St. Martin's, Feb 2003, 22.95, 208 pp.
The first victim of the stable arsonist is Bishop Ranch Stable. Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office Detective Jeri Ward immediately thinks inside job and suspects manager Bart Bishop of committing the crime to collect insurance money. However, two more stables are torched, and a caretaker murdered makes Bart no longer look like the culprit.
Jeri still believes that “incest' has occurred as she strongly thinks that an insider is causing the fires. Horse veterinarian Gail McCarthy, who has been at each crime scene to help the horses, sees the thug that started the fourth fire, but she suffers a concussion and cannot recall whom she observed. Still the arsonist has apparently killed a human and several horses so Gail could easily be a target, as the culprit will not want her to remember and identify her/him.
The seventh veterinary mystery, HAYBURNER, is a strong who-done that is at its best when Laura Crum portrays the anguish and pain of injured horses and the related veterinary scenes. The investigation plays second fiddle to the steeds and McCarthy's romantic seesaw. This mystery is more for animal lovers with a strong stomach as this tale makes stars of the steeds.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner