Picks and Pans Review: Chestnut Mare, Beware
by Jody Jaffe
Page-Turner of the Week
REPORTER AND RIDING ENTHUSIAST Nattie Gold is dying to transfer off the fashion beat at the North Carolina newspaper where she works. However, the obit page isn’t quite what she has in mind—which is just where she might land if she keeps poking into the suspicious death of fellow horse fancier Josane Ashmore, a vivacious former beauty queen.
It takes more than a few cut brake lines, however, to discourage our Nattie. She muckrakes in the tony horse haven of Middleburg, Va., with the help of patrician colleague Henry Goode, an investigative reporter probing a series of death threats aimed at prominent citizens. Before long, the two sleuths begin to suspect a connection between their stories—as well as one of a more personal nature with each other.
Jaffe, herself a former feature writer for the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer and owner of six steeds, amusingly satirizes both the newspaper business and the horsy set without slowing her galloping plot by a single stride. (Fawcett, $21)