Author Ponies Up Horsey Mysteries


'Saddled with Trouble' author Michele ScottAuthor Michele Scott knew she’d eventually write a mystery set in the world of horses. It just took her a while to get there. Her previous books had wine tasting, wine drinking and high-priced wine collections as themes. Now merlots have been replaced by mares and crystal stemware with champion stallions. The first in her series of horse lover’s mysteries, Saddled with Trouble, is now available from Berkeley Publishing/Penguin, with the second installment, Death Reins In, due in June. That will be welcome news for horse lovers desperate for decent horsey fiction.
Scott purposely aligned her protagonist, professional trainer Michaela Bancroft, with American Quarter Horses. “They’re an all-around breed, which will allow me to cover different aspects of the horse world, instead of what I saw in most horse fiction where the action took place at the racetrack or with English show horses.”
Although she’s not an acclaimed competitor, Scott grew up with horses and is at home grooming, riding and caring for them. Moreover, horses are part of her family’s life. Her parents are the owners and managers of Professional Choice performance horse products.
“My first horse was a half-draft, half-Quarter horse cross I got when I was about 6,” Scott recalls fondly. While her writing work keeps her out of the saddle a lot, she still manages to fit in barn time. “I am around horses on a regular basis. In fact, my daughter, Kaitlin, is now 6 and she’s taking riding lessons. One of my main goals is to help her realize that there’s more to just riding. I want her to be a responsible horsewoman, so I help her groom the horses and learn about basic horse care.”
Michele Scott’s plan is to get back into riding regularly, perhaps so she can share the joy of the sport with her daughter. However, her first task is to saddle up more horsey mysteries for eager readers.

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Cindy Hale’s life with horses has been filled with variety. As a child she rode western and learned to barrel race. Then she worked as a groom for a show barn, and was taught to harness and drive Welsh ponies. But once she’d taken her first lessons aboard American Saddlebreds she was hooked on English riding. Hunters and hunt seat equitation came next, and she spent decades competing in those divisions on the West Coast. Always seeking to improve her horsemanship, she rode in clinics conducted by world-class riders like George Morris, Kathy Kusner and Anne Kursinski. During that time, her family began raising Thoroughbred and warmblood sport horses, and Cindy experienced the thrills and challenges of training and showing the homebred greenies. Now retired from active competition, she’s a popular judge at local and county-rated open and hunter/jumper shows. She rides recreationally both English and western. Her Paint gelding, Wally, lives at home with her and her non-horsey husband, Ron.


  1. I had already read the book before I found this channel. The book was easy to read and held my
    interest. I think Ms. Scott has the ability to
    be as good a mystery writer of equine plots as
    Rita Mae Brown.


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