main characters are well-defined, with their behaviors and dialog showing who they are. The De Lucas all genuinely care about others, whether they have two legs or four, with unconditional love for their family. Sara, her family, and the veterans are also well-rounded. The author writes some of herself into the De Luca family’s ladies, especially with cooking expertise and love of pets.
The plot includes some huge surprises and turns! I like when there is a buildup of the story before a crime occurs; for this reader, it is much more shocking if I like the person injured or murdered. In this case, Chris is someone who will be missed very much by his family and community, and Sara is a wonderful lady. I like how cats and dogs are so much a part of Caprice and her family, including her uncle and his new business. The author has a finely executed plot with verve and charm and a layer of mysteries. While I did have a strong guess who the bad guy(s) were, I had the wrong motive – something that would not be revealed until much later. The end is very satisfying, and I am already looking forward to the next mystery! I highly recommend Slay Bells Ring, which can be read as a standalone or in order of the series. Oh yes, sleigh bells are used at least three ways in the novel, a unique play on words in the title!
From a grateful heart: I received this eBook from the author and NetGalley, and this is my honest review.