Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Homeward Hound by Rita Mae Brown

Rita Mae Brown's foxhunting series is not for every reader. I enjoy the stories, although I haven't read all of them in the series. It really is the scenes of the foxhunting that I enjoy the most. Now, don't get angry about foxhunting, unless you've read these books, and see how humanely all the animals in the books are treated. Although I hadn't read one of the books in a while, I enjoyed returning to "Sister" Jane Arnold's world at Christmastime with Homeward Hound.

Despite the threat of a blizzard, Jane Arnold, Master of the Jefferson Hunt in Virginia, won't stop the Christmas hunt. Jane, known as Sister, even welcomes Gregory Luckham to the hunt. Luckham is president of an energy company that proposes to put a pipeline right through the heart of foxhunting country. Some of the local property owners are wealthy enough to sue the company, so Luckham's appearance is met with only lukewarm enthusiasm.

When the blizzard does hit sooner than expected, everyone returns to their trailers, but Gregory Luckham has disappeared. A search is mounted after the storm. However, it's a local man who is found murdered. With the help of her friends, Sister and the local sheriff hope to track the killer.The most knowledgeable among the group suspect the murderer may be a member of their hunt.

There's a large cast of characters in any of the books in this series, because the hunt attracts local people as well as riders from other hunts. The list of characters in the front of the book is essential for anyone hoping to keep straight the names of hunters, horses, hounds and foxes.

As I said, Homeward Hound isn't for everyone. There's the mystery, but there are also animals who communicate with each other. And, of course, there's the hunt itself. Be careful when suggesting this book to readers.

Rita Mae Brown's website is

Homeward Hound by Rita Mae Brown. Ballantine Books, 2018. ISBN 9780399178375 (hardcover), 336p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received my copy to review for a journal.

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