Critics and fans alike are wild about Rita Mae Brown’s richly imagined and utterly engaging foxhunting mysteries–and this latest novel promises more thrilling hunts, breathtaking vistas, and an all-new sinister scandal.
Millions of dollars seem to be missing after a long-overdue audit of the local aluminum plant reveals a major accounting discrepancy. Company president Garvey Stokes finds himself at a loss–in more ways than one. He turns to his sharp-tongued, ornery bookkeeper, Iphigenia “Iffy” Demetrios, for an explanation, but she’s no help. Yet when the fuzzy math suddenly includes a body count, the figures can no longer be ignored.
While the town sheriff tries to get to the bottom of the matter, leave it to “Sister” Jane Arnold, venerable master of the Jefferson Hunt Club, to rely on her keen horse-and-hound sense to follow the trail of murder and cover-up. Throwing her off the scent, however, is former hunt club donor and all-around cad Crawford Howard, who thinks he can go toe-to-toe with the beloved septuagenarian and outclass her club by grossly sidestepping hound- and-hunt etiquette. Against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a menagerie of friends, foes, and fresh new faces saddle up for the breakneck ride to unravel the conspiracy. Even the furry denizens in the fields and boroughs have a thing or two to say about these peculiar humans.
Incomparable author Rita Mae Brown returns to the glorious hills of Virginia and its genteel foxhunting society, where how much money you have in the bank is not nearly as important as how long your family has lived on the land–and where nearly everyone has something to hide. As Sister muses, “The little secrets leak out. The big ones, well, some escape like evils from Pandora’s box. And others we’ll never know.”
In bestseller Brown's diverting fifth foxhunting mystery (after 2005's The Hunt Ball), "Sister" Jane Arnold, the 73-year-old master of foxhounds at central Virginia's Jefferson Hunt Club, and a host of anthropomorphized dogs, horses, foxes and birds have their work cut out for them. As Sister prepares for the winter hunt, arrogant arriviste Crawford Howard acquires an "outlaw" pack of hounds and proceeds to set up a rival event on land long used by the Jefferson Hunt, a plan that threatens to tear the community apart. "People are like teabags. You never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water," notes Sister, who with her usual panache sorts out a murder, an attempted murder, an insurance scam and a huge sum of money gone missing from a local company. Cozy fans and animal lovers will be charmed, but the general reader may lose patience with the talking critters.