From New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown comes the latest novel in her enthralling series of foxhunting mysteries. Richly imagined and utterly engaging, Hounded to Death reveals the cutthroat world of competitive hound shows as both humans and animals alike try to solve a series of bizarre deaths.
"Sister" Jane Arnold, esteemed master of the Jefferson Hunt Club, has traveled to Kentucky for one of the biggest events of the season: the Mid-South Hound Show, where foxhounds, bassets, and beagles gather to strut their champion bloodline stuff. But the fun is squelched when, immediately after the competition, one of the contestants, Mo Schneider, turns up dead-facedown, stripped to the waist, and peppered with birdshot. Universally detested by his peers, Mo had no shortage of enemies, making the list of suspects as long as the line for homemade pecan pie at a church bake sale.
Two weeks later, back in Virginia, Sister is rocked when her friend the popular veterinarian Hope Rogers dies from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Sister refuses to believe that Hope killed herself and vows to sniff out the truth. But before she can make real headway, a wealthy pet food manufacturer vanishes during the granddaddy of all canine exhibitions, the Virginia Hound Show.
Ever reliant on her "horse sense," Sister can't help but connect the three incidents. And what she uncovers will make her blood run colder than the bodies that keep turning up in unexpected places.
Thrilling adventures with horses and hounds, breathtaking vistas, furry friends, familiar faces-including Shaker Crown and the girls from Custis Hall-Rita Mae Brown weaves all these elements into a dazzling novel of suspense.
At the start of bestseller Brown's discursive seventh crime novel starring master of fox hounds Sister Jane Arnold (after The Tell-Tale Horse), Sister is busy showing her hounds in the hunting off-season. Then calamity strikes. At the Mid-America Hound Show in Kentucky, an unpopular master is shot dead with rat shot (aka bird shot). Back home in Virginia, a member of Sister's Jefferson Hunt Club disappears. When a veterinarian, despondent over her divorce, apparently commits suicide, Sister decides she can no longer leave matters to the police. As usual, a wealth of fox-hunting lore lends interest, but too many incidentals--a conversation about a saint, the furnishings of Sister's house, a prep school commencement--neither further the plot nor illuminate character. Still, series fans should enjoy catching up with old friends among the Virginia fox-hunting gentry. (Sept.)
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September 29, 2008
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