From the bestselling author of the landmark work Rubyfruit Jungle comes an engaging, original new novel that only Rita Mae Brown could have written. In the pristine world of Virginia foxhunting, hunters, horses, hounds, and foxes form a lively community of conflicting loyalties, where the thrill of the chase and the intricacies of human-animal relationships are experienced firsthand--and murder exposes a proud Southern community's unsavory secrets. . .
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July 25, 2005
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Excerpt from Outfoxed by Rita Mae Brown
On October twelfth, silhouetted against a bloodred sunset, a cloaked figure carrying a scythe was seen by three people. A gray fox also observed the reaper.
A stiff breeze kicked up from the west, sending a sudden swirl of fallen, golden leaves spiraling upward. When they fell to earth the figure was gone.
"Did you see that " Jane Arnold, known as "Sister Jane," asked.
"See what " the rugged man next to her replied.
"On Hangman's Ridge, I swear I saw the Grim Reaper." She pointed to her left, the deep green ridge rising softly from the meadows, a lone, massive tree commanding the middle of it.
"Sister"--Shaker Crown put his hands on his hips, shaking his head--"dipping into the flask again."
"Balls." She smiled at him.
It was an alluring smile and one that still carried a sensual message to men that even her seventy years couldn't erase.
"No, ma'am, I didn't see anything. Tell you what I do see. Fontaine Buruss hasn't kept his word."
"Damn him." Jane briskly walked along the grassy farm path to a three-board fence up ahead.
A coop, a jump resembling a chicken coop, was smashed to pieces.
"Lucky no cows are out." Shaker took off his lad's cap, running his fingers through his auburn curls. "Fontaine." He shrugged. No other words were necessary.
"There are days when I think I'm a candidate for sainthood," she said, laughing.
Shaker put his arm around her small waist. "You know, boss, I say that to myself every day."
"Devil." She hugged him in return. "Well, let's stop the gap. Come back tomorrow morning and fix it right." She glanced toward the west. "Much as I love fall, I mourn the fading light."
"Yes ma'am." He vaulted over the splintered wood, heading for a dense forest at the edge of the pasture.
Within minutes Shaker returned, dragging a tree branch with a diameter the size of a strong man's forearm.