Nanocrystalline Zn1-xCoxO (x = 0-0.50) particles are produced by chemical vapor synthesis using laser flash evaporation as a novel precursor delivery method. The crystal and local structure of the samples is studied using X-ray diffraction and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. A single wurtzite phase is observed in samples with cobalt contents as high as = 0.25 (actual content is 0.33 determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy). X-ray absorption spectra show that the Co2+ ions are incorporated into the ZnO wurtzite lattice substituting Zn2+ ions for cobalt contents between x = 0.001 and x = 0.20. Only small lattice deformations are observed in these solid solutions.