Slay Bells Ring (Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery #7)
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially now that Caprice De Luca has wrapped up her holiday-themed staging gig at a stunning historic home in downtown Kismit, Pennsylvania. Behind all the red ribbon and glowing string lights, homeowners Chris and Sara Merriweather have it all. But Chris, a Vietnam vet who plays Santa every year at the community park, has been displaying strange behavior after a recent trip to Washington, D.C.The joy of the season vanishes entirely when Chris is found murdered on Santa Lane, leaving behind his loyal malamute and lots of unfinished business. As Caprice uncovers hidden secrets in Santa's workshop, the pressure is on to catch the candy cane-wielding culprit--before she's next on a killer's deadly wish list . . .

Slay Bells Ring (Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery #7) Details

TitleSlay Bells Ring (Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery #7)
Author
ReleaseOct 31st, 2017
PublisherKensington
ISBN-139781496709776
Rating
GenreMystery, Cozy Mystery

Slay Bells Ring (Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery #7) Review

  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Slay Bells Ring by Karen Rose Smith is a 2017 Kensington publication. Cryptic and mysterious holiday whodunit-Caprice and her large Italian family are back to solve one of her most complex and emotional cases to date. Caprice is commissioned to stage a beautiful historic home, but the owners are split on the idea of selling the home. Chris, a toy maker, and the resident Santa Claus, is determined to sell the property, while his wife, Sara, is more reluctant, because the house holds so many memor Slay Bells Ring by Karen Rose Smith is a 2017 Kensington publication. Cryptic and mysterious holiday whodunit-Caprice and her large Italian family are back to solve one of her most complex and emotional cases to date. Caprice is commissioned to stage a beautiful historic home, but the owners are split on the idea of selling the home. Chris, a toy maker, and the resident Santa Claus, is determined to sell the property, while his wife, Sara, is more reluctant, because the house holds so many memories for her. But, after exhibiting some rather odd behavior, Chris is found murdered. Why would anyone want to murder Chris? Well, it would seem he has more enemies than anyone thought possible, and he’s been holding back a few big secrets- I mean giant whoppers- and a few of them came tumbling out of the closet after his death, the consequences of which cast suspicion on several people almost immediately. With Caprice’s naturally detecting skills, she begins asking around in hopes of getting answers for a family in shock and mourning. It’s been a while since I picked up a cozy mystery, and with the cool temperatures and the holidays right around the corner, I was in the mood to curl up with a nice, clean, whodunit. Naturally, I went straight for this book, since it is the latest installment of one of my 'go-to' cozy mystery series, plus this story has a few holiday elements included, as an added bonus. Not only that, I just finished a few dark and tense books and needed to wrap myself in the comfort of old book friends and the warmth of love and family this series always inspires. This story is a little emotional though, touching on the pain of war and its after effects, which can haunt people for decades. I also felt sympathy for the family, who suffered a great loss, but is realizing a new kind of hurt when they discover things about their loved ones that were kept hidden from them. Caprice works with the police a bit on this case, while doing a little matchmaking for her sister, in the process, so I’m hoping to see her skills get a little professional recognition one day. As always, I love touching base with Caprice and Grant, her close -knit family and all her wonderful pets. Caprice is fun, free spirited, sweet, dedicated and loyal, and I like her moral standards, and her love of animals, which is why this is one of my favorite cozy mystery series. Overall, this is another terrific installment in the Caprice De Luca series!! If you love cozy mysteries, pets, strong family elements, with a dash of romance, you will love this series. 4 stars
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    An enthralling tale that will put you in a Holiday spirit without being sentimental. Caprice De Luca is staging the home of Chris and Sara Merriweather for the historical home and garden tour. Later Chris is found murder on Saturday Santa Lane. Caprice becomes intrigued with the killing as secrets Chris has kept hidden for years are slowly released. For a man well like in the community, there enough suspects to make one wonder about Chris's behavior. Caprice needs answers before she becomes the An enthralling tale that will put you in a Holiday spirit without being sentimental. Caprice De Luca is staging the home of Chris and Sara Merriweather for the historical home and garden tour. Later Chris is found murder on Saturday Santa Lane. Caprice becomes intrigued with the killing as secrets Chris has kept hidden for years are slowly released. For a man well like in the community, there enough suspects to make one wonder about Chris's behavior. Caprice needs answers before she becomes the next victim. I highly recommend this book and series. Recipes are included.Disclosure: I received a free copy from Kennington Books through NetGalley for an honest review. I would like to thank them for this opportunity to read and review the book.The opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Sandy Bartles
    January 1, 1970
    This is another Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery and it was excellently written. This is one of my favorite series and I always get antsy while waiting for the next book to come out. The author makes me feel like I am a part of this fabulous family, which includes many fur babies! In this holiday story, another fur baby joins the cast when his owner is murdered and his family gives him up to the De Lucas'. For a man who didn't seem to have any enemies, Caprice discovers there are a lot of po This is another Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery and it was excellently written. This is one of my favorite series and I always get antsy while waiting for the next book to come out. The author makes me feel like I am a part of this fabulous family, which includes many fur babies! In this holiday story, another fur baby joins the cast when his owner is murdered and his family gives him up to the De Lucas'. For a man who didn't seem to have any enemies, Caprice discovers there are a lot of possible candidates out there for the title of murderer. I highly recommend you schedule some uninterrupted time before you start reading this book as you aren't going to want to put it down!I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.
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  • Shelly Itkin
    January 1, 1970
    Caprice De Luca could not be happier, she is looking forward to spending her first Thanksgiving engaged to Grant. Of course he has been to her family before but not as her fiance. In addition she is working on a home staging for Chris and Sara Merriweather. These are friends of her dad's and he even plays cards with Chris so she wants to make this an extra special project.Sara seems a little reluctant to sell the house but Chris wants to move to a condo for older residents. Caprice notices the h Caprice De Luca could not be happier, she is looking forward to spending her first Thanksgiving engaged to Grant. Of course he has been to her family before but not as her fiance. In addition she is working on a home staging for Chris and Sara Merriweather. These are friends of her dad's and he even plays cards with Chris so she wants to make this an extra special project.Sara seems a little reluctant to sell the house but Chris wants to move to a condo for older residents. Caprice notices the hesitancy in Sara and wants her to be sure this is what she wants. Yes her children are all out of the house but she does love it. Her husband seems to be pushing her to do it fast as he would like the house sold before the end of the year. Chris served in Vietnam and lately does not seem himself. Since his return from his yearly get together in Washington with his buddies something is different but Sara cannot put her finger on it.Chris is loved in the community and owns a craft shop. In addition he plays Santa every year and tries to fill almost all the wishes the children have. He is very handy and works on toys all year round in his workshop which he will sell in the shop and sometimes give to children who would otherwise not get anything for Christmas.Unfortunately, Chris is murdered and as they investigate who could of done this we know that Caprice will naturally get involved. Nikki, her sister is dating Brett a police detective and now he does not seem to have much time for her. Nikki is not sure where this relationship is going or if it will even work.As Caprice starts to look into possible suspects secrets and surprises are revealed. Sara learns things she never knew about her husband and is considered a suspect just like all the members of her family.A wonderful story intertwined with Thanksgiving and moving closer to Christmas. In addition the wedding that Caprice and Grant are planning once the annulment comes thru. One of the best books in the series a great holiday read and gift for friends.
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  • Kirsti
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netlgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book. Cozy mystery is usually the one genre I can count on that I will always like. Some books are stronger than others, and sometimes a series as a whole is better than individual books. More often than not I read cozy mysteries out of order, and I hadn't read any of the previous books. Perhaps this is just a weak book in the series, because for me it was terrible.My main complaints were;-The murder mystery didn't actually st Thank you to Netlgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book. Cozy mystery is usually the one genre I can count on that I will always like. Some books are stronger than others, and sometimes a series as a whole is better than individual books. More often than not I read cozy mysteries out of order, and I hadn't read any of the previous books. Perhaps this is just a weak book in the series, because for me it was terrible.My main complaints were;-The murder mystery didn't actually start until the 20% mark. We have almost a quarter of the book as set up for the mystery. Even without knowing the characters I didn't need this much down time.-Caprice's CONSTANT thoughts about Grant, from looking at anything from children to Christmas lights. We. Get. It. She loves him. This book felt like I was trapped in a padded room with a newlywed couple and I had nothing else to look at. Urgh.-Exceedingly poor mystery, with the actual murderer being almost completely in the background. Caprice just flitters around pointlessly most of the book. Double Urgh.-The complete 'wholesomeness' about this book, series and family. Like so sweet I got a toothache sweet. It just added nothing to the book to me, and felt so unrealistic (the closest thing I can think of is if 7th heaven had no sinning/dating/anything bad...or fun)-The over the top descriptions of bloody everything while NOTHING happened plot wise. I want plot, not detailed descriptions of Caprice's coat or what color the rocker is in the backyard.So. Complete fail for me. It has a dog on the front cover. It's meant to be cozy mystery. It's obviously a successful book series without me liking it. It just wasn't for me and I didn't like it. I'm guessing long time fans of this series will still gobble it up when it's released. Just...not me.
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  • Laura Reading
    January 1, 1970
    The holidays can be the happiest time of the year or they can bring out the worst in people.For the loving De Luca family it is always a super busy time of year. This year love is in the air for all generations. We get to share their happiness even while tragedy strikes not far from home.A neighbor is murdered while taking the role of the community Santa, a role he has played and loved for many years.Of course Caprice can not sit idly by when murder touches her family. She will do more than brin The holidays can be the happiest time of the year or they can bring out the worst in people.For the loving De Luca family it is always a super busy time of year. This year love is in the air for all generations. We get to share their happiness even while tragedy strikes not far from home.A neighbor is murdered while taking the role of the community Santa, a role he has played and loved for many years.Of course Caprice can not sit idly by when murder touches her family. She will do more than bring a casserole to the grieving family and take in their confused and lost dog who was Santa's best friend.We enjoy the sights, sounds and taste of Christmas around Kizmet through the beautiful houses Caprice stages and the festivities her sisters host. We learn to roll with the changes as Roz and Vince combine households and Caprice and Grant look forward to their life together. As long as Caprice's life is not cut short when she asks the wrong questions under suspicious circumstances. She may be making an enemy or two as she digs into painful past memories.What a great visit which also deals tastefully with difficult subjects.While I may have had my own suspicions about who the murderer was, the motive remained murky until closer to the end. Disappointment in some humans did not take away the warm Christmas feel from this family themed novel.
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  • The Cozy Review
    January 1, 1970
    Caprice De Luca has wrapped up her holiday-themed staging gig at a stunning historic home in downtown Kismit, Pennsylvania. Homeowners Chris and Sara Merriweather, have it all. A beautiful home, great kids, and a wonderful marriage, or do they?Chris, a Vietnam vet who plays Santa every year at the community park, has been displaying strange behavior after his annual trip to Washington, D.C. His wife has no idea of what is disturbing him. The joy of the season vanishes when Chris is found murdere Caprice De Luca has wrapped up her holiday-themed staging gig at a stunning historic home in downtown Kismit, Pennsylvania. Homeowners Chris and Sara Merriweather, have it all. A beautiful home, great kids, and a wonderful marriage, or do they?Chris, a Vietnam vet who plays Santa every year at the community park, has been displaying strange behavior after his annual trip to Washington, D.C. His wife has no idea of what is disturbing him. The joy of the season vanishes when Chris is found murdered. Caprice uncovers secrets as she searches for Chris’ killer. It’s a race to locate the murderer before Caprice becomes the next victim.--Series: A Caprice De Luca Mystery – Book 7Author: Karen Rose SmithGenre: Career/Mystery CozyPublisher: KensingtonSlay Bells Ring is a tremendous addition to Karen Rose Smith’s “A Caprice De Luca Mystery” series. In this holiday-themed book, Caprice has her hands full. Her business is booming, and her love life is heating up with an upcoming wedding. Her family brings her comfort and joy year round, especially during the holidays. Her appreciation for her family becomes fully focused when a family friend is murdered while playing Santa Claus.The characters that Ms. Smith created in this series are fully developed, interesting and memorable. Caprice is a woman on a mission. She is determined to make her business, and her relationship with Grant work, even if she has to give up the home she loves. Her dedication to making certain that Grant is happy is commendable and unselfish. This describes her character completely.Grant is equally determined to make certain that Caprice is happy. His past makes him sad but doesn’t hinder his relationship with Caprice. If anything, it makes their future brighter on the crucial levels of a relationship. Grant is very likable without being over the top. He is also intelligent. He knows Caprice will get involved with the investigation, and he knows he can’t prevent her from doing it. All he can do is support her and watch her back to make certain she doesn’t get hurt.The remaining characters are well rounded and enjoyable. All of them add flavor and intrigue to the plot. Caprices parents are truly lovable and remarkable in a way that parents should be. They are supportive of their daughter as well as her siblings.The setting in a small Pennsylvania town is picture perfect. Kismet may be fictional, but the real countryside in Pennsylvania is everything the author describes and more. The shops and homes are wonderfully descriptive and make the reader want to explore, as well as savor the sights, sounds, and smells of the area.The pace of this book is a bit slower than most. The action is mainly based on family interactions. This is not a non-stop action-filled romp; readers will need to think through the evidence. It is a steady paced mystery with clues that if the reader misses them will make it difficult for them to figure out who the killer is. Yet there are plenty of hints to the murderer’s identity if the reader takes the time to put them all together.Slay Bells Ring is highly recommended along with the other books in this series. However, I would caution the reader to start at the beginning of the series with book one. There is a need for more information on the background and memories of the characters discussed throughout the book to enhance the enjoyment of the reader.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    If you love Hallmark Cozy Murder Mysteries (Garage Sale, Flower Shop), you will love Caprice DeLuca, home stager series.The DeLucas are a large multigenerational Italian Catholic family with interconnecting small businesses. They are well connected to Kismet PA social life too.Caprice is drawn into solving the murder of neighbour, friend, and town Santa, Chris Merriweather, a Vietnam War veteran. The path to finding the killer is well laid-out and in cozy fashion Caprice puts herself in danger.T If you love Hallmark Cozy Murder Mysteries (Garage Sale, Flower Shop), you will love Caprice DeLuca, home stager series.The DeLucas are a large multigenerational Italian Catholic family with interconnecting small businesses. They are well connected to Kismet PA social life too.Caprice is drawn into solving the murder of neighbour, friend, and town Santa, Chris Merriweather, a Vietnam War veteran. The path to finding the killer is well laid-out and in cozy fashion Caprice puts herself in danger.There are pets: dogs and cats, in this series too. There are some delicious looking recipes at the end too.I found there were too many characters to keep track of, so for me, this is a series I would rather read back to back once they have multiples published.
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  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoy this series for the mystery as well as the family and their relationships. Caprice’s close-knit family is an integral part of the stories and her life, always there to help.With Christmas approaching, Caprice is doing a holiday-themed staging at the home of Chris and Sara Merriweather. In addition, Chris is known as the town Santa. He makes toys in his workshop, owns a craft store and seems well-liked in the community. Lately, though, Sara has noticed a change in his behavior. Although r I enjoy this series for the mystery as well as the family and their relationships. Caprice’s close-knit family is an integral part of the stories and her life, always there to help.With Christmas approaching, Caprice is doing a holiday-themed staging at the home of Chris and Sara Merriweather. In addition, Chris is known as the town Santa. He makes toys in his workshop, owns a craft store and seems well-liked in the community. Lately, though, Sara has noticed a change in his behavior. Although reluctant to sell their home, Sara thinks it is all too much for Chris and it’s time he retires and they downsize. Then, Chris is found murdered. Sara is distraught, not even able to care for Chris’ dog, Blitz. Caprice’s father, a long-time friend of Chris, agrees to take the dog. Caprice begins to uncover secrets Chris had kept hidden, even from his family. A member of Caprice’s family becomes her protector when she finds herself confronted by the killer.With all this happening, Caprice is also searching for a wedding dress and she and Grant must decide where they will live after the wedding? Plus, Caprice’s siblings lives are changing, too.Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy.
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  • RO G'ma
    January 1, 1970
    Slay Bells Ring is the seventh book in Karen Rose Smith’s Caprice De Luca Mystery series. The storyline is well plotted, the characters well developed, and the story moves at a steady pace. There’s a perfect mix of the importance of family, friendship, caring and compassion, romance, and mystery. There are lots of twists and turns and red herrings to keep the reader engaged. Ms. Smith provides great character background and this book can be read as a standalone. I recommend this book to anyone w Slay Bells Ring is the seventh book in Karen Rose Smith’s Caprice De Luca Mystery series. The storyline is well plotted, the characters well developed, and the story moves at a steady pace. There’s a perfect mix of the importance of family, friendship, caring and compassion, romance, and mystery. There are lots of twists and turns and red herrings to keep the reader engaged. Ms. Smith provides great character background and this book can be read as a standalone. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading clean cozy mysteries.Caprice De Luca owns a thriving home staging business in the small town of Kismet, Pennsylvania and is engaged to Grant Weatherford, a local attorney. She’s staging the home of Chris and Sara Merriweather for sale. Chris wants to sell their home and move into a condominium, but Sara is somewhat hesitant. Sadly, Chris is found murdered on Santa Lane. He was a well-liked local man who owned a craft shop, made toys all year long in his workshop to sell in the shop and often gave to children who would otherwise not get anything for Christmas, and played Santa at the community park each year and tried to fill most of the wishes the children made. Sara doesn’t want to keep Chris’s dog and constant companion, Blitz, and Caprice’s dad agrees to take care of him. Chris was a Vietnam veteran and hadn’t been the same since his latest annual visit to the memorial in Washington, D.C. with his friends. Grant knows that Caprice will be drawn into the investigation and while he isn’t happy about it, he provides her with support and watches her back to make certain she doesn’t get hurt. Chris seemed to be loved by everyone and Caprice is surprised by the number of suspects she discovers, and by all the secrets he was keeping.I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
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  • Lisa Morin
    January 1, 1970
    Slay Bells Ring by Karen Rose Smith is an excellent holiday cozy mystery.Fans will love Caprice De Luca in this holiday themed story.Everyone in Kismet, PA is gearing up for the holidays, including Chris Merriweather, the idyllic towns very own Santa Claus.Chris is a close family friend of Caprice's family and when they begin to notice changes in Chris, they become concerned.When Caprice is asked to stage the Merriweather family home, she is shocked that they want to sell their home.When Chris i Slay Bells Ring by Karen Rose Smith is an excellent holiday cozy mystery.Fans will love Caprice De Luca in this holiday themed story.Everyone in Kismet, PA is gearing up for the holidays, including Chris Merriweather, the idyllic towns very own Santa Claus.Chris is a close family friend of Caprice's family and when they begin to notice changes in Chris, they become concerned.When Caprice is asked to stage the Merriweather family home, she is shocked that they want to sell their home.When Chris is found dead, no one can believe it, can't be foul play, everyone loved Santa! Or did they?Find out October 31st when this terrific book releases by Kensington Books.The author tells a tale wrapped around the holiday season and tied off with so many twists and turns you are sure to stay up late into the night to finish it.I voluntarily read an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    This is an enjoyable cozy mystery series that is best enjoyed read sequentially in order to better appreciate the characters, their development and their relationships with each other. Caprice is once again drawn into a murder investigation, that of the town's charitable Santa figure, a familiar face and a good friend of her father. But solving his murder could bring even more sorrow since it may have been done by a friend. The story flows at a nice, steady pace and I love how Caprice's family s This is an enjoyable cozy mystery series that is best enjoyed read sequentially in order to better appreciate the characters, their development and their relationships with each other. Caprice is once again drawn into a murder investigation, that of the town's charitable Santa figure, a familiar face and a good friend of her father. But solving his murder could bring even more sorrow since it may have been done by a friend. The story flows at a nice, steady pace and I love how Caprice's family support her and each other. A new addition to this story is the adorable white Malamute, Blitz, as well as regulars Lady, and cats Sophia and Mirabelle. I can't wait for book #8. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing this book received through Net Galley.
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  • Joanne
    January 1, 1970
    Slay Bells Ring is a wonderful addition to Karen Rose Smith’s “A Caprice De Luca Mystery” series. Set during the Christmas holidays in Kismet, Pennsylvania Caprice De Luca is working overtime to keep up with her blossoming business. Caprice is determined to be successful in business and in her relationship with Grant. Grant is just as determined to have a successful relationship with Caprice. Caprice is staging the home of Chris and Sara Merriweather for the annual historical home and garden tou Slay Bells Ring is a wonderful addition to Karen Rose Smith’s “A Caprice De Luca Mystery” series. Set during the Christmas holidays in Kismet, Pennsylvania Caprice De Luca is working overtime to keep up with her blossoming business. Caprice is determined to be successful in business and in her relationship with Grant. Grant is just as determined to have a successful relationship with Caprice. Caprice is staging the home of Chris and Sara Merriweather for the annual historical home and garden tour. Later Chris is found murder on Santa Lane. Caprice is on a mission to determine who killed Santa Claus. She doesn’t anticipate unearthing secrets Chris has hidden for years.In this holiday-themed book, Caprice has her hands full. Her business is booming, her love life is moving forward and there is an upcoming wedding. Her family and Grant fill her world with joy, especially during the holidays. The characters in this series are well developed with a tightly woven plot to match. Caprice will get involved with the investigation of Santa’s death. Grant and her family know they can’t prevent her from investigating. So, they work together to support her, watch her back to ensure she doesn’t get hurt. This mystery provides the clues readers need to evaluate the evidence. There there are plenty of hints to the murderer’s identity if the reader takes the time to piece them all together. I enjoyed this book. The story featured romance, family challenges, and heartwarming holiday sentiments/emotions. The holidays can bring out the best and the worst features in individuals. This story was well written and will appeal to individuals who appreciate superbly written clean, cozy mysteries. Slay Bells Ring is highly recommended along with the other books in this series. However, I would suggest readers start at the beginning to thoroughly enjoy the book.
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  • Taryn
    January 1, 1970
    Caprice is staging a holiday themed house for family friends the Merriweather's, and it's coming along beautifully. The family seems to have it all but when Chris, who always plays Santa every year, is found murdered all might not be as it seems. The question on everyone's mind is who could have done something like that to such a kind man. Caprice has known the family forever and can't just sit back and do nothing, she wants to help figure out just what happened. While looking for answers some d Caprice is staging a holiday themed house for family friends the Merriweather's, and it's coming along beautifully. The family seems to have it all but when Chris, who always plays Santa every year, is found murdered all might not be as it seems. The question on everyone's mind is who could have done something like that to such a kind man. Caprice has known the family forever and can't just sit back and do nothing, she wants to help figure out just what happened. While looking for answers some disturbing things pop up about Chris putting him in a different light. Apparently he had been hiding quite a few secrets from his family for many years. Follow along with Caprice as she searches for clues and answers. You can't help but enjoy what a unique and strong main character she is and the lengths she will go to for family and friends. I always look forward to reading about what theme she will come up with next for the house that she is staging and what animals she will help.I received an ARC of this book, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Love this series! Caprice and her family are great! I mean really, animal lovers are wonderful people. It’s so fun to see how relationships in this series grow or where there might be trouble. I would love to do what Caprice does for a living. That would be so much fun to me! Course sometimes life throws you for a loop and those you think you know so well may have a secret or two. I’ve love every Karen Rose Smith book I’ve read.I requested this book from NetGalley and was lucky enough to receive Love this series! Caprice and her family are great! I mean really, animal lovers are wonderful people. It’s so fun to see how relationships in this series grow or where there might be trouble. I would love to do what Caprice does for a living. That would be so much fun to me! Course sometimes life throws you for a loop and those you think you know so well may have a secret or two. I’ve love every Karen Rose Smith book I’ve read.I requested this book from NetGalley and was lucky enough to receive an ARC. What I’ve written is my opinion.
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  • Jeanie
    January 1, 1970
    Slay Bells Ring is absolutely the very best Caprice De Luca Mystery to date. Karen Rose Smith has taken Caprice, her family, and friends (and furbabies!) to new heights with this 7th in series. It can be read as a standalone or in order. It is delightful and suspenseful mystery, the author continues to outdo herself with endearing characters, suspense, and romance as well as social awareness challenges and pet needs.Caprice and Grant are planning for their future but have not yet set a wedding d Slay Bells Ring is absolutely the very best Caprice De Luca Mystery to date. Karen Rose Smith has taken Caprice, her family, and friends (and furbabies!) to new heights with this 7th in series. It can be read as a standalone or in order. It is delightful and suspenseful mystery, the author continues to outdo herself with endearing characters, suspense, and romance as well as social awareness challenges and pet needs.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.
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  • Amelia
    January 1, 1970
    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 kille 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 - 4.5 Stars
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  • Kayt18
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this book. Ok first let's just talk about the amazing cover, I know that may not have a lot to do with the book, but I do judge a book by it's cover. And this one delivers, it is as amazing as the cover is, so my theory works, lol. What could be better than a gorgeous dog and a wonderful Christmas scene. Well, let me tell you, this read! I really enjoy this series and think this has to be my favorite. Santa has been killed with a candy cane, what?? Yep it happens. So of course I absolutely loved this book. Ok first let's just talk about the amazing cover, I know that may not have a lot to do with the book, but I do judge a book by it's cover. And this one delivers, it is as amazing as the cover is, so my theory works, lol. What could be better than a gorgeous dog and a wonderful Christmas scene. Well, let me tell you, this read! I really enjoy this series and think this has to be my favorite. Santa has been killed with a candy cane, what?? Yep it happens. So of course Caprice has to find out what happened. His loyal dog may have seen the crime, but what help can he be? 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.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    Slay Bells Ring is the seventh installment in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series set in Kismet, PA. Caprice is delighted that her home staging business is doing so well thanks in large part to the catering assistance of sister Nikki, and is counting the days until Grant's annulment goes through and she can start planning their wedding.Caprice is asked by family friends Sara and Chris Merriweather to stage their home. Although surprised that the Merriweather's would want to sell thei Slay Bells Ring is the seventh installment in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series set in Kismet, PA. Caprice is delighted that her home staging business is doing so well thanks in large part to the catering assistance of sister Nikki, and is counting the days until Grant's annulment goes through and she can start planning their wedding.Caprice is asked by family friends Sara and Chris Merriweather to stage their home. Although surprised that the Merriweather's would want to sell their home and move to a small condo, she decides upon a Christmas Delight theme. Chris, a military Vet has been playing the town Santa for as long as Caprice can remember and he's well known throughout the community for his amazing handmade toys.When Chris is found murdered outside of his Santa's workshop with his faithful Malamute Blitz trapped inside, Caprice and her family take the news hard. Her Dad was very close to Chris and Caprice wants to find his killer, for her Dad's sake and for Chris' wife. Unfortunately, her investigation reveals that not every family dynamic is idyllic, even Santa's.A fast paced storyline filled with recurring series characters that will make you smile, laugh and cry. This series only gets better with each new addition and I can't wait to see what will happen next in the De Luca family.I received an advanced copy of Slay Bells Ring from NetGalley via Kensington Publishing. While not required to write a review I am more than happy to offer my honest opinion.
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  • Jeannie
    January 1, 1970
    This book will definitely put you in the holiday spirit. The hidden secrets of the murdered victim makes for a lot of possible suspects and kept me totally engaged until the very ending. I really love the family ties that are woven into the series. I thoroughly enjoy each and every book. Well written, well plotted and love the recipes that are included. My favorite cover so far of this series. I voluntarily reviewed a copy I received from NetGalley
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  • Charlene
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A very interesting storyline, with wonderful characters. Lots of twists and turns. I felt I was a part of the story and could not put it down. I love Caprice DeLuca so much! When murder happens, she's right in the thick of it. Wonderful cozy mystery, you must read this book!
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  • cola_bear
    January 1, 1970
    **copy provided by Netgalley*4.5 StarsThis was my first time reading a book by Karen Rose Smith, and even with this book being seventh in the series, I had no trouble following along and catching on to relationships and such. That is the mark of a good storyteller and author.The Good: Caprice is a wonderful protagonist- I was immediately pulled into the story by her voice. But on top of that, the secondary characters are well-rounded and in 3D, which is another point for the author. I also enjoy **copy provided by Netgalley*4.5 StarsThis was my first time reading a book by Karen Rose Smith, and even with this book being seventh in the series, I had no trouble following along and catching on to relationships and such. That is the mark of a good storyteller and author.The Good: Caprice is a wonderful protagonist- I was immediately pulled into the story by her voice. But on top of that, the secondary characters are well-rounded and in 3D, which is another point for the author. I also enjoyed the setting and surroundings, which were described without any info dumping, as were the character relationships and backstories. The mystery was well written, and had me guessing until the end. The Bad: there were a few spots where the story dragged slightly, but otherwise I had no issues with this story.Overall: If you enjoy cozy mysteries, I highly recommend giving this one a try. This was a great cozy and holiday read! I will definitely be reading the rest in the series.
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  • Lorraine Kraft
    January 1, 1970
    The holidays are fast approaching and good cheer abounds in Kismet, Pennsylvania.  Caprice is busy staging a historic home for the Christmas holidays for Chris and Sara Merriweather.  Every year, Chris plays Santa Claus for the town. A Vietnam veteran, Chris has not been the same since visiting the memorial in Washington D. C.The good cheer stops when Chris' body is found near the Santa hut in downtown, a victim of murder.  Who would want to kill Chris? Caprice helps to gather clues and in doing The holidays are fast approaching and good cheer abounds in Kismet, Pennsylvania.  Caprice is busy staging a historic home for the Christmas holidays for Chris and Sara Merriweather.  Every year, Chris plays Santa Claus for the town. A Vietnam veteran, Chris has not been the same since visiting the memorial in Washington D. C.The good cheer stops when Chris' body is found near the Santa hut in downtown, a victim of murder.  Who would want to kill Chris? Caprice helps to gather clues and in doing so, makes herself a target.  The investigation turns up hidden secrets that someone doesn't want to come to light.  Will Caprice be able to piece the clues together before she becomes the next target?This is another well written mystery by Karen Rose Smith.  The book moves at a steady pace, with well placed red herrings and characters I love.  If you like cozy mysteries, then this series should be on your reading list!  As with all the books in this series, it includes original recipes by the author.Please note:  I was given a copy of this book by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This is a great book; this is the seventh book in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Series written by Karen Rose Smith. Caprice De Luca has wrapped up her holiday-themed staging gig at a stunning historic home in downtown Kismit, Pennsylvania. Behind all the red ribbon and glowing string lights, homeowners Chris and Sara Merriweather have it all. But Chris, a Vietnam vet who plays Santa every year at the community park, has been displaying strange behavior after a recent trip to Washingto This is a great book; this is the seventh book in the Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Series written by Karen Rose Smith. Caprice De Luca has wrapped up her holiday-themed staging gig at a stunning historic home in downtown Kismit, Pennsylvania. Behind all the red ribbon and glowing string lights, homeowners Chris and Sara Merriweather have it all. But Chris, a Vietnam vet who plays Santa every year at the community park, has been displaying strange behavior after a recent trip to Washington, D.C. The joy of the season vanishes entirely when Chris is found murdered on Santa Lane, leaving behind his loyal malamute and lots of unfinished business. As Caprice uncovers hidden secrets in Santa's workshop, the pressure is on to catch the candy cane-wielding culprit. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader’s copy of this book. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
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  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    Slay Bells Ring by Karen Rose Smith is the seventh book in A Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery series (that’s a mouthful). Caprice De Luca is staging Christopher and Sara Merriweather home with a “Christmas Delight” theme for their open house. Chris and Sara own a local hobby store along with Chris making beautiful wood toys during the year. Chris has been acting strangely since his return from his annual trip to visit old war buddies in Washington, D.C. Late one evening, Chris (who plays San Slay Bells Ring by Karen Rose Smith is the seventh book in A Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery series (that’s a mouthful). Caprice De Luca is staging Christopher and Sara Merriweather home with a “Christmas Delight” theme for their open house. Chris and Sara own a local hobby store along with Chris making beautiful wood toys during the year. Chris has been acting strangely since his return from his annual trip to visit old war buddies in Washington, D.C. Late one evening, Chris (who plays Santa each year) is found dead outside Santa’s cabin on Santa Lane. Why would someone murder him? Caprice is asked to look into the crime and see if she can unmask the killer. She soon discovers that Chris was keeping many secrets. Which one of them go them got him murdered?Slay Bells Ring is not a standalone novel. You do need to read the previous six books in the series or you will be lost. There are numerous family members (friends, townspeople) and it will be impossible to keep them all straight. The murder occurs at the 20% mark in the story (I was beginning to wonder if I was reading a cozy mystery). The culprit’s identity can be discovered before the murder occurs (I am not kidding). I wish the mystery had been slightly more complicated and had been more of the focus of the book. The focus of Slay Bells Ring is on Grant and Caprice. They are newly engaged and very much in love (as we are told repeatedly). Slay Bells Ring is nicely written and has a good flow. It contains a charming town and a good female main character. I appreciate Caprice’s fashion sense and love of animals. Food items and Caprice’s clothing are described in detail (each and every outfit). Slay Bells Ring is perfect for readers looking for a light-hearted cozy mystery with love, family and Christmas. There is a preview of Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes at the end of the book.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    First off, I would advise reading this series in order to get the most out of this, the 7th in the series. The pace is slower than some cozy mysteries and it helps to have 'history' with the characters and the setting. Caprice lives in a small town in Pennsylvania and has a great family and lots of friends. She is hired to stage a house but feels like only the husband wants a quick sale, not his wife. It's also the Christmas season and Caprice is looking forward to staging her own wedding soon. First off, I would advise reading this series in order to get the most out of this, the 7th in the series. The pace is slower than some cozy mysteries and it helps to have 'history' with the characters and the setting. Caprice lives in a small town in Pennsylvania and has a great family and lots of friends. She is hired to stage a house but feels like only the husband wants a quick sale, not his wife. It's also the Christmas season and Caprice is looking forward to staging her own wedding soon. Unfortunately somebody kills Santa, a Vietnam vet and the one who was eager for the quick sale of their house. What secrets could he have that would lead to murder? The mystery plays fair with clues and the relationships are my favorite parts of this series. Add a nice small town setting and pets and I found this a nice addition to a cup of tea and a relaxing afternoon read.My thanks to the publisher Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    This book can be read as a standalone. You do not need to know the history behind the characters to understand what is going on. Caprice De Luca is staging the home of Chris and Sara Merriweather for a quick sale and the town’s Home tour. Chris Merriweather has a lot of secrets. Is this the reason for his death or is there something else? Chris has been Santa for this town for a long time. He winds up in the snow left to die. The De Lucas are interested in what happened as he is a family friend. This book can be read as a standalone. You do not need to know the history behind the characters to understand what is going on. Caprice De Luca is staging the home of Chris and Sara Merriweather for a quick sale and the town’s Home tour. Chris Merriweather has a lot of secrets. Is this the reason for his death or is there something else? Chris has been Santa for this town for a long time. He winds up in the snow left to die. The De Lucas are interested in what happened as he is a family friend.Caprice De Luca and her fiancé Grant become entangled in finding out what has happened. This is a very interesting read and is sure to please the Home Staging Mystery followers.I want to thank Netgalley and Kensington Publications for allowing me to read this. These are my own opinions..
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    This is a hard one for me to review because I had not read the previous books and occasionally found myself struggling with all the characters and how they interacted. That said, it's a well done cozy about a woman with a home staging business and her family who all have small businesses of their own- and they all support each other. Caprice is also hoping to be engaged to Grant- there's an issue with his annulment (seriously? in this day and age?). The lingering problems of the Vietnam war also This is a hard one for me to review because I had not read the previous books and occasionally found myself struggling with all the characters and how they interacted. That said, it's a well done cozy about a woman with a home staging business and her family who all have small businesses of their own- and they all support each other. Caprice is also hoping to be engaged to Grant- there's an issue with his annulment (seriously? in this day and age?). The lingering problems of the Vietnam war also play in, as the victim Chris is both a vet and one of Caprice's clients. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Leith Devine
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book, but it was not what I expected as a cozy mystery. I liked the plot and the settings, but the characters almost seemed like caricatures. As nice as it is to read about happy perfect families and couples in love, no one's real family is that perfect! By the end of the book it got old and I was tired of reading about them. The murder took a long time to materialize, and then it seemed like an afterthought to the rest of the story. The writing was well done. I guess this one just I liked this book, but it was not what I expected as a cozy mystery. I liked the plot and the settings, but the characters almost seemed like caricatures. As nice as it is to read about happy perfect families and couples in love, no one's real family is that perfect! By the end of the book it got old and I was tired of reading about them. The murder took a long time to materialize, and then it seemed like an afterthought to the rest of the story. The writing was well done. I guess this one just wasn't for me.Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lynne
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this series. I especially liked the characters. Caprice is smart, nice, and curious. She is close to her family, which I like. They support and help each other and they are all concerned about people in their community. So when a friend of their father's is killed, Caprice steps in to help gather information for the police. Their is some funny conversations/situations and the animals are adorable. The mystery was engaging and there were enough suspects that I didn't figure out t I really enjoyed this series. I especially liked the characters. Caprice is smart, nice, and curious. She is close to her family, which I like. They support and help each other and they are all concerned about people in their community. So when a friend of their father's is killed, Caprice steps in to help gather information for the police. Their is some funny conversations/situations and the animals are adorable. The mystery was engaging and there were enough suspects that I didn't figure out the murderer until the end. I would read another book by this author.I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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