Cold Burn

( 2 )

Overview

Steve Cline has managed the hunter/jumper show barns at Foxdale Farm for the better part of three years. But he has a deal with himself: When he no longer feels challenged, when the routine becomes stagnant, he will look for another job...and he passed that point months ago. So when Corey Claremont, one of Foxdale's boarders, asks Steve for help because her brother has gone missing, Steve embraces the puzzle with enthusiasm.

Two weeks earlier, for no apparent reason, Bruce ...

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COLD BURN

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Overview

Steve Cline has managed the hunter/jumper show barns at Foxdale Farm for the better part of three years. But he has a deal with himself: When he no longer feels challenged, when the routine becomes stagnant, he will look for another job...and he passed that point months ago. So when Corey Claremont, one of Foxdale's boarders, asks Steve for help because her brother has gone missing, Steve embraces the puzzle with enthusiasm.

Two weeks earlier, for no apparent reason, Bruce Claremont quit his job working the night shift on a thoroughbred breeding farm in Warrenton, Virginia, and vanished. To find out what happened, Steve slips unobtrusively into Bruce's world.

The more Steve learns, the more he suspects that Corey may never see her brother again. Secrets, jealousies, and obsessions are the norm in this pastoral setting, and the present seems to be repeating its fiery past.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The nitty-gritty grunt work that takes place off the race track, and out of sight in the horse barns where mares are bred and foaled, is the backdrop for Ehrman's absorbing third mystery to feature Steve Cline, a bright and observant young barn manager (after 2003's Dead Man's Touch). At the behest of his friend Corey Claremont, Cline takes a job on Virginia's Stone Manor Farm to look into the disappearance of Corey's brother, Bruce, who quit his job abruptly. Like Bruce, Steve is assigned the grueling "foal watch" night shift. His search for clues to the whereabouts of his missing predecessor begins at the farm and spreads far afield, leading him to investigate arson, murder and drug-dealing while he fends off dangers from a variety of sources. Suspicion points toward a bullying stable worker but also toward a jealous co-worker-and later to one of the farm's two owners and then to the other. Steve demonstrates more grit than deductive powers and more sense about the horses he cares for than the women crowding his life, but he has a pleasing honesty. Ehrman's knowledge and exposition of life on a horse farm is most impressive and enjoyable. (Feb. 4) Forecast: A blurb from Rita Mae Brown, an enthusiastic horsewoman who lives in Virginia, will help attract cozy fans who might overlook this one. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Foul play among the thoroughbreds brings Ehrman's young Lochinvar riding to the rescue once more. Steve Kline, hero of Ehrman's horse-whodunits (Dead Man's Touch, 2003, etc.), rarely saddles up, but that doesn't mean he lacks for derring-do. Show Steve a damsel in distress, and he's off to the races. The damsel this time is sweet Corey Claremont, a client at Maryland's Foxdale Farm, where Steve is barn manager. Corey's brother has gone lost, strayed, or stolen. Will Steve place his famous investigative powers, his well-known resourcefulness, and his knight-errantry in her service and please find out which? Of course. Off he goes undercover, signing on for the nightshift at Stone Manor, the breeding farm in Warrrenton, Virginia, where Bruce Claremont was last seen. There, he meets elegant, troubled Dr. Deirdre Nash, who owns the place, and saucy, bouncy Maddie O'Connell, expert midwife to anything equine and indefatigable temptress to anything in pants. He meets the motley collection of men who lust after them and does all the lusting proper to a 20-year-old hero himself, though never at the expense of his knightly mission. As for Bruce, it turns out there are darker aspects to the Claremont gene pool than Corey ever imagined. While gallant Steve isn't always believable, he's increasingly irresistible in Ehrman's best yet.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590582930
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
  • Publication date: 8/6/2006
  • Series: Steve Cline Mysteries Series
  • Pages: 334
  • Sales rank: 1,041,003
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

While working for the government and going to college part-time, Kit Ehrman discovered Dick Francis' In the Frame. Afterward, Kit read every one of his mysteries, quit the government job, went to work on a horse farm in Maryland, and has been mucking out stalls ever since. Ehrman became a barn manager almost immediately, moved around a bit, worked at the track for a brief time, then moved to Pennsylvania and worked on a breeding farm, delivering foals on the night shift. Ehrman then earned extra money by buying small horse farms, upgrading them, and selling them for a profit. Cold Burn is the third book in the Steve Cline mystery series, starting with At Risk and Dead Man's Touch.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2005

    Another Great Horse Novel by Kit Ehrman

    In Cold Burn, Kit Ehrman's third equestrian novel, Steve Cline is in trouble again. If you've read Ehrman's previous novels, At Risk and Dead Man's Touch, you know that Steve is a risk-taker, he's dogged in his determination to find the truth, and he keeps his word, even in the most horrific circumstances. This time, he promises to find out what happened to a friend's brother who disappeared from his job as a stable hand at Stone Manor Farm in Virginia, a clinic and breeding farm operated by beautiful and aristocratic Dr. Deirdre Nash. To get information, Steve takes over the missing man's underpaid, grueling, dirty, and often mind-numbing job. His struggle to find the truth is all uphill. He has to put up with another hand's jealousy because he gains the approval of Dr. Nash by his newly-acquired skill in delivering foals. He has to resist his seductive boss, Maddie. There are mysterious nocturnal horse deliveries. He keeps getting hurt. And to make the whole thing worse, an arsonist is at work. Cold Burn starts with a blazing bank barn uncomfortably near Stone Manor and races through a series of often-violent events until the dramatic climax. Ehrman uses realistic imagery and detail to describe the world of a breeding farm. The description is so masterful that it's almost possible to smell the muck that has to be so laboriously raked up all the time. We don't forget the visual picture of a mare bolting out of the stable with the afterbirth dangling, or the sounds that a mare makes in labor. The scrupulous attention to detail when Ehrman describes the barns, equipment, and procedure gives the reader a lesson in Breeding Farm 101. That realism extends to the behavior and motivations of the characters. A perfect balance. In Cold Burn, Ehrman has written a compelling book about a young man's honorable quest to find a missing person. In his investigation, Steve learns more about himself and about human nature in general.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Fans of Dick Frances will think Kit Ehrman is his successor

    When Steve Cline¿s friend Corey Claremont asks him to look into the disappearance of her brother Bruce he jumps at the chance. He¿s bored in his present position and looks forward to working at Stone Manor Farm, where they breed thoroughbreds. By a lucky coincidence, Steve is hired in Bruce¿s former position and he is staying at Bruce¿s apartment. Steve discretely questions the workers at Stone Manor Farm but all he learns is that Victor Nash, the husband of the owner Dr. Deidre Nash, told everyone that Bruce quit.--- A neighbor tells Steve that someone drove Bruce¿s car to his parking space shortly after he disappeared. It really looks like Bruce is in hiding or dead. When a dealer wants to buy a significant amount of cocaine from Bruce, he is willing to deal with Steve instead. Steve wonders if Bruce¿s disappearance is drug related. The longer he works for Dr. Nash, the more he believes illegal activities are being carried out at Stone Manor Farm. As Steve looks for evidence, he almost gets himself killed.--- Readers will enjoy reading COLD BURN, a novel that showcases a protagonist who wants to right the wrongs of the world. There is plenty of action as well as a surplus of suspects who could have had something to with Bruce¿s disappearance. Fans of Dick Frances will think Kit Ehrman is his successor because it is obvious he knows and loves horses.--- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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