Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Drape Expectations (A Caprice Deluca Mystery #4)

Author:  Karen Rose Smith
Genre:  Mystery

Paperback, ebook
ISBN #: 9781617737701
352 Pages
July 28, 2015

Five Stars

Caprice Deluca's former client and now friend Ace Richland - an 80's rock star - asks her for a favor.  Can she quickly stage his girlfriend's house to sell?  Widow Alanna Goodwin, a transplanted Southern beauty, will be moving in with him!  Immediately Caprice realizes Alanna's southern charm can be turned on and off at will.  Caprice agrees to stage Alanna's Kismet antebellum-styled mansion for Ace's sake.  But she soon learns Alanna doesn't have a genuine love for her cat Mirabelle and also uncovers a plot her new client is hatching to sabotage Ace's comeback.  However, before she can tell Ace, Alanna is murdered and Ace is the prime suspect.

As Caprice investigates, she learns Alanna had more secrets than pie safes.  With her Cocker Spaniel Lady by her side, she tracks down clues and adopts Alanna's cat.  In the midst of some of her own family upheaval - her uncle has moved in with her parents - she finds herself with a dilemma.  Grant Weatherford, her brother's law partner, advises Ace and reveals more of his past to her.  Seth Randolph, the doctor she dates, wants her to meet his family.  She must choose between them.

Danger stalks Caprice.  Will her refresher self-defense course save her life?  Only if she keeps her wits about her and Lady by her side.


Caprice Deluca is a home stager, and because of this, she sometimes makes friends of her clients.  Ace Richland, a former rock star on the way to a comeback, is one of those friends.  He has called Caprice because his girlfriend Alanna Goodwin is going to sell her house and move in with him.  He wants Caprice to stage it for her.

When Caprice acquiesces, she soon realizes that Alanna won't be easy to work with; and has a pretty good reason to dislike her:  she doesn't seem to care for her beautiful cat Mirabelle, and puts her 'out of the way' on a whim.  With Caprice's love of animals, this is enough for her to be suspicious of Alanna's motives where Ace is concerned, and even more so when she inadvertently hears a conversation between Alanna and one of Ace's bandmates that doesn't bode well for Ace.

So when Caprice arrives at Alanna's for a scheduled meeting regarding the house, she finds something she didn't count on - Alanna's body.  With Ace the prime suspect, and Caprice acquiring a new pet in the form of Mirabelle, she does what she can to prove Ace innocent:  Find the real killer, even though the police have warned her away.

This was another delightful entry in the Caprice Deluca mysteries.  Ms. Smith has a unique flair for bringing us into her sphere of Caprice's life:  Her work, her family, her pets, and her love life.  We are treated not only to Caprice and her way of 'subtlety' going about unmasking a murderer without getting herself killed, but are privy to the closeness she shares with her family, including the latest problem:  Her Uncle Dom, her father's brother, who hasn't spoken to the family in twelve years.  It seems his marriage didn't work out, and now, homeless and jobless, he has moved in with Caprice's parents, which is causing problems with her beloved Nana, his mother.

She also has the slight problem of deciding who she wants to spend her life with.  With her thirty-third birthday coming up close, she has to choose between the elusive doctor Seth Randolph, whom she has been seeing, or the possibility of pursuing a relationship with Grant Weatherford, her brother's law partner with a troubled past, and who might just be opening up to Caprice.  A devilish dilemma indeed...

And, of course, there is the matter of Caprice's beloved pets:  Lady, her Cocker Spaniel, who adores her; Sophia, her calico cat who tolerates her; and her newest acquisition, Mirabelle, a Persian who is skittish and is afraid of human contact.  

While not giving anything away, I can truthfully say that for anyone who is a fan of this series, or anyone who has just discovered it, read on:  You won't be disappointed.  Highly recommended.                

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