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Foal Play: Colleen McCabe    by Kathryn O'Sullivan order for
Foal Play
by Kathryn O'Sullivan
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
*   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kathryn O'Sullivan's Foal Play is a cozy mystery, set in Corolla, in North Carolina's Outer Banks, and starring fire chief Colleen McCabe. Colleen loves her job and her long, close friendship with Sheriff Bill Dorman teeters on the edge of romance.

As the story opens, a dead body washes up on shore. As always, Colleen (usually accompanied by her Border collie, Sparky) is keen to investigate, despite being warned off by Bill. Later, after Fourth of July fireworks, the house of retired school teacher Myrtle Crepe is burned down, a body inside.

Though it's assumed to be Myrtle's torched remains, Colleen soon discovers her former teacher alive and well, but intent on keeping her survival secret as she believes she was targeted. Myrtle disguises herself as Colleen's Uncle Mitch, stays at Colleen's home, and insists on parading her new identity around town (all rather unlikely plot elements).

There's more violence before it's all resolved, as well as misunderstandings between Colleen and Bill. Though the characters' behavior is often over the top, the setting (especially the wild horses) kept me reading till the end.

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