Story Photos>>Foxdale Farm

excerpt from AT RISK

When the Chevy finally coughed to life, I coaxed the truck onto the road and, ten minutes later, pulled onto Foxdale’s long gravel drive. The headlights cut across the metal walls of the indoor riding arena as I swung around into my usual parking space. To the casual observer, the arena and two huge barns farther down the lane might have looked like warehouses if not for the warren’s nest of paddocks radiating outward like the spokes of a wheel.

I cut the engine, and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto Number 3 in G Major died at the start of the second movement. The sudden quiet was overwhelming. So was the dark. High above me, the sodium vapor lamp was an indistinct shape against the bulk of the building. I made a mental note to have Dave replace the bulb, then I grabbed my flashlight from under the driver’s seat and climbed out.

My boots scrunched on the gravel as I rounded the southwest corner of the indoor arena. When I switched on the flashlight, nothing happened. I slipped off my gloves, tightened the housing, and fiddled with the switch. Still no luck. I glanced toward the barns and froze.

A pickup and horse trailer were parked farther down the lane where they had no business being, not at three in the morning. A broad shaft of light poured from the truck’s cab and reflected off the barn’s metal siding, but what sent a shiver down my spine was the overall absence of light. Both sodium vapors were out.

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K i t   E h r m a n . . .

Columbia Horse Center is the "real-life" Foxdale Farm, Steve's base of operation.

The folks at the Laurel Police Department were a big help to me regarding police procedural questions.

Site content copyrighted 2006/2013 by Kit Ehrman.   top of page
Louisville Skyline photo by
Horse photo by Mike Corrado
Poisoned Pen Press
October, 2002
ISBN:  1-59058-036-2

Trade Paperback
August, 2006
ISBN: 1-59058-265-9


"It's amazing what horses can do for a mystery. Kit Ehrman's debut novel, AT RISK, reeks of authen-ticity, and the hunters and jumpers that are boarded at this no-frills garage have personality to burn. When seven of these horses are stolen in the dead of night, Stephen Cline, the 21-year-old barn manager . . . in the honored tradition of a Dick Francis hero, vows to track down the thieves..."
~ The New York Times

"The smart money could make the unusually likable protagonist a favorite in the Francis Stakes."
~ Kirkus

"Both horse lovers and crime fans who've never stepped into a stirrup will relish Ehrman's riveting debut . . . Ehrman treads Dick Francis territory with a sure foot [and] has created a mem-orable cast.  With his youthful zeal and perseverance, Steve Cline makes a captivating hero and sleuth, one readers will be eager to see again."
~Publishers Weekly

"At best, only a small fraction of first novels turn out to be first in a series (why assume that success for AT RISK?)  The over-arching reason is that its author is thoughtful and clever, as well as skilled.  Ehrman's writing is unob-trusively crisp . . . The plot is intricate, intriguing, and solid in the best tra-ditional style . . ."  (see the complete review-->)
~ The Drood Review

"AT RISK by Kit Ehrman is suspense on steroids and one of the best debut novels to hit the crime literature racetrack since Dennis Lehane's A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR.  Clear ample shelf space for a Steve Cline series because Ehrman, a real-life horse farmer, has hit for the literary trifecta."
~ Andrew McAleer of Austin Layman's Crimestalker Casebook