Published by Secret Staircase Books, an imprint of Columbine Publishing Group on September 8th 2010
Number of Pages: 242
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Purchase: At Amazon
Samantha Sweet breaks into houses for a living--all perfectly legal as a caretaker for the USDA. But her real dream is to open her own pastry shop, Sweet's Sweets.
Life is a little crazy for Sam right now. At one of her break-in properties a dying woman insists that she take a small wooden box. Sam doesn't realize that the old woman was known locally as a bruja, a witch, until she begins to feel some strange effects from the box, herself.
Meanwhile, at another property, she finds an unmarked grave and the authorities come to investigate. The property owner disappeared a few months earlier and Sam wonders--who is the body in the grave? A small mural in the house leads to a connection with a famous artist; a bogus will points to possible fraud; and the handsome deputy investigating the case seems completely enchanted with Sam.
While Sam scrambles to fill bakery orders and keep her properties in order, she's equally intrigued with the idea of a new romance.
This is a quick read. The storyline is interesting, I like how the box ties into things. And Sam manages to figure out how to use the magic of the box fairly quickly, without letting herself depend on it too heavily.
The information we learn about the painter is sad, but also a little sweet at the end bits. There is a lot of mention about Sam’s dream to own a bakery, and how she makes the cakes and other things for her customers. I didn’t mind this as it gave her more of a personality, but if you’re looking for straight mystery or more magic, it might bother you.
There also isn’t a whole lot of magic in the book. The box is magical, and gives Sam a boost at seeing things she wouldn’t have noticed without it. As well as giving her more energy and a little bit of healing powers. But other than helping in those minor ways, it takes a back seat to the mystery.
A little bit of romance is also sprinkled through the book. We get to see Sam go on a date or two, and there are a few kisses and a fade to black scene, but that story thread is also more a background/filler area.
The ending was fairly fast, and the twist wasn’t too hard to guess by near the end of the book. The fact she was constantly worrying about money, and yet ate out for at least one meal a day every day made me roll my eyes a bit.
But I did like the book. If you like cozy mysteries, and don’t mind a bit of magic as well, you should try this book.