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Sweet Masterpiece by Connie Shelton

Sweet Masterpiece

by Connie Shelton

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195660,388 (3.29)1
Recently added byYanaKh, slontine, elkiedee, Rhie, jean9, reader62



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This book had a very promising start and a very disappointing end.
From the start I could appreciate the writing and the flow of the story. It had been a while since I read anything with a decent and down to earth writing style and it felt really refreshing to me.
On the other hand on some occasions the plot just didn't make sense to me at all, for example:
* are we supposed to accept the so called magical abilities of the strange wooden box that was introduced in the begging of the story? It was never mentioned that magic is a real thing in this world, just that the woman who gave it to Sam was a rumored "witch". And yet Sam never questioned where the box originated? What is the source of this magic? Whether it is safe to use?
To me the whole magic box plot line was full of plot holes and unanswered questions that just left me confused.
* after Sam broke into Bart's house and stole the envelope with the will she called and told about it to Beau. Even though Beau is a cop he didn't even mention that he can't use the envelope as evidence since it was obtained illegally?! I think that many times the whole chain of custody aspect of evidence gathering was disregarded completely in the story.
I mean, I know it's all fiction but it is supposed to be set in our world- there are some rules that should be followed to make it feel believable (In my opinion at least).
* when Bart barges into his uncle's house at the end and yells at Sam-
1. How did he even know he could find her there?
2.why would he even go there and suddenly confess everything?
The whole resolution to the mystery felt rushed and completely unexpected. It just didn't feel right to me.
To sum up, I can say that even though there were a lot of plot holes and confusing moments I did enjoy reading the book and loved the writing style. I doubt that I will continue with the series but I don't regret picking it up :) ( )
  YanaKh | Nov 10, 2017 |
Samantha Sweet is a lady who breaks into houses for a living, and the things she discovers often lead to trouble. When she finds an unmarked grave on a property in a remote spot in Taos County, New Mexico, Sam calls in the authorities. A small mural painted inside a closet in the abandoned house provides clues and Sam is caught up in an investigation. A fortune in artwork, a bogus will, and a wooden box that seems to give Sam powers she never dreamed she possessed--all lead to a genuine mystery for Sam to solve.

Then there is all that chocolate! Sam's real goal in life is to use her elegant baking skills to open her own pastry shop, Sweet's Sweets. She's gaining quite the reputation as a baker with a magical touch, but a few obstacles stand in her way. Her grown daughter shows up on her doorstep--jobless and homeless; her bank account is at an all-time low; and trying to work from the tiny cramped kitchen in her home is becoming impossible.

This cosy mystery is a fast read with a clearly defined plot. Her characters are well-drawn, each with a personality and reason for being. It is enjoyable to be able to identify with characters who are real people
( )
  Bettesbooks | Jul 18, 2016 |
This is very much a cozy mystery, so if you don't like them, skip it.

I found it very engrossing and readable! Sam, our heroine, is a complex character in her 50s (yay!) who has been scrambling for years and was just about to buy her own bakery- her dream!- when her daughter absconded with her savings. This made me groan, because in far too many cozies, the female protagonists are complete doormats. It made me groan even more when the wayward daughter- in her 30s, by the way- shows up and of COURSE Sam offers her housing and support. Argh!

BUT! The daughter is not purely a lazy layabout; in fact, she gets a job, plus helps Sam with some of her own work.

This may have had something to do with a magical box that Sam was given when she was pursuing her other career: doing clean-up work on foreclosed properties. This is a fascinating twist and a great way to get Sam to completely naturally get involved in other people's business! And in another property, she finds not only a grave but a mural in a closet, apparently painted by one of the greats...

The characters are all individual and well-drawn. The plot was not especially twisty, but it did keep me guessing, although if I'd been more clever I may have guessed better! Sam's love interest is well-handled, as are her other relationships.

And I loved the atmosphere!

I will definitely be reading more in this series! ( )
  cissa | Jul 5, 2016 |
At age fifty; Samantha Sweet’s dream was to own a bakery featuring cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. Currently, she was doing her baking at home under less than ideal conditions. Until she saved enough money to accomplish that she worked part time for a government agency cleaning and maintaining homes that had gone into default. Her job was to get them into shape to be sold.
One day, she found a very ill, very unusual woman lying in bed in one of the houses. The woman gave Sam a box which she said had special powers, then she died. When she was mowing the yard at the next house, she discovered an unidentified grave. Both those finds play major roles in SWEET MASTERPIECE.
Her new powers give her more energy and the ability to see things others cannot. The body in the grave is that of a recluse, an elderly man who turned out to have been a famous painter. The sheriff’s department initially believes he may have died from pneumonia or another natural cause.
While the book was a fast read and well-written, I found the plot to be very thin. There were some very good descriptions of various locations. It had a lot of filler material about making cakes and cupcakes (no recipes were provided) and an overview, repeated several times, of what Sam did to prepare a house.
The book has a lot of characters, primarily some of Sam’s long-time friends. She talks about her daughter Kelly who cleaned out Sam’s savings. Later the daughter returns but the story doesn’t give enough details about why she quit her job or why she suddenly changed.
Another main character is the sheriff, Beau Cardwell. The relationship between him and Sam moves too quickly without explanation of Beau’s motivation.
Overall, I found the book to be boring because of all the surface attention given to Sam’s jobs. It might have made a better short story.
This book was a free Amazon download. ( )
  Judiex | Jan 6, 2014 |
The story was fun but suffers in comparison to Kerry Greenwood's Corinna Chapman series. The main characters are both bakers but Samantha Sweet's frenetic pace is exhausting. I will try more in the series. ( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
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New series from bestselling author Connie Shelton! Samantha Sweet breaks into houses for a living. When she finds an unmarked grave, Sam calls the authorities. A small mural in the abandoned house provides clues--add a fortune in artwork, a bogus will, and a wooden box that gives Sam powers she never dreamed she possessed and it's a dynamic paranormal mystery. "Another winner!" The Book Report… (more)

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