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Hounded to Death: A Novel ("Sister" Jane) [Kindle Edition]

Rita Mae Brown
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

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.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Lusty, lively Sister Jane, Master of the Hunt and amateur detective, is back in her seventh book. No one other than Sister is worried when a thoroughly nasty hound breeder is killed, but Sister’s suspicions really kick into high gear when the local (and world-renowned) equine vet is found dead in her surgery, with one of Sister’s horses. Typical of this series (and the author’s Sneaky Pie Brown books), the countryside of central Virginia is as important a character as any of the large cast, and this time that lush landscape is explored by Sister and her fellow hunters as they prepare for the new hunting season. The slower pace of the investigation is offset by the character development and interaction between human, hounds, and horses; clever and snappy dialogue between humans and animals is interspersed with more philosophical discussions on the value of human and animal life. Hounded to Death, a solid and enjoyably entry in this popular series, will be snapped up by fans and draw in new readers. Anyone interested in rural sleuths, animals, Virginia, hunting, or horses will enjoy the engaging story, its countryside and its characters, all wrapped up in a high-quality modern cozy mystery. --Jessica Moyer

Product Details

  • File Size: 800 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345512375
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 30, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001650URG
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,173 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best October 3, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Rita Mae Brown delivers a winner in this installment of her Sister Jane "Outfoxed Series". Where her last title seemed rushed to production and the plotline was not well-developed, "Hounded to Death" is a welcome return to a great read for Rita Mae fans.
The story begins in late Spring in Kentucky at the Mid-America Hound Show where evil quickly raises its ugly head and starts the novel on its "whodunit" path while simultaneously explaining hound shows and searching for a stolen hound. Then, a suicide of a friend occurs, but Sister is not willing to believe that it was a suicide. Hmmm. Intermingled are interesting discussions of Kentucky bourbon, human nature, descriptions of opening new hunt territory, carrion eating habits, graduation from Custis Hall by "the girls", moonshining, and animal cruelty allegations.
As usual with this series, Rita Mae gives great accounts that educate us on foxhunting and animals without the feeling that we are being educated. And yes, the animals have some great conversations--a Rita Mae device to give us more clues and education.
While the book moves through the summer, there are no accounts of actual hunts so the reader must wait until hunting season just as foxhunters must wait. As with real foxhunting, the wait is worthwhile, as several wonderful accounts finally take place. As often happens in this series, a body is discovered during a hunt, and similarly, the unmasking of the killer is discovered, and he is accounted for at the end of a hunt.
Several old friends from previous books play important parts, including Tootie, Shaker and Gray. New characters include the despicable Mo Schneider; a horse vet--Hope Rogers; retired Judge Barry Baker; pet food maker, Grant Fuller; and new landowners, Dr. and Mrs. Mitch Fisher.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is getting better October 6, 2008
By S. Roth
Format:Hardcover
I was glad to see a return to some better plot lines. Although I miss my "friends" like Crawford Howard, being a foxhunter myself, I know how these relationships tend to take a back seat in the summer. I am waiting for that Jane Arnold mystery that will make me not want to put the book down, like earlier ones Outfoxed and Hotspur. I must say that hound shows are a part of hunting I know nothing about, so it was quite interesting to read the ins and outs of hound showing. It has made me want to go view one next year. So, all in all, this one was better, not her best work but I'm glad to see a return to more storyline.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hounded to sleep January 27, 2009
By Newfmom
Format:Hardcover
I am a big fan of Rita Mae Brown's fox hunting series. However, her latest intallment is way off the mark. The wonderful characters that are so important to the books are lost. The wonderful animal characters are almost non existant. I love to read the foxes' comments and thoughts, but Inky, (my personal favorite) the wonderful Balck fox, is not involved. The rest of the animal characters are also absent. These characters have always added depth, humor and interest to the previous books. Sister Jane has always been a wonderful warm, honest and above board person. She is different in this book, and not a good different. Shaker is also different in this book, and not very involved. Shaker and Lorraine's relationship has gone no further and is lost to us readers. The rest of the members of the Jefferson Hunt are mere shadows of themselves and not truly involved in the investigations of the murders. The murderer himself is also a huge contradiction and confusing character. I don't know whether to like, dislike, hate or what to feel about him. The young girls from Custis Hall are back, but are not quite what we are used to, much more shallow and in Felicity's case BLAH. Crawford, Sister Jane's great nemisis, makes only a short uninteresting appearance. Character development has not only stopped in this book, it has regressed. The hunting sequences are absent until the end and are very drab. The plot is also convoluted and at times does not make any sense. The death of the vet is deeply troubling and is never truly explained in a satisfactory manner. The several deaths involved in the book are especially cruel and their explanations trite. This book feels like a rough draft of what could have been a great addition to the Sister Jane fox hunting books. Instead, it is lack luster, confusing and a big disapointment. I recieved this book as a gift. If I had purchased it for myself, I may have asked for a refund.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative Literature October 24, 2008
By Suzecav
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I keep reading the so called "editorial reviews" and wondering if they actually read anything but modern literature? It took Proust twenty odd pages of wafting through the smell of madelines and delineating every piece of furniture in his house (and mind) to begin to introduce a character or plot. THAT was a bit slow for me. But, I *love* what I learn each book about the details of Sister Jane Arnold's life. It is a delightful quirk that she knows so many esoteric things about the saints. Just as children await every detail of what it might be like to go to school at Hogwart's, I await these books to add to my expanding knowledge of Sister Jane and her world. I AM a horse person; but never did hunt. (I am past the time in my life to even be a hill-topper, but I can enjoy "hunting" along with the Jefferson Hunt). I am delighted to see the nuances set forth in this book regarding the difference between animal welfare and animal rightists. It is done with such delicacy that the reader is not tromped on by the politics to the detriment of an exceedingly good reading experience. I think that this one is my favorite so far. I am left with a both a feeling of satisfaction, and also with anticipation of the next book. I sincerely look forward to Sister Jane's mentoring and all of the many wonderful details that absolutely suspend my disbelief. (I keep looking on maps to figure out where, exactly, is the farm) as I do visit the Blue Ridge mountains from time to time. Sister Jane is like the hale and hearty people who live in the Himalayas; her outdoor life has given her tremendous strength of health and character. Her ethics are impeccable; the spiritual component of these books is not lost on the reader. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars a little disappointed
Not as good as some of the other Sister Jane Arnold books. plot kind of wanders around a bit. get an 4 page description of one fox hunt with a paragraph for the second fox. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
another great book by Rita Mae Brown. I'm just sorry that this is the last of this series.
Published 1 month ago by johns
5.0 out of 5 stars HOUNDED TO DEATH
I GOT THIS FOR MY GRAND DAUGHTER. SHE LOVES RITA MAE BROWN. SHE READS VERY FAST. SO I HAVE TO GET HER 3 AT A TIME. WHEN SHE COMES HOPE THIS WEEKEND I WILL ORDER HER MORE
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars engaging whodunit
Rita Mae Brown's writing is always clear and engaging. She moves the story well and continues to enrich her charters. I look forward to each new installment.
Published 5 months ago by M. T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good and Enjoyable Book
I have enjoyed all of Ms. Brown's books. This one is no exception. Keeps you guessing 'who did it? Read more
Published 5 months ago by MDM
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the hunt!
Rita Mae Brown does a great job of introducing the reader to the world of fox hunting! As a horse person, I really enjoyed learning about fox hunting and all that goes along with... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Diane Finch
5.0 out of 5 stars Hounded to Death by Rita Mae Brown
A wee bit slow at times, but a fun series for those who like fox hunting. Brown is the Master in her area, so her telling of hunt's is right on and fun. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sandra J. Reiber
4.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER FASCINATING SOUTHERN THRILLER
This book is typically well-scripted by the author. The characters are charming, the countryside is lyrically presented and it is a thoroughly satisfying thriller.
Published 9 months ago by charlene henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This hunting series is a great read for those times when we just want to read for the fun of it. Rita Mae Brown's delightful riffling of the southern character is always good for... Read more
Published 11 months ago by patricia Rydstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent novel by R. M. Brown
As a horsewoman, former Virginian and Anglophile, I have enjoyed all of the books in this series to date. This book is no exception. A great read.
Published 11 months ago by Pixel Artist
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More About the Author

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sister Jane novels-Outfoxed, Hotspur, Full Cry, The Hunt Ball, The Hounds and the Fury, The Tell-Tale Horse, and Hounded to Death-as well as the Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries and Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day, Six of One, and The Sand Castle, among many others. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia.

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