A blackmailer targeting wealthy members of “Sister” Jane Arnold’s club has turned the hunters into the hunted in this thrilling mystery from New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown.
“Cunning foxes, sensible hounds, and sweet-tempered horses are among the sparkling conversationalists in this charming series.”—The New York Times Book Review
It’s the start of fox-hunting season and Sister is training a new generation of hounds in eager anticipation of Opening Hunt. But before they make it to that exciting day, several members of the hunt club receive ominous videos in which they appear to be doing scandalous, career-ending deeds. The videos are doctored, but does it matter? The unknown blackmailer promises to publish the clips if they don’t get paid, and even the most upstanding citizen can be brought down by the court of public opinion.
While Sister and her friends try to unmask the dastardly mind behind the videos, mysteries abound in their beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain town home. Two men die, apparently by suicide, shocking a community that never saw their deaths coming. And rumors abound that Old Paradise, the estate being lovingly restored by Crawford Howard, houses a secret stash of gold from its original owner. Does someone want the treasure badly enough to kill for?
Sister and her fellow Jefferson Hunt Club members, including friends both two- and four-legged, are on the case—and with any luck, they’ll catch the criminals before the first horn sounds on opening day.
Continuity editing getting worse
I love Rita Mae Brown. I love the Sister Jane and Harry Harristen novels. I read them all. The editing in all of her books has gone down hill in the last 5 or so years—more spelling mistakes, more general typos. These things happen, and I can generally forgive them as I certainly couldn’t do better myself. There is starting o be a lot of repetition in themes and discussions between the characters about human nature, etc, which I can overlook since that’s sort of to be expected in a long running mystery series. But the continuity errors in the Sister Jane novels drive me nuts.
They pull me out of the story, and honestly I didn’t even want to finish this installment because it made me so angry. Sister’s opinions about and relationships with people change radically. The ownership of properties, especially hunt fixtures, suddenly changes with no explanation. Some seem to move around geographically as well. But more than anything, the back story and relative ages, even sometimes the sex, colour and species of her animal characters is all over the place. She’s not retiring any of the canine characters, even though most of them shouldn’t be alive anymore. Target the Fox, who is a major character early in the series, changes from a red fox to a gray in this book and for absolutely no reason. It doesn’t further the story line, they just couldn’t be bothered to edit the story for consistency across the series.
I will give her one more chance after this, but if Rita and her editing team can’t get it together, her next book will be my last.