Friday, December 16, 2016

Dirty Jobs

Samantha Sweet has dreams of opening her own shop called Sweet's Sweets, but until she saves enough money, she is dedicated to be breaking into houses. Legally, that is, as she is a caretaker for the USDA. This means she cleans inside the empty foreclosed houses, tends to the gardens and mows the lawns. In Connie Shelton's Sweet Masterpiece, Samantha gets more than she for bargained for.

When she finds a old woman dying in one of the homes, the woman gives her a small wooden box and says the box has special powers. Rumor has it Bertha Martinez was a witch. Samantha calls 911, but the ambulance arrives after the woman dies.

At her next home as Samantha is mowing the lawn, she finds a fairly new grave in the middle of the lawn. Once again Samantha is in touch with 911 operators. The owner of record, Riley Anderson, had abandoned the house six months ago. Who could be buried in the grave?

With her second visit from the good looking Deputy Beau Caldwell, Samantha realizes her schedule
is shot. Not only isn't she able to finish cleaning the two properties, but she is behind in her baking. Beau asks her to go through the second house and try to find bank statements, bills, checks, anything that might let the police know more about Mr. Anderson and the other person who lived in his house.

As she is cleaning the closet she finds a box with brushes and paints, but the real surprise is the mural painted in the corner of the closet. At the lower right of the painting is the signature Pierre Cantone, the famous artist. Was Mr. Anderson copying Cantone's work? Samantha calls on her art expert friend Rupert to help solve the mystery.

When the mural turns out to be the real thing from Cantone, everyone is puzzled as to how that would happen. Between baking wedding cake layers and goodies for the local chapter of Chocoholics Unanimous, Sam tries to figure out what brought Cantone to Taos and where he might be now.

Missing paintings, a long-lost nephew and no will complicate the mystery. I enjoyed this book and would never in a million years want Samantha's USDA job. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

Find the next book in the series by clicking here

No comments: