The winter holidays are fast approaching in the seventh book of the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mysteries, and what should be a festive time for the residents in a small Pennsylvania town turns to sorrow when a beloved citizen is murdered. Though Caprice De Luca has been warned by family and the police to not interfere in these types of investigations, her inquisitive nature plus the desire to help friends will have her once again trying to find anything that points to the identity of the killer. Though her prying questions sometimes put the amateur detective in danger, it will not stop her from seeking answers. I really enjoyed this compelling mystery where nothing is ever known for certain until the final piece of evidence is revealed. Karen Rose Smith interweaves family matters with countless mysteries, making SLAY BELLS RING delightfully intriguing.
When a couple in Kismet, Pennsylvania decide they want to sell their house, Caprice De Luca offers to use her expertise as a home stager and help them get a quick offer. Since it is November, she uses Christmas decorations to highlight the features in the older home to make it appealing. While talking to Sara Merriweather who lives in the house, Caprice learns that it was her husband Chris’s idea to sell as she really does not want to move. It seems the normally jovial man has been more subdued lately, and his change in personality became more noticeable upon his return from a trip with fellow veterans.
As the days go by and Christmas gets closer, Caprice keeps working with the Merriweathers. Every time she sees Chris, he appears preoccupied, making her wonder what could be bothering him. When he is discovered killed by a Christmas decoration, the whole town is sad to hear the man who crafted toys and even played Santa Claus was dead. With Chris being such a good friend of her dad’s, Caprice wants the culprit found swiftly and perhaps she can find some answers on her own.
There are scenes in the story where holiday fun, family gatherings, and pet antics are taking place, and these events give insight into the nature of Caprice. Her family is extremely important to her, and now that Grant is her fiancé, he is also a vital part of her life. How she interacts with loved ones demonstrates her compassionate side, and this concern is shown to others when a murder occurs. In SLAY BELLS RING, a client is mysteriously killed, and Caprice wants to help his family discover what happened. As more and more details about the life of Chris are exposed, I along with all those investigating felt confused and often at a loss. Karen Rose Smith skillfully sprinkles in informative hints, if one pays very close attention. SLAY BELLS RING has plenty of mysteries to keep the guesses coming.
With the Christmas season being a big part of the story, there are lots of celebrations where tasty food is being served. I certainly want to try out one of the recipes included in the book. The Pennsylvania setting had me remembering my visits to this state, and now I want to revisit. Another entertaining installment in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery series, and I look forward to more escapades featuring these likable characters.
I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion
Series: Caprice De Luca Mystery – Book 7
Releases: October 31, 2017
Author website: http://karenrosesmithmysteries.com/
Rating: 4.5 Stars