Melissa Glazer, a.k.a. Tim Myers, uses The Cracked Pot, the second installment in the Clay and Crime Mystery series, to better define the main characters and flesh out their personalities. Carolyn Emerson is as cranky as ever in this arts and crafts cozy, but the reader gets a much better look at her softer side as she looks after her better half, Bill, and also tries to protect her best-friend's son on several different fronts. While she is certainly abrasive, Carolyn also has several endearing qualities, not the least of which is her strong sense of right and wrong. She knows full well what it's like to be wrongfully accused and will take whatever measures necessary to see that mistakes are made right. Now that she doesn't suspect the sheriff of foul play, their relationship, while still strained, is one of grudging mutual respect and is much more believable.
This particular mystery revolves around a renowned potter who disappears on his way to Carolyn's pottery shop, Fire at Will. As it turns out, this isn't the first time this particular individual has disappeared from Maple Ridge. Carolyn and her assistant, David, are ill prepared for what happens next. After a dead body is discovered, Carolyn finds out where more than a few of the townsfolk's skeletons are buried - and she is inundated with advice to let sleeping dogs lie. With her contrary nature, however, such advice only serves to strengthen her resolve to solve the mystery - which she does, with a lot of help from her friends.
All in all, this is an enjoyable cozy with an interesting group of main characters that I'm sure we'll learn more about as the series progresses. The clay tips at the end are a welcome bonus. I'll definitely be on the lookout for the next book in this series!
I do have one small complaint - which actually has nothing to do with the author. I dislike all typos, but a typo on the back cover is an egregious mistake. I hope it's fixed prior to further printing.
Carol Ann Hopkins 5/18/2008
Once again Carolyn is caught up in a mystery and trying to prove that her best friend and son are not guilty of murder.
Tim Myers AKA Melissa Glazer has provided us with a great story and a wonderful cast of characters.
This was a fun and easy ready. Recommend this series to everyone who likes the cozy mysteries. As always you are not quite sure who did the killing until the end.
A pleasant little "cozy" set in small-town Vermont.
good read with interesting characters and believable plot