Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story

Overview

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 ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$11.69
BN.com price
(Save 16%)$13.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (142) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $5.70   
  • Used (132) from $1.99   
Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
Sending request ...

Overview

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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Even in the crowded arena of physically challenged detectives, the protagonists of Swann's novel are wholly unique. When it comes to solving murder, four legs and a fleecy coat trump Poirot's cane and Ironside's wheelchair in this insightful, giggle-inducing, wholly inventive mystery.

One morning, a beloved shepherd, George, is found in a meadow, a shovel embedded in his body and a suspicious hoof print on his chest. Miss Maple, the most intelligent member of the flock, dispatches her fellow detectives to dig up the dirt on the villagers (while snacking on some conveniently located geraniums along the way). Their suspects include the hated butcher, the local Bible-basher, the shepherd of a nearby flock, and George's recently returned prodigal daughter, among others.

This seamless translation by Anthea Bell miraculously puts the reader, like a wolf, in sheep's clothing. The world is seen (and smelled) from a sheep's perspective, making the traditional roundup of clues completely fresh (and often confounding!). Still, a sheep's mind is expected to wander toward greener pastures, and Swann must play the dual role of keeping her wooly detectives on track while holding readers in suspense, a balancing act she achieves beautifully, liberally seasoning her narrative with clever literary references. We suspect we will be hearing a lot more in the future from Leonie Swann, a writer who makes it easy for us to separate the sheep from the goats. (Fall 2007 Selection)
Publishers Weekly

The mysterious death of their shepherd has sent a flock of sheep into a frenzy trying to piece together "whodunit." Overcoming their "sheepish" ways, the members of the flock realize that they may be the only ones who can solve it. The more intelligent sheep, who have better retention or the intuition to ask the right questions, develop a list of potential suspects. As the investigation continues, the sheep quickly find the conspiracy is quite large, including a significant number of residents of Glennkill, Scotland. The delightful story is chock-full of metaphors and analogies about human behavior, interaction and memory that provide provocative insight. Bailey keeps an excellent pace and tone throughout in a light-almost benevolent-tone that keenly projects the slightly naïve perspective of the sheep. She makes indisputably clear voices for all her characters, including male voices that most would be hard-pressed to discern as coming from a woman. Tantor Media conveniently includes a handy pamphlet that lists the numerous sheep integral to the story along with a brief description of them. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday/Flying Dolphin hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 9). (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Jamie S. Hansen
Sheep do not always receive proper respect. Although these simple herbivores are often considered sheepish, easily led, or even woolly-minded, this droll and enchanting novel originally published in Germany will change readers' perceptions forever. Meeting such thoughtful and observant creatures as Mopple the Whale, Miss Maple, Othello, Sir Richfield, Melmoth, Cloud, Zora, and the rest of George Glenn's extraordinary flock is an enlightening experience that no reader should miss. When the flock discovers the murdered corpse of their beloved shepherd, they immediately put their not-so-woolly heads together to plan. As a sheepherder, George was the best: He read to the flock, named them, and talked to them as equals. His flock now owes it to George's memory to bring his killer to justice. Using their hilarious and amazingly perceptive observations of the activities and behavior of the human inhabitants of their Irish village, these ovine detectives set out to solve the murder. To succeed, the sheep must overcome their instinctive fear of butchers and ghost wolves, must sometimes act as individuals, and must enter the Smartest Sheep in Glenkill contest, acting out a play based on the murder. Written wholly from the flock's point of view, this novel is a lovely romp of a book that offers real insight into the way animals might perceive the mystifying behavior of humans. Readers will never again look at peacefully grazing sheep in quite the same way. Offer this title to sophisticated teen readers who appreciate quirky humor.
Library Journal

It's morning in the seemingly bucolic Irish village of Glennkill, and a flock of sheep has just come across the murdered body of its shepherd. Initial consternation (there's a bit of panic about wolves, although the crime was clearly committed by a human) gives way to resolve—the flock will solve the murder. Led by the very smart Miss Maple, Othello, Melmoth, Mopple the Whale, and the rest of the group struggle to understand who killed George and why. The sheep are not cuddly sweet or highly anthropomorphized; they approach each problem in the investigation from a sheep's point of view, which makes for a fresh take on the mystery genre. The outsider perspective is reminiscent of that portrayed by Mark Haddon in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time—often amusing but frequently hinting at a much darker reality, unlike Jasper Fforde's lighter nursery crime mysteries. Swann peppers the text with literary allusions that add humor and lighten the existential gloom of both people and sheep. An international best seller, this quirky philosophical mystery is highly recommended for all public libraries.
—Devon Thomas

School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Like smart sheep everywhere, those of Glennkill, Ireland, cherish their routines. They want their pasture time, their barn time, and their romance-novel time. Well, perhaps they are unique in that last desire-most sheep never develop a taste for the genre. But George's animals owe much of their understanding of the world, and particularly their knowledge of those strange human flocks that inhabit the nearby village and countryside, to his regular reading of the "Pamela novels." They are content in their world, and extra happy because they have a dream they share with their good shepherd: to go to Europe, where there are endless fields of fresh grass and orchards of ripe apples. Then the unimaginable happens. George is pinned to the ground with a spade. Their shepherd is dead. Outraged, his charges set their minds to finding his killer. Led by Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in Glennkill (and perhaps the world) summon their considerable talents and, bit by bit, piece together the puzzle. First-time novelist Swann had tons of fun writing this, and all of it transfers seamlessly to readers. Teens will laugh out loud as the sheep decide who God is and what goes on in God's house. They also contemplate the nature of the Abyss, and Cloud Sheep, and why humans spend so much time, effort, and money hiding foul-tasting dried-up clumps of grass from one another. This lighthearted mystery is fresh, bold, engaging, and a joy to read.-Robert Saunderson, Berkeley Public Library, CA

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Just when you thought you'd seen a detective in every guise imaginable, here comes one in sheep's clothing. For years, George Glenn hasn't been close to anyone but his sheep. Everyday he lets them out, pastures them, reads to them and brings them safely back home to his barn in the guilelessly named Irish village of Glennkill. Now George lies dead, pinned to the ground by a spade. Although his flock haven't had much experience with this sort of thing, they're determined to bring his killer to justice. There are of course several obstacles, and debut novelist Swann deals with them in appealingly matter-of-fact terms. Sheep can't talk to people; they can only listen in on conversations between George's widow Kate and Bible-basher Beth Jameson. Not even the smartest of them, Othello, Miss Maple (!) and Mopple the Whale, can understand much of what the neighborhood priest is talking about, except that his name is evidently God. They're afraid to confront suspects like butcher Abraham Rackham and Gabriel O'Rourke, the Gaelic-speaking charmer who's raising a flock for slaughter. And even after a series of providential discoveries and brainwaves reveals the answer to the riddle, they don't know how to tell the Glennkill citizenry. All these problems are handsomely solved at the unsurprising cost of making the human characters less interesting than the sheep. But the sustained tone of straight-faced wonderment is magical.
From the Publisher
"Swann's quirky premise is well-executed by Bailey, who develops the identity of each member of the flock, young and old, ram and ewe.... Touching fare delivered with aplomb." —-AudioFile
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767927055
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/3/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 229,003
  • Product dimensions: 8.02 (w) x 5.20 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author


Leonie Swann has worked in journalism and public relations and is currently preparing a doctorate in English literature.

British actress and narrator Josephine Bailey has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards and a prestigious Audie Award, and Publishers Weekly named her Best Female Narrator in 2002.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

1
Othello Boldly Grazes Past

“He was healthy yesterday,” said Maude. Her ears twitched nervously.

“That doesn’t mean anything,” pointed out Sir Ritchfield, the oldest ram in the flock. “He didn’t die of an illness. Spades are not an illness.”

The shepherd was lying in the green Irish grass beside the hay barn, not far from the path through the fields. He didn’t move. A single crow had settled on his woolly Norwegian sweater and was studying his internal arrangements with professional interest. Beside the crow sat a very happy rabbit. Rather farther off, close to the edge of the cliff, the sheep were holding a meeting.

They had kept calm that morning when they found their shepherd lying there so unusually cold and lifeless, and were extremely proud of it. In the first flush of alarm, naturally there had been a few frantic cries of “Who's going to bring us hay now?” and “A wolf! There’s a wolf about!,” but Miss Maple had been quick to quell any panic. She explained that here on the greenest, richest pasture in all Ireland only idiots would eat hay in midsummer anyway, and even the most sophisticated wolves didn’t drive spades through the bodies of their victims. For such a tool was undoubtedly sticking out of the shepherd’s insides, which were now wet with dew.

Miss Maple was the cleverest sheep in all Glennkill. Some even claimed that she was the cleverest sheep in the world, but no one could prove it. There was in fact an annual Smartest Sheep in Glennkill contest, but Maple’s extraordinary intelligence showed in the very fact that she did not take part in such competitions. The winner, after being crowned with a wreath of shamrock (which it was then allowed to eat), spent several days touring the pubs of the neighboring villages, and was constantly expected to perform the trick that had erroneously won it the title, eyes streaming as it blinked through clouds of tobacco smoke, with the customers pouring Guinness down its throat until it couldn’t stand up properly. Furthermore, from then on the winning sheep’s shepherd held it responsible for each and every prank played out at pasture, since the cleverest animal was always going to be the prime suspect.

George Glenn would never again hold any sheep responsible for anything. He lay impaled on the ground beside the path while his sheep wondered what to do next. They were standing on the cliffs between the watery–blue sky and the sky–blue sea, where they couldn’t smell the blood, and they did feel responsible.

“He wasn’t a specially good shepherd,” said Heather, who was still not much more than a lamb and still bore George a grudge for docking her beautiful tail at the end of last winter.

“Exactly!” said Cloud, the woolliest and most magnificent sheep ever seen. “He didn’t appreciate our work. Norwegian sheep do it better, he said! Norwegian sheep give more wool! He had sweaters made of foreign wool sent from Norway—it’s a disgrace! What other shepherd would insult his own flock like that?”

There ensued a discussion of some length between Heather, Cloud, and Mopple the Whale. Mopple the Whale insisted that you judged a shepherd’s merits by the quantity and quality of the fodder he provided, and in this respect there was nothing, nothing whatsoever, to be said against George Glenn. Finally they agreed that a good shepherd was one who never docked the lambs’ tails; didn’t keep a sheepdog; provided good fodder and plenty of it, particularly bread and sugar but healthy things too like green stuff, concentrated feed, and mangel–wurzels (for they were all very sensible sheep); and who clothed himself entirely in the products of his own flock, for instance an all–in–one suit made of spun sheep’s wool, which would look really good, almost as if he were a sheep himself. Of course it was obvious to them all that no such perfect being was to be found anywhere in the world, but it was a nice idea all the same. They sighed a little, and were about to scatter, pleased to think that they had cleared up all outstanding questions.

So far, however, Miss Maple had taken no part in the discussion. Now she said, “Don’t you want to know what he died of?”

Sir Ritchfield looked at her in surprise. “He died of that spade. You wouldn’t have survived it either, a heavy iron thing like that driven right through you. No wonder he’s dead.” Ritchfield shuddered slightly.

“And where did the spade come from?”

“Someone stuck it in him.” As far as Sir Ritchfield was concerned, that was the end of the matter, but Othello, the only black sheep in the flock, suddenly began taking an interest in the problem.

“It can only have been a human who did it—or a very large monkey.” Othello had spent his youth in Dublin Zoo and never missed an opportunity to mention it.

“A human.” Maple nodded, satisfied. “I think we ought to find out what kind of human. We owe old George that. If a fierce dog took one of our lambs, he always tried to find the culprit. Anyway, he was our shepherd. No one had a right to stick a spade in him. That’s wolfish behavior. That’s murder.”

Now the sheep were feeling alarmed. The wind had changed, and the smell of fresh blood was drifting toward the sea.

“And when we’ve found the person who stuck the spade in,”asked Heather nervously, “then what?”

“Justice!” bleated Othello.

“Justice!” bleated the other sheep. And so it was decided that George Glenn’s sheep themselves would solve the wicked murder of their shepherd.

First Miss Maple went over to examine the body. She did it reluctantly: in the summer sun of Ireland, George had already begun to smell bad enough to send a shudder down any sheep’s spine.

She started by circling the shepherd at a respectful distance. The crow cawed and fluttered away on black wings. Maple ventured closer, inspected the spade, sniffed George’s clothes and face. Finally—as the rest of the flock, huddling together at a safe distance, held their breaths—she even stuck her nose in the wound and rooted around. At least, that was what it looked like from where the others stood. She came back to them with blood on her muzzle.

“Well?” asked Mopple, unable to stand the suspense any longer. Mopple never could stand strain of any kind for long.

“He’s dead,” replied Miss Maple. She didn’t seem to want to say any more just now. Then she looked back at the path. “We have to be prepared. Sooner or later humans are going to turn up here. We must watch what they do. And we’d better not all stand around in a crowd; it looks suspicious. We ought to act naturally.”

“But we are acting naturally,” objected Maude. “George is dead. Murdered. Should we be grazing right beside him where the grass is spattered with his blood?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what we ought to be doing.” The black figure of Othello came between them. His nostrils contracted as he saw the horrified faces of the others. “Don’t worry, I’ll do it. I spent my youth near the carnivores’ enclosure. A little more blood won’t kill me.”

At that moment Heather thought what a particularly bold ram Othello was. She decided to graze near him more often in future—though not until George had been taken away and fresh summer rain had washed the meadow clean, of course.

Miss Maple decided who would keep watch where. Sir Ritchfield, whose eyesight was still good in spite of his advanced age, was stationed on the hill. You could see across the hedges to the paved road from there. Mopple the Whale had poor eyes but a good memory. He stood beside Ritchfield to remember everything the old ram saw. Heather and Cloud were to watch the path that ran through the meadow: Heather took up her post by the gate nearest to the village; Cloud stood where the path disappeared into a dip in the ground. Zora, a Blackface sheep who had a good head for heights, stationed herself on a narrow rocky ledge at the top of the cliff to keep watch on the beach below. Zora claimed to have a wild mountain sheep in her ancestry, and when you saw how confidently she moved above the abyss you could almost believe it.

Othello disappeared into the shadow of the dolmen, near the place where George lay pinned to the ground by the spade. Miss Maple did not keep watch herself. She stood by the water trough, trying to wash the traces of blood off her nose.

The rest of the sheep acted naturally.

A little later Tom O’Malley, no longer entirely sober, came along the footpath from Golagh to Glennkill to favor the local pub with his custom. The fresh air did him good: the green grass, the blue sky. Gulls pursued their prey, calling, wheeling in the air so fast that it made his head spin. George's sheep were grazing peacefully. Picturesque. Like a travel brochure. One sheep had ventured particularly far out, and was enthroned like a small white lion on the cliff itself.

“Hey there, little sheep,” said Tom, “don’t you take a tumble now. It’d be a shame for a pretty thing like you to fall.”

The sheep looked at him with disdain, and he suddenly felt stupid. Stupid and drunk. But that was all in the past now. He’d make something of himself. In the tourism line. That was it, the future of Glennkill lay in the tourist trade. He must go and talk it over with the lads in the pub.

But first he wanted to take a closer look at the fine black ram. Four horns. Unusual, that. George’s sheep were something special.

However, the black ram wouldn’t let him close enough, and easily avoided Tom’s hand without even moving much.

Then Tom saw the spade.

A good spade. He could do with a spade like that. He decided to consider it his spade in future. For now he’d hide it under the dolmen, and come back to fetch it after dark. He didn’t much like the idea of going to the dolmen by night—people told tales about it. But he was a modern man, and this was an excellent spade. When he grasped the handle, his foot struck something soft.

It was a long time since Tom O’Malley had attracted such an attentive audience in the Mad Boar as he did that afternoon.

Soon afterward, Heather saw a small group of humans running along the path from the village. She bleated: a short bleat—a long bleat, another short bleat—and Othello emerged rather reluctantly from under the dolmen.

The group was led by a very thin man whom the sheep didn’t know. They looked hard at him. The leader of the flock is always important.

Behind him came the butcher. The sheep held their breaths. Even the scent of him was enough to make any sheep go weak at the knees. The butcher smelled of death. Of screams, pain, and blood. The dogs themselves were afraid of him.

The sheep hated the butcher. And they loved Gabriel, who came right behind him, a small man with a shaggy beard, and a slouch hat, walking fast to keep up with the mountain of flesh just ahead. They knew why they hated the butcher. They didn’t know why they loved Gabriel, but he was irresistible. His dogs could do the most amazing tricks. He won the sheepdog trials in Gorey every year. It was said he could talk to the animals, but that wasn’t true. At least, the sheep didn’t understand it when Gabriel spoke Gaelic. But they felt touched, flattered, and finally seduced into trotting trustfully up to him when he passed their meadow on his way along the path through the fields.

Now the humans had almost reached the corpse. The sheep forgot about looking natural for a moment and craned their necks to see. The thin man leading the humans stopped several lamb’s leaps away from George, as if rooted to the ground. His tall figure swayed for a moment like a branch in the wind, but his eyes were fixed, sharp as pins, on the spot where the spade stuck out of George’s guts.

Gabriel and the butcher stopped a little way from the body too. The butcher looked at the ground for a moment. Gabriel took his hands out of his trouser pockets. The thin man removed his cap.

Othello boldly grazed his way past them.

Then, puffing and panting, her face scarlet and her red hair all untidy, Lilly came along the path too, and with her a cloud of artificial lilac perfume. When she saw George she uttered a small, sharp scream. The sheep looked at her calmly. Lilly sometimes came to their meadow in the evening and uttered those short, sharp screams at the least little thing—when she trod in a pile of sheep droppings, when her skirt caught on the hedge, when George said something she didn’t like. The sheep were used to it. George and Lilly often disappeared to spend a little time inside the shepherd’s caravan. Lilly’s peculiar little shrieks didn’t bother them anymore.

But then the wind suddenly carried a pitiful, long–drawn–out sound across the meadow. Mopple and Cloud lost their nerve and galloped up the hill, where they felt ashamed of themselves and tried to look natural again.

Lilly fell to her knees right beside the body, ignoring the grass, which was wet with last night’s rain. She was the person making this dreadful noise. Like a couple of confused insects, her hands wandered over the Norwegian sweater and George’s jacket, and tugged at his collar.

The butcher was suddenly beside her, pulling her roughly back by her arm. The sheep held their breaths. The butcher had moved as quickly as a cat. Now he said something, and Lilly looked at him with tears in her eyes. She moved her lips, but not a sound was heard in the meadow. The butcher said something in reply, then he took Lilly’s sleeve and drew her aside. The thin man immediately began talking to Gabriel.

Othello looked round for help. If he stayed close to Gabriel, he would miss whatever was going on between the butcher and Lilly—and vice versa. None of the sheep wanted to get close to the body or the butcher, which both smelled of death. They preferred to concentrate on the job of looking natural.

Miss Maple came trotting along from the water trough and took over observation of the butcher. There was still a suspicious red mark on her nose, but as she had been rolling in the mud she now just looked like a very dirty sheep.

“…ridiculous fuss,” the butcher was just saying to Lilly. “And never mind making a spectacle of yourself. You’ve got other worries now, sweetheart, believe you me.” He had taken her chin in his sausagelike fingers and raised her head slightly so that she had to look straight into his eyes.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 2, 2011

    A brilliant and charming mystery!

    This is far and away one of the cleverest, most captivating mystery stories ever written. I love this book. Unlike many mysteries with animal detectives, in this book the detectives are clearly sheep but also possess well-defined personalities and sensibilities. I am recommending this to everyone I know.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Ireland, sheep and a mystery!

    The concept of sheep solving a murder and telling the story was intriguing and for me,somewhat challenging at the start of this book. The animal characters are fun and developed well but can be too numerous at times. The murder mystery- while being the focus of the story- is hard to follow since we hear the details from the sheep and we have to fill in the blanks. This book is challenging to decipher and slow to start but it is worth it in the end.
    A great idea for storytelling.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    SLOOOOW start

    One morning a flock of sheep wakes to find their shepherd, George, with a spade stuck in his belly. In that instant they make the decision to find his killer no matter what. They begin by going over what they know so far relying on Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in their town of Glennkill, Mopple the Whale (he's a sheep too) who has the best memory and Othello, the black ram who knows about the zoo and the world (author's words, not mine).

    They carefully watch everyone who comes and goes while pretending to just be harmless sheep grazing the day away. As they follow the clues their suspect list includes the butcher, the priest, the religious fanatic Beth and Gabriel, another shepherd with a flock of sheep that snubs George's flock. You can bet that even though some of them are not the brightest sheep in the world they work together and eventually find the true killer.

    Oh boy, where to begin on this one?? The first few times I picked up the book I passed right out and I wasn't even counting the sheep. If it wasn't for the fact that this was my book club selection and we met on Sunday afternoon I wouldn't have made it past page 50. It finally picked up the pace almost halfway through and the last half somewhat made up for the beginning.

    I think that part of the reason I disliked the beginning so much is that the book was originally written in German and translated to English and it didn't flow well. The writing was a bit off and sometimes I'd have to read the same sentence or paragraph over again for me to get the meaning.

    As far as positives I loved the way the sheep were smart but still did normal sheep things like getting into the forbidden vegetable garden and lusting after tomatoes at a picnic. I also loved the way the sheep revealed the killer but overall the story ending itself was pretty bad. I'm putting this one in the do not recommend column

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    like 100% merino

    I loved this book! It was well written, funny, light-hearted (except for the murder) and those sheep were so sweet and clever. This is definitely on my favorite books list!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2009

    Original but not particularly compelling

    In telling a murder mystery from the point of view of the deceased's flock of sheep, Leonie Swann certainly gets credit for originality. She also manages to create believable personalities for the varied members of the flock, not easy to do when you are talking about sheep. What is lacking is a good, compelling mystery. I did not find myself all that interested in who killed the shepherd, and the human characters in general were rather flat. Three Bags full offers a pleasant bit of escapism, but nothing for mystery lovers to sink their teeth into.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 18, 2009

    Very entertaining and original

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have passed it on to many of my family and friends. The sheep were depicted quite believeable. I cannot think of anyone who would not enjoy this delightful book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Did Not Deliver

    I thought that the concept of the sheep solving the murder of their shepherd was interesting. I ended up being more interested in the human characters than the sheep themselves. Book was well written and easy to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Sheep happens!

    A cute, clever book with a somewhat gimmicky premise, this reminds me a lot of the kind of humor found in the Nursery Crime series (as in, innocence embedded in the grotesque) or the "alien-other" found in books such as Art of Racing in the Rain, A Dog's Life or the Warriors series. Overall, the plot moves at a brisk pace, with occasional lulls into dullness (I imagine that's appropriate for a sheep's life), and I did get a kick out of the use of "sheepy" as a common adverb and adjective. A fun little cozy mystery to while away absurdly hot winter days.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing

    The premise of this book sounded really cute and different. There were some interesting sheep perspectives, but overall, the expectation was this was going to be a fun and funny story but it dragged. Most of my book club did NOT enjoy it, like we thought we would.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    Three Bags Full

    Quirky take on a murder mystery !!! Clever character development of the non-human characters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2009

    Quirky and leading

    This fun and quirky book was a nice veer off my usual beaten path. I love mystery/thriller type novels, and picked this one up on a whim as my free book on "buy two get one free". It was the first one I read, and I couldn't seem to walk away! There are times when the plot and the continuous sheep-pondering gets a little slow and repetitive, but overall the lack of understanding and confusion of people behavior on the sheeps' part keep the book funny, lighthearted, and an interesting comment on human society all wrapped up into one. You really do find yourself cheering for the sheep, and loving the individual characters. I'll never look at sheep the same again...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)