Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Kilned at the Ceramic Shop by Donna Clancy

Posted March 18, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, contemporary, cozy mystery, Donna Clancy, giveaway, mystery/suspense / 16 Comments

Kilned at the Ceramic Shop book review

Kilned at the Ceramic Shop by Donna ClancyKILNED AT THE CERAMIC SHOP by Donna Clancy
A Braddock Mystery #1

GENRE: Cozy Mystery (Clean)
PUBLISHER: Level Best Books
RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2024
PAGES: 237

Tammy Wright, a bestselling mystery author returns to her hometown to give her Aunt Clara a hand with running her ceramic shop during tourist season. She discovers that two vindictive realtors have been bullying her aunt and others into selling their properties to make room for new housing developments. Those who don’t comply pay the consequences.

Tammy stumbles upon a body, and when her aunt refuses to give in to either realtor she disappears without a trace.

With the help of an old schoolmate turned policeman, the writer must step out from behind her computer screen and her fictional mysteries to confront real life crime. If she doesn’t, she may never see her aunt again.

Tammy Wright (who writes mysteries) thinks her summer back in her hometown to help her Aunt Clara at the ceramic shop is going to be so boring. After all, she’s used to the hustle and bustle of New York City now. Well, she isn’t back long before things turn anything but boring. Threats, vandalism, murder, kidnapping, explosions … the stakes have never been higher for this mystery writer to solve a case. I loved Aunt Clara as well as elderly sisters Hattie and Mabel. Their feistiness reminded me of my grandmother, and it was inspiring to watch them stand their ground against the real estate bullies. I also enjoyed Hattie’s goodnatured meddling in Zeke & Tammy’s fledgling friendship-that-could-become-more. And of course I always appreciate a sweet romance brewing.

I really wanted to like this book. It had great plot bones and I appreciated the ‘reverse Jessica Fletcher’ motif. Unfortunately, the writing style in this novel wasn’t for me. Or maybe it just needed tighter editing. There were several instances of ‘perspective hopping’ where suddenly Tammy is referred to as ‘her niece’ or ‘the writer’ in the narrative even though all references should be from Tammy’s point of view. Awkward sentence structures and confusing word choices like this kept interrupting my reading flow and detracted from my overall enjoyment. (Since I received an advanced copy, I double checked with the final copy preview on Amazon to see if the first example I noticed of this had been corrected. I wouldn’t have mentioned it if it had been fixed in the editing process – because that’s what it’s for, after all – but the perspective hopping was still present.) I also had a hard time connecting with the characters – everything seemed very surface level to me.

Bottom Line: Kilned at the Ceramic Shop by Donna Clancy kicks off a brand new cozy mystery series with small town vibes, delightfully feisty senior citizens, and an investigation that gets very personal for our heroine. It sets up the community and relationship arcs nicely for the rest of the series, and the mystery took some turns I wasn’t expecting. While the writing style didn’t work for me personally and kept me from truly investing in the characters, reviews of this book show that only a couple of other readers had the same issues. So if the description of the book or something in my review intrigues you about Kilned at the Ceramic Shop, do go ahead and give it a try!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 3 stars / liked some of it, disliked some of it

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Donna Clancy lives on Cape Cod. She has three grown children and one rescue Papillion named Zumiez. She has a seven-book deal with Level Best Books for The Braddock Mysteries, writes The Trash to Treasure and Paint and Sip cozy series’ for Summer Prescott Books Publishing as well as self-publishing The Shipwreck Cafe and Jelly Shop Mysteries. She loves to write in various genres including suspense, thriller, romance, and YA. Connect with Donna at her website.

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16 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Kilned at the Ceramic Shop by Donna Clancy

  1. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for your review on KILNED AT THE CERAMIC SHOP by Donna Clancy and for being part of the book tour.

    Loving cozies and a part history in ceramics, I’d love to give it a try.

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