Sweet Masterpiece is the first in a series of mystery novels starring Samantha Sweet, a baker in her 50’s who has inadvertently become an amateur detective.
In this first novel we get to know Sam, her friends and over the period of the book we find that this is no simple, clean cut mystery novel, the author has made this something a little bit different while keeping the same themes as you would find in any other mystery novel.
Samantha Sweet has two jobs, one is baking from home, and another is breaking into houses – because she is a caretakers for the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) – and in one of her jobs she comes into a house to find an old lady, who gives her a box as she is dying. Sam has no idea that the woman was regarded in the neighbourhood as a witch, and doesn’t think too much of the box, but still takes it with her.
In the next house that she visits, she finds things that ends up having her call the police, and later still she calls her friend having found something that looks like an artist her friend would know more about.
This all ties in nicely together to have Sam get involved in the investigation, and going out of her way to do her own too, all the while baking cakes, dealing with her daughter returning home and getting attached to one of the detectives on the case.
All in all very much a cosy murder mystery.
There is a few things that I do grapple with though, one was with Sam dating a detective, surely he should have warned her to not do any investigations on her own, over the period of time when the pair were talking, which usually involved the case, I kept wondering why the detective wasn’t telling Sam off for getting too involved into the case, and being unaware of certain protocols that could damage evidence. The next one is the ending, which seems very out of place, odd and makes me think that perhaps this is what cosy murder mysteries are all about.
Sweet Masterpiece is an easy, quick read and if you don’t want anything too heavy in your novels all the time, this will be a grand book to read.