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From Barnes & NobleThe Hunt for a Killer Fox
In her latest, Rita Mae Brown takes us into a realm few of us can imagine, that of the deeply embedded traditions and rigid rules of conduct that thrive in the prestigious Jefferson Hunt Club. Jane "Sister" Arnold, an expert hunter who understands animals as well as she understands people, has been master of the hunt club for decades and has earned the respect and loyalty of the small Virginia community.Now in her 70s, she knows she must plan for the hunt club's future and nominate a joint-master -- a position of the highest honor in hunting society. One some would kill for.
Sister, along with a few other humans and animals, has caught a glimpse of what appears to be the grim reaper lurking about the fields, and whether the sighting was a hallucination or a sign that he's coming for someone -- maybe her -- she knows she has to decide on a joint-master soon. Her two top choices are as different as night and day. Fontaine Buruss comes from a strong Virginia bloodline and was raised in the tradition of foxhunting, but his reputation for keeping mistresses -- while not keeping an eye on his finances -- could jeopardize the image of the club. Crawford Howard, a successful Yankee businessman more interested in what the club's prestige could do for his career and societal standing than in foxhunting itself, offers another element any successful club needs -- a whole lot of money.
The anxiously awaited decision has ignited a conflict throughout the membership, unearthing old grudges, family ties, betrayals, and the dark underside of the history -- as well as the recent past -- that haunts the seemingly pristine club. And while the decision ultimately rests with Sister's good judgment, the opinions on the future leadership of the club run deep. Nobody knew just how deep until the opening day of the hunt season leaves one member dead, with another unknown member the killer. Still, no one is more sly than Sister, who, with the help of the foxes and a pack of hounds, is determined to expose the murderer and set things right at Jefferson Hunt Club.
More than just a top-notch murder mystery, Outfoxed is a fascinating jaunt through a society rich with tradition, a world where honor and social position are not determined solely by money but also by adherence to a code of conduct and family loyalty. The complex structure of this realm is something few writers could describe with any authority, much less make the backbone of a gripping mystery novel. But if anyone could do it, it's Rita Mae Brown, herself a world-class foxhunter who rides with a prestigious Virginia hunt near her home in Charlottesville. With painstaking detail, Brown has crafted a mesmerizing world that is centuries old in its traditions but brought face to face with the modern world of drugs, money, sex, and power.
Although in Outfoxed Rita Mae Brown takes a break from the Mrs. Murphy mysteries she coauthors with her tiger cat, Sneaky Pie, we can guarantee feline fans that you'll like it. As always, her glimpses of the world through the eyes of animal characters make her tale even more compelling -- and this book has so many animals to choose from, you can't lose! Brown enthralls the reader with her ability to show how the ins and outs of hunting society are understood by the hunters and animals alike -- all the way down to the crow who tips off the hounds on where to find the fox. But more important, her animals give us humans a second look at ourselves, revealing Rita Mae Brown's keen understanding of human nature. Clearly, that understanding is what makes her novels so unforgettable, and Outfoxed is no exception.