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Uncommon Clay

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In the red clay country of Seagrove, North Carolina, Judge Deborah Knott oversees the distribution of property in the bitter divorce between two members of the Nordan clan, a dynasty of skilled potters long cursed by suicide and scandal. After a gruesome act of violence suddenly strikes the homestead, Judge Knott must stop a killer who will stop at nothing to continue a da In the red clay country of Seagrove, North Carolina, Judge Deborah Knott oversees the distribution of property in the bitter divorce between two members of the Nordan clan, a dynasty of skilled potters long cursed by suicide and scandal. After a gruesome act of violence suddenly strikes the homestead, Judge Knott must stop a killer who will stop at nothing to continue a dark history of family secrets, old sins, and new blood. (July)


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In the red clay country of Seagrove, North Carolina, Judge Deborah Knott oversees the distribution of property in the bitter divorce between two members of the Nordan clan, a dynasty of skilled potters long cursed by suicide and scandal. After a gruesome act of violence suddenly strikes the homestead, Judge Knott must stop a killer who will stop at nothing to continue a da In the red clay country of Seagrove, North Carolina, Judge Deborah Knott oversees the distribution of property in the bitter divorce between two members of the Nordan clan, a dynasty of skilled potters long cursed by suicide and scandal. After a gruesome act of violence suddenly strikes the homestead, Judge Knott must stop a killer who will stop at nothing to continue a dark history of family secrets, old sins, and new blood. (July)

30 review for Uncommon Clay

  1. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    3.5 stars. In North Carolina, Judge Deborah Knott's current case involves dividing the marital assets of the divorcing Nordans, who are both successful potters. When one of the spouses is bizarrely murdered, Deborah steps right in the middle of the mystery. This book was #8 in the series and published in 2001. It's probably been five years since I read Long Upon the Land. I either didn't know or forgot that it was the last book in this series after a 23 year stretch. So now I'll just be re-readin 3.5 stars. In North Carolina, Judge Deborah Knott's current case involves dividing the marital assets of the divorcing Nordans, who are both successful potters. When one of the spouses is bizarrely murdered, Deborah steps right in the middle of the mystery. This book was #8 in the series and published in 2001. It's probably been five years since I read Long Upon the Land. I either didn't know or forgot that it was the last book in this series after a 23 year stretch. So now I'll just be re-reading the older books. This one opens with a funny scene where Deborah sneaks in to see her boyfriend and gets an unexpected surprise. I learned a lot about making pottery and glazing. With eleven brothers, Deborah has a large family and it's a bit difficult to keep up with who's who. Note: Maron writes a clean story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Pots, potters, and old family history are at the center of this surprisingly violent mystery with Judge Deborah Knott set in an area of North Carolina famous for its pottery.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    In book eight of the series, Judge Knott is a visiting Judge to a neighboring county. She is overseeing a divorce trial of two famous local potters who have been married for twenty-five years. The case is very complicated; then, James, the husband, is murdered. Maron has her usual down home wit and humor in the “who-done it” story. Maron did a great deal of research about the world of potting and clays to write this story. The author’s portrayal of human relationships raises the novel above the u In book eight of the series, Judge Knott is a visiting Judge to a neighboring county. She is overseeing a divorce trial of two famous local potters who have been married for twenty-five years. The case is very complicated; then, James, the husband, is murdered. Maron has her usual down home wit and humor in the “who-done it” story. Maron did a great deal of research about the world of potting and clays to write this story. The author’s portrayal of human relationships raises the novel above the usual fare in the genre. Maron writes a great mystery, her books are fun to read plus I always learn something new about a North Carolina industry. Last time it was about the furniture industry, this time pottery. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. C. J. Critt does an excellent job narrating this series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Richard Brand

    Been on this Deborah Knott kick for a while now. Up to number 8. It ought not to surprise anyone that mystery writers have a certain formula they use and they just change the circumstances. It was fun to realize that Agatha Christe had a mystery about a movie star who I think lost a baby because a fan came to see her when the fan had the measles. This story seems to have built on that kind of plot. The pottery industry of NC is the background for this tell and there are three different kinds of Been on this Deborah Knott kick for a while now. Up to number 8. It ought not to surprise anyone that mystery writers have a certain formula they use and they just change the circumstances. It was fun to realize that Agatha Christe had a mystery about a movie star who I think lost a baby because a fan came to see her when the fan had the measles. This story seems to have built on that kind of plot. The pottery industry of NC is the background for this tell and there are three different kinds of bizarre murders in the pottery area. This did not have a lot of Deborah's family involved but her family knew a lot of the people from high school who were involved. It also brought an end to Deborah's courtship with her game warden on the coast in a humorous way for the read although perhaps not funny to Deborah when it happened.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leanne

    I like Margaret Maron's books - particularly since I live in Raleigh, and even though her heroine, Deborah Knott, lives in a fictional NC county, she spends lots of her time in Raleigh, and around the state, and I can 'relate'. I just recently listened to this book on tape (I highly recommend listening to books!). It was an interesting mystery, set in Seagrove, among the Seagrove potters - several deaths (one of them clearly a murder; the others mysterious, but not quite clear cut murders) occur I like Margaret Maron's books - particularly since I live in Raleigh, and even though her heroine, Deborah Knott, lives in a fictional NC county, she spends lots of her time in Raleigh, and around the state, and I can 'relate'. I just recently listened to this book on tape (I highly recommend listening to books!). It was an interesting mystery, set in Seagrove, among the Seagrove potters - several deaths (one of them clearly a murder; the others mysterious, but not quite clear cut murders) occur in one family of potters. Since Judge Knott is in the area as a circuit court judge, she of course gets involved! The mystery had me guessing until close to the end - I was 'close' with my guesses, but not quite on the mark!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Pittman

    This was my first in this series. At the beginning it statutes out slow and I was not sure I would continue but it picked up after several chapters. I try to support NC authors as much as possible

  7. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    I included the tag of noir, as the ending is rather noir-ish. The one seeking vengeance ends up sowing an uncertain future for their own family. The ones receiving the lash of vengeance are forever changed - either dead or living in the pain of loss, including those who didn't create the problem. The one frustrating thing with the book is the way Kid is removed from the story. As a reader we've had the build of up of a the relationship between Deborah and Kid - he's passionate about his job, eth I included the tag of noir, as the ending is rather noir-ish. The one seeking vengeance ends up sowing an uncertain future for their own family. The ones receiving the lash of vengeance are forever changed - either dead or living in the pain of loss, including those who didn't create the problem. The one frustrating thing with the book is the way Kid is removed from the story. As a reader we've had the build of up of a the relationship between Deborah and Kid - he's passionate about his job, ethical, playful, romantic, committed. Yes, there's the struggle of balancing the wants and needs of his 15 year old daughter with the long distance relationship between D & K. Then Kid (to the reader's view) abruptly changes his mind and the relationship goes splat. I get an author having their main character go through up and down, including romantic relationships. But the way it played out seemed inconsistent with what we've been given as a personality profile of Kid.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Toller

    Judge Deborah Knott is assigned to Randolph County near Seagrove to settle two divorces because a judge is on sick leave. While settling the divorce, she finds one of the divorcees murdered. The story of how the mystery is solved and the family relationships make for a great mystery. Loved reading about potters in this book and thought the mystery was very well done. Even though I had read this book before I did not remember who the killer was, so was very surprised by the ending. Another good a Judge Deborah Knott is assigned to Randolph County near Seagrove to settle two divorces because a judge is on sick leave. While settling the divorce, she finds one of the divorcees murdered. The story of how the mystery is solved and the family relationships make for a great mystery. Loved reading about potters in this book and thought the mystery was very well done. Even though I had read this book before I did not remember who the killer was, so was very surprised by the ending. Another good addition to this author's series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Great mystery plot in this one! The two possible killers laid out at the beginning were so over-obvious as to be clear red-herrings, but I didn't quite figure out who it might be until the very end. And I found all the details about this history of pottery in North Carolina really interesting. Also, since I'm in the middle of the Sigrid Herald novels as well, I loved the quick shout-out to Oscar Nauman's character from that series :) Great mystery plot in this one! The two possible killers laid out at the beginning were so over-obvious as to be clear red-herrings, but I didn't quite figure out who it might be until the very end. And I found all the details about this history of pottery in North Carolina really interesting. Also, since I'm in the middle of the Sigrid Herald novels as well, I loved the quick shout-out to Oscar Nauman's character from that series :)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Love this series! This one highlights the pottery industries of Asheboro, NC. I live in the same area as Judge Deborah Knott and still learn something new about our state with each book in the series. The series is authentic to our part of the state and always enjoy the familiar places and attitudes. These stories always include a light mystery but not much intrigue. The Judge is funny, sarcastic, witty and on occasion a bit catty. She is very identifiable.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Val

    Being a judge is tough enough but when you throw in a couple of divorces it gets even worse. The murders were just stupid (for a lack of a better word) and the killer got exactly what they deserved. I was down right mad 😠 after reading the whole Kidd situation but I'm hoping for her and Dwight getting together anyway. Each book gets better in its own way and I only called a couple of people idiots. 😉 Being a judge is tough enough but when you throw in a couple of divorces it gets even worse. The murders were just stupid (for a lack of a better word) and the killer got exactly what they deserved. I was down right mad 😠 after reading the whole Kidd situation but I'm hoping for her and Dwight getting together anyway. Each book gets better in its own way and I only called a couple of people idiots. 😉

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    This is one of my favorites of the entire series. I enjoyed all the material about making pottery and I didn't come close to anticipating the solution to the mystery. Also, I appreciate that Deborah's family is not as central here as they are in many of the other books in this series; they are fine, well-written characters, but they do tend to overwhelm the mysteries. This is one of my favorites of the entire series. I enjoyed all the material about making pottery and I didn't come close to anticipating the solution to the mystery. Also, I appreciate that Deborah's family is not as central here as they are in many of the other books in this series; they are fine, well-written characters, but they do tend to overwhelm the mysteries.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Owlsinger

    Becoming more & more invested in the lives of Judge Deb'rah Knott, her family, and friends. This episode dives into the background of small-scale potters and the history of their craft in North Carolina, and was pretty educational for me - always a plus in my reading. Becoming more & more invested in the lives of Judge Deb'rah Knott, her family, and friends. This episode dives into the background of small-scale potters and the history of their craft in North Carolina, and was pretty educational for me - always a plus in my reading.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Billie Pangalos

    Entertaining mystery! Humor laugh out loud at times. Quirky characters. Makes me want to go buy one of those ugly face mugs from a local pottery workshop. Discovered organizing my book shelves...determined to read what I already own in 2020.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gwen Veazey

    Great protagonist, Judge Deborah Knott the bootlegger's daughter, and a cool mystery set in Seagrove, NC, with a murder or two related to the pottery business. Great protagonist, Judge Deborah Knott the bootlegger's daughter, and a cool mystery set in Seagrove, NC, with a murder or two related to the pottery business.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda Selbach

    My favorite so far of her books. I've noticed too many times in series they get worse not better. This is a nice surprise and I'm ready to read the next one! My favorite so far of her books. I've noticed too many times in series they get worse not better. This is a nice surprise and I'm ready to read the next one!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    good story. very interesting background info on N.C. pottery, including history. this integrated into the mystery.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    A nice twist to end this one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn Shappy

    A quiet and easy going read. Ending unravels within just a few pages, making it seem a little lackluster and rushed. Wish it had matched effort of the character and story development.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Terry Tschann Skelton

    I've read several Deborah Knott mysteries and enjoyed them all. Great characters, good plots, believable dialogue and good resolutions. Just what I need for diversion. I've read several Deborah Knott mysteries and enjoyed them all. Great characters, good plots, believable dialogue and good resolutions. Just what I need for diversion.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Camilla Harry

    Loving this series / author. Did not have the culprit pegged. But Deborah is good at figuring things out!

  22. 4 out of 5

    koza

    I didn't know how badly I wanted to read a pottery mystery until I did. I didn't know how badly I wanted to read a pottery mystery until I did.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Books

    Just stared on Mysteries with a U of D course . Love them. This was an easy read and very interesting. Learned about North Caroline Clay pots. i want one now.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Micheale

    Another great book in the Deborah Knott series!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Reveiws by John-James

    The action is not that intense because of the remoteness but the impact of the success it brings is all useful and similar to a real thing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julia Lee

    Enjoyed; but not quite as good as earlier in series or perhaps it is but I just had too much time between chapters. On to the next book in the series!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leatrice

    Lots of action and intrigue - loved the characters!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Krystina

    Those who aren't fiction lovers will still like Uncommon Clay (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #8) . Give it a try! Those who aren't fiction lovers will still like Uncommon Clay (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #8) . Give it a try!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rosanna

    Good characters with interesting interplay. Recommend for those interested in fiction and mysterythriller novels.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Merlot58

    I love this series and this did not disappoint. I can turn to Deborah Knott when I am in a reading slump and be instantly an avid reader again.

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