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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Deadly Decor (House Staging Mystery, #3)

Deadly Decor - Karen Rose Smith

At 321 pages long, this book was about 160 pages too long.  Packed with so much extraneous filler, one could skip pages and not miss anything at all pertinent.  The author attempts to infodump via dialogue and it comes out awkward and a bit dick-and-jane-ish.

 

Caprice is worried about her pregnant sister. Bella's marriage is coming apart like a bad wallpaper job, and to make matters worse, she's decided to meet up with former flame Bob Preston, a house painter Caprice frequently employs. When he's found dead in a pool of green paint swirling with blood, it's time for Caprice to stage an investigation. With all eyes trained on Bella's husband, Caprice shifts her attention from finding the perfect curtains to finding the perfect culprit. . 

 

Caprice's family is tight - I know this because the author is constantly reminding the reader about just how close they are.  This also seems to give Caprice free reign to meddle a bit in Bella's marriage.  Bella is, honestly, probably the character I like least, with her husband Joe in the running, so I had a rather hard time caring if either one of them went to jail.

 

The book does improve in the last 25% or so; we see less of Bella and Joe and more about Caprice's life when she's not all up in her family's business.  She is a huge animal lover and rescuer of dogs and cats and I particularly enjoyed reading about this facet of her life.  Her time working with the former rock star was interesting as well and here the writing felt more natural and flowing.

 

The murder plot was good, although to be honest, it might have seemed that way because I skipped over so many pages.  But I didn't see the murderer coming and I don't think the author did anything to telegraph the killer early.

 

I read this second one because I was intrigued by her possible relationship with Grant, her brother's best friend and law partner, established in the first book.  The author sidetracks us and Caprice with someone else throughout most of this book, only to bring Grant back into the running at the very end.  I may or may not read the third book, but I am curious about his story so this book and series get a reprieve from the give-away bag for now.