Monday, May 12, 2008

The Cracked Pot - Melissa Glazer


The Cracked Pot
A Clay and Crime Mystery
Melissa Glazer
Berkley Prime Crime

Mystery/Cozy

Carolyn Emerson, owner of the pottery studio Fire At Will, has a very excited assistant on her hands. According to David, who knows these things, the famous ceramics artist Charles Potter is due to visit the local college for his first-ever public lecture. Up to now, he’s been a presence on the Internet and through his book, but no one has ever met him. Before the lecture, he’s promised to stop by Fire At Will to speak with David.

Imagine David’s disappointment when that meeting never happens. The lecture never happens, either, since Potter declined to show. The following day he arrives in Fire At Will. Carolyn is utterly shocked to see that “Charles Potter” is, in reality, Richard Atkins, the heel who ran off and left her best friend, Hannah, when she was pregnant. With David.

David gets his chance to meet Charles/Richard, but Richard handles it badly and David leaves the shop at a run. Hannah spends the day looking for him, to no avail. That night, Carolyn finds him. Unfortunately for her, she finds him, facedown in her outdoor pit/kiln. That makes her a prime suspect, along with Hannah and David. But, as she soon discovers, there were other people who were very angry with Richard two decades ago when he suddenly left town. Clearly, someone is still holding a grudge.

As in the first installment (A MURDEROUS GLAZE) the group of studio regulars, who call themselves the Firing Squad, is there to lend a hand when Carolyn needs it. The mystery works best when it’s an ensemble affair, since the group – a young reference librarian, a retired judge, a maybe-retired criminal, and a mother of five – are such interesting characters. Readers who are interesting in working with clay will find some great tips for beginners scattered throughout the text, and in a section at the end. This is a great choice for lovers of cozy mysteries.

Rating: 6
May 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22126-6 (paperback)

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