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Kathryn O'Sullivan
- Novelist, Playwright, Screenwriter
Kathryn O'Sullivan

Foal Play

Kathryn O'Sullivan

Winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition

Colleen McCabe is enjoying an uneventful summer supervising her firefighters, making rounds with her Border collie Sparky, and keeping an eye on the wild horses escaped from the local sanctuary.  But when a dead body washes up on shore, she knows trouble has arrived in Corolla.

Colleen is ready to start work on the investigation, but much to her irritation her best friend, Sheriff Bill Dorman, makes it clear he doesn’t want her butting her nose in or poking around. The stubborn Colleen, however, is not so easily deterred. When a man with a gun is spotted lurking around the lighthouse and her former school teacher’s house explodes, she adds arson and a second suspicious death to her informal investigation. Colleen soon finds herself juggling her job, amorous advances from the town’s developer, and intrusions from the local press, all while keeping information from Bill. Her secret sleuthing quickly comes to an end, however, when a bigger threat enters the picture.

Foal Play Book Trailer

Accolades and Reviews for Foal Play

The Outer Banks Voice Covers Book Signings

“The Colleen McCabe mystery series is the hottest new entry in Outer Banks fiction.” – Russ Lay, The Outer Banks Voice

Lincoln City Libraries Reviews Foal Play

“This funny cozy is perfect for a lazy afternoon…. O’Sullivan paints great word pictures of the Outer Banks in this award winning debut novel.” – Donna G., BookGuide, Lincoln City Libraries

Jessica Sinn of Chick Lit Cafe Reviews Foal Play

“Colleen embodies everything I love in a female protagonist.  She’s fearless, strong-willed, witty – and an animal lover to boot…. If you love animals, charming small-town settings and entertaining characters, this book’s for you.” – Jessica Sinn, Chick Lit Cafe  Read the full review at Chick Lit Cafe

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Anne Bendheim of Asbury Park Press Reviews Foal Play

“Ingredients for an auspicious murder-mystery debut: two suspicious dead bodies, an explosion, wild horses, unwanted romantic passes and lighthouse lurking.  Add a splash of humor and a border collie named Sparky, and you’ve got a great way to kick off the summer reading season.” – Anne Bendheim, Asbury Park Press

Lesa Holstine of Lesa’s Book Critiques Reviews Foal Play

“Corolla comes beautifully to life with its beach setting and the magnificent wild horses of the islands… I love catching the start of a new traditional series.  And, you can’t go wrong with the mysteries that win the Malice Domestic awards.  Welcome Kathryn O’Sullivan’s Foal Play to the field.” – Lesa Holstine, Lesa’s Book Critiques

Melissa Lapierre of Mochas, Mysteries & More Reviews Foal Play

“A stellar cast of primary and secondary characters, a picturesque setting, and a compelling story make this book a must-read for mystery lovers… Put this one at the top of your summer reading list.” – Melissa Lapierre, Mochas, Mysteries & More. Read the full review and my interview at Mochas, Mysteries & More

Booklist Reviews Foal Play

“The setting, unusual occupation of the protagonist, and the supporting cast of small-town characters all mesh nicely in this humor-laden, thoroughly absorbing cozy.  Colleen is a strong, smart woman, similar in style to Arly Hanks in Joan Hess’ series, and readers will look for more from her.” – Booklist

Library Journal Reviews Foal Play

“Winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition, this promising series debut cozy showcases a strong sense of place and a likable cast of characters.  The author’s gutsy amateur sleuth heroine shows great potential for future installments.  This makes a nice pairing with fellow newcomer Susan M. Boyer’s Lowcountry Boil.” – Library […]

Publishers Weekly Reviews Foal Play

“Smalltown hilarity buoys O’Sullivan’s charming debut… Readers will enjoy the quirky supporting cast – from Pinky Salvatore, the town’s closest thing to a criminal, to Little Bobby, Myrtle’s beleaguered only child… The Outer Banks setting, home to wild mustangs, adds to the appeal.” – Publishers Weekly    Read the full review at Publishers Weekly.

Ann Holt of Book Keeping Reviews Foal Play

“All the expected elements are present to make this a very readable cozy: a great location, a slue of amusing characters, a handful of possible villains, a winning amateur sleuth, and the horses,” writes Ann Holt in her blog Book Keeping.  “If this doesn’t turn into a series for author Kathryn O’Sullivan, I will be very much surprised.” – Ann Holt, Book Keeping. Read the review at Book Keeping.

Advance Praise for Foal Play from Jeffrey Stepakoff, author of Fireworks Over Toccoa and The Orchard

“Keeps you up reading late into the night. Masterfully crafted, richly detailed, populated with a smart winning heroine and fascinating characters . . .a compulsively readable whodunit from a skilled new novelist. What a pleasure! Bravo!” —Jeffrey Stepakoff, author of Fireworks Over Toccoa and The Orchard

Advance Praise for Foal Play from Carole Bellacera, author of Lily of the Springs

“A delicious romp of a mystery that sweeps you along for a wild roller-coaster ride. Filled with hilarious characters and a compelling heroine, Foal Play is an engaging read set in a modern-day ‘Mayberry’ with a twist of murder and suspense. O’Sullivan is a promising new author to keep your eye on.”  – Carole Bellacera, author of Lily of the Springs

Advance Praise for Foal Play from Linda Rodriguez, Author of Every Last Secret

“What fun!  Kathryn O’Sullivan’s winning debut mystery is a light-hearted confection for traditional mystery readers to enjoy.  This charming cozy offers an intriguing puzzle in a sweet seaside village and an unusual warm-hearted fire chief as heroine.” – Linda Rodriguez, author of Every Last Secret

Advance Praise for Foal Play from Nora Charles, Author of the Kate Kennedy Senior Sleuth Series

“Fast paced intrigue on the Outer Banks, introducing Colleen McCabe, a fire chief with a fondness for horses and a flare for solving murders.” – Nora Charles, author of the Kate Kennedy Senior Sleuth series