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Caturday Reads: Shades of Wrath tackles difficult topic with skill

Shades of Wrath

By Karen Rose Smith

Kensington Books

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 29 November 2016


Domestic violence isn't an easy topic to tackle, but it is extremely important. Karen Rose Smith does an excellent job capturing the complexity of an issue where what is legal doesn't always match what is just.

After escaping from an abusive marriage, Wendy Newcomb has devoted her life to the protection of women. She heads Sunshine Tomorrow, a women's shelter and support service, and has asked Caprice to refurbish and design a dilapidated mansion. When Wendy is found dead, her replacement asks Caprice to investigate. Wendy had many enemies and was known to skirt the law if it meant protecting women and children. The more Caprice digs, the more secrets she uncovers, the more danger she is in.

One aspect of Shades of Wrath that I truly admire is the romance between Caprice and Grant. It is nice to see a strong loving relationship with equal measures of trust and support. No overdramatizing or gratuitous sex. Caprice has a good relationship with her family, not perfect, but realistic and loving. Best of all - pets, pets, and more pets. Uncle Dom has a new lease on life with the start of his pet sitting business. Bella opens her heart and home to a cat. And of course where Caprice and Grant are Lady and Patches are not far behind. I enjoy the recurring characters and their pets almost as much as the mystery part of this series.

Shades of Wrath is a truly exceptional cozy, perfect for pet lovers and mystery lovers alike. The story is well plotted, and the characters are wonderfully three dimensional. I highly recommend Shades of Wrath as well as Karen Rose Smith's other novels.


I received a copy of Shades of Wrath from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



Between her booming business, her family, and her work rescuing stray animals, home stager Caprice De Luca's life is packed. But when a murder unsettles peaceful Kismet, Pennsylvania, she adds amateur sleuth to her resume.

Thanks to a wealthy patron, Kismet's women's shelter, Sunshine Tomorrow, has inherited a run-down mansion. Now the shelter's director, Wendy Newcomb, wants Caprice's decorating expertise. Caprice is happy to help, but when she glimpses a few heated encounters between Wendy and some locals, she fears that Wendy may be in need of protection herself.

When Wendy is found dead inside the old house, Caprice is compelled to poke around in her affairs—and discovers she had her share of enemies. Now, with countless clients, a TV gig that could make her a household name, and rumors of a marriage proposal on its way, Caprice must find time to design an investigation that will lure a crafty killer into the wide open—before someone else winds up in a state of permanent disrepair…

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