A witty philosophical murder mystery with a charming twist: the crack detectives are sheep determined to discover who killed their beloved shepherd.
On a hillside near the cozy Irish village of Glennkill, the members of the flock gather around their shepherd, George, whose body lies pinned to the ground with a spade. George has cared for the sheep, reading them a plethora of books every night. The daily exposure to literature has made them far savvier about the workings of the human mind than your average sheep. Led by Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in Glennkill (and possibly the world), they set out to find George’s killer.
The A-team of investigators includes Othello, the “bad-boy” black ram; Mopple the Whale, a merino who eats a lot and remembers everything; and Zora, a pensive black-faced ewe with a weakness for abysses. Joined by other members of the richly talented flock, they engage in nightlong discussions about the crime and wild metaphysical speculations, and they embark on reconnaissance missions into the village, where they encounter some likely suspects. There’s Ham, the terrifying butcher; Rebecca, a village newcomer with a secret and a scheme; Gabriel, the shady shepherd of a very odd flock; and Father Will, a sinister priest. Along the way, the sheep confront their own all-too-human struggles with guilt, misdeeds, and unrequited love.
Three Bags Full is already an international hit. “It’s rather as if Agatha Christie had re-written The Wind in the Willows, and I ended by loving it, ”Jane Jakeman wrote in The Independent. Funny, fresh, and endearing, it introduces a wonderful breed of detectives to American readers.
In this refreshingly original detective story from debut German author Swann, a flock of sheep investigates the murder of their beloved shepherd, George Glenn. Leading the effort is Miss Maple, considered the cleverest sheep in the Irish seaside village of Glennkill. She slyly "pretends" to graze while eavesdropping on suspects who come to search George's caravan for something he may have died for. When a long-lost ram recounts an incident that occurred upon his departure years earlier, Miss Maple uncovers the catalyst for George's death. The wooly troupe reveals the crime's solution in a near-Shakespearean mime at the annual "Smartest Sheep in Glennkill" contest. The author's sheep's-eye view and the animals' literal translation of the strange words and deeds of the human species not only create laugh-out-loud humor but also allow the animals occasional flashes of accidental brilliance.
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Three Bags Full
Wonderful writing and a delightful story. The sheep are wiser than their human counterparts. I recognized so many real people I know in the flock. There is much to learned from this family of sheep. Highly recommended!