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The Hounds and the Fury    by Rita Mae Brown Amazon.com order for
Hounds and the Fury
by Rita Mae Brown
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Ballantine, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

For anyone who finds the subject of foxhunting interesting, this book is sure to please. For the aficionado, who loves the sound of hounds baying and the clarion call of the horn, The Hounds and the Fury will satisfy that urge to participate for a bit. For a Master of the Foxhounds, you are in for a real treat.

Rita Mae Brown returns to the printed page, sharing her expertise of horses, hounds and the hunt with her readers. For good measure, she throws in a little murder or two. The part of Virginia she describes is an area for which I have a special fondness although neither from the back of a horse nor as a member of the social scene. The countryside is as beautiful as she describes it.

The reader can easily get caught up in the dialogue of the animals involved in the story and forget they are dumb and can't utter a word. (The author also writes a series featuring Sneaky Pie Brown, a crime fighting feline with the power of speech.) In this story, I especially like Sister Jane Arnold. Not only is she still sitting a horse into her seventies, she is Master of the Foxhounds and holds a tight reign on her club's members. And she finds time for a little romance in her life. She may be over the hill, but her hormones are still kicking.

There are several murders as well as attempted murders, accounting fraud, poaching, old arguments raising their heads to be dealt with, false insurance claims a myriad of problems that Sister neatly solves, after which she rides back to the hunt with the glorious Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop.

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