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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 28 reviews
on November 28, 2011
This is the first in a series of cozy mysteries about glassblowing and is set in Tucson. Em is an artist and small business owner who supports herself through her shop and by teaching glassblowing. She lives above her workshop and retail store and has two small dogs. Her life becomes complicated when she meets Allison, an Irish girl who has recently moved to Tucson and is interested in glass, but is down on her luck financially. Em offers for her to come watch a class and possibly work for her to pay for classes. She befriends Allison, who seems very skittish and worried. When she hears a possible burglary in the night, she is shocked to find that a man has been murdered using her kiln and he is found to be Allison's husband that she had run away from in Chicago. Complicating matters is Em's prior relationship with the local police chief and her brother's arrival and subsequent attraction to Allison. It becomes clear that Allison's husband was involved in some shady business and his business partners now may be after Allison. Em must help find out what is really going on and help get Allison out of a very dangerous situation. The story has a few implausible points, but it overall a good mystery and has some nice details about glassblowing. Also included are a few recipes, but one of them is more of a joke on Em's poor cooking skills than anything else.
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on May 15, 2010
WOW! What a fantastic author Sheila Connolly/Sarah Atwell is! I don't know exactly how I found her, but I did so through Amazon.com. THANK YOU!

The more I read, the more I wanted to read this book, the first in Atwell's Arizona-based "glassblowing" series. As always I began with the back-cover blurb. Here it is:

"Glassblower Emmeline Dowell has made a home for herself among the artists of Tucson's Warehouse District. With a weakness for taking in strays from homeless dogs to extra students, Emmeline can't help befriending troubled newcomer Allison McBride. But their friendship takes a dangerous turn Em finds Allison's husband in the studio - dead. Now Emmeline is involved in a far-reaching murder investigation. And when the killer acts again, it's up to her to pick up the shards of Allison's life before it's too late." (Interesting note: "shards" is the name of Em's shop).

A nice touch is Atwell's use of glassblowing terms as chapter head notes and a history of glass making added at the end. I wish the history had been longer!

Here is a sample of Atwell's clever prose:

"Cam drifted forward, Allison drifted sideways. They reminded me of a pinball game in slow motion. Finally they bumped into pieces of furniture and sat. Allison chose an armchair, and Cam positioned himself on the closest couch. The dogs watched the two of them in fascination, waiting to see what happened next."

Connolly/Atwell is extremely talented and extremely busy. Besides the three titles in this glassblowing series, she has written a Massachusetts-based "orchard mystery" series. The fourth title in it is due out in December. Start with:One Bad Apple (An Orchard Mystery). And, happily, Connolly has launched a third series. It takes place in Philadelphia in a museum setting. The first title is due out in October:Fundraising the Dead (A Museum Mystery),

THANK YOU Sheila Connolly!
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on August 2, 2013
I like reading about my home town. This character is interesting in her independence and genuine concern of other people. She has an interesting career in glassblowing (I knew next to nothing about) and so I enjoyed seeing how it all worked.
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on December 15, 2013
These are fun cozies and make a good read for travel or rainy days. If I like a series, I tend to read them all, preferably in order, but sometimes not. I had fun with this series and look forward to the next one.
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on July 11, 2014
Love the Atwell glassblowing mystery series. Great characters and good story-line. Sadly, there are only 3 books to the series. Would have loved more.
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on April 30, 2015
Good plotting, good character development, good description, and all-around GOOD writing!!
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on July 8, 2014
Not finished yet but I am liking it very much.
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on April 2, 2008
i was disapointed in this book I did not like the characters and the book seemed totally unrealistic
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