Mysterious, May 2001, 23.95, 288 pp.
After a quarter of a century of marriage in which the twosome argued and fought seemingly all the time, but produced incredible pottery, the Nordans are divorcing. Randolph County, North Carolina visiting Judge Deborah Knott must equitably and legally divide the property between James Lucas Nordan and Sandra Kay Hitchcock, but Her Honor realizes that this is an extremely complicated knot to untie.
Before Deborah finishes her distribution, someone murders James. Deborah wonders if his homicide might be tied into his brother's suicide two years ago. Unable to remain on the sidelines, Deborah begins to investigate he recent tragedies of the Nordan family.
UNCOMMON CLAY, the latest Judge Knott mystery (see STORM TRACK) is a taut regional thriller that combines down home wit and humor with a tense who-done-it. The story line never slackens for even a paragraph as readers are drawn into the Nordan family like Pooh Bear to honey (that simile is for Ashley Klausner who gracefully let me use it). The charcaters, especially the Judge, leave the reader touching the red clay of North Carolina. As usual marvelous Margaret Maron provides another wonderful tale that will thrill sub-genre fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner