Regents Park, Australia | Member Since 2008
Connie Shelton's Samantha Sweet Series features a forgetful, part-time caretaker of foreclosed properties for the USDA and single parent with dreams of owning her own bakery shop, who currently runs her dream bakery business part time from home.
Whilst entering a property the USD thought to be vacated in order to clean it and make it ready for resale, Sam found a dying woman who insists that she take a small wooden box, that changes her life . . . in somewhat weird ways.
Sam is different from the normal fantasy heroine in that she is in her 50's, but she appears to have the energy and outlook of a much younger woman, for example most people in their 50's are not still dreaming of opening their own business where they will be working long hours at least 6 days a week on top of every thing else . . .
Sam still fits the fantasy heroine mold however, in as much as she refuses to believe in the magic of the Box and its . . . . ( well you have to read the book to find out - sorry but I try to keep spoilers to a minimum)
In the first book Sam finds two bodies in two new properties she is given to care take in one day and meets Deputy Beau Cardwell who she slowly becomes close to.
Sam appears to be unable to stop herself from being caught up in the investigations. Some parts of the mysteries uncovered in the investigations and who the possible real villains are, where not that hard to figure out, but then again the whole series seems to be overall a light, relaxing read (if one ignores the murders).
Admittedly I have only listened to two books to date and have just downloaded the third.
The characters are well rounded & developed, bad language, violence and sexual content references, are few or hinted at rather than reveled in.
The baking descriptions seem to get more than it's fair share of space as does chocolate, which the author admits to loving. But it does not take too much away from the flow of the book.
The plots however seem to rely heavily on Sam's forgetting things until prompted or suddenly remembering later . . . a plot device overused I feel in both books so far. But this is not a book or story killer for me and some may not even agree or see it as an issue.
Sam treads where angles fear to tread in her "investigations". Often confronting suspects and prominent people, and at times it becomes unreal and once even jarred me from the story. Again this is me and my impressions and i have not read any other review that makes an issue of this. I have after all purchased Book 3 so it did not kill this series for me
In one instance Sam gets upset when she is herself is threatened with eviction by someone close to one of the suspects because of her "investigations". Sam is saved by her neighbours who rally to her side. Whilst its was a nice touch with the neighbours. In real life if they went ahead with their "retaliation", they would find that contracts etc would be the least of their worries in the real world and relocation would not be cheap or easy . . . but that's why this fiction I guess.
The Narration is good and I would recommend this series (at least to date) to any who like a touch of paranormal in their reads.
Connie Shelton has created a very well developed, likable, characters in Sam Sweet, and her friends. I look forward to reading more of this series.
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