The Hounds and the Fury
By Rita Mae Brown
(Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345465474, 336pp.)
Publication Date: October 17, 2006
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Critics and fans alike are wild about Rita Mae Brown’s richly imagined and utterly engaging foxhunting mysteries–and this latest novel promises more thrilling hunts, breathtaking vistas, and an all-new sinister scandal.
Millions of dollars seem to be missing after a long-overdue audit of the local aluminum plant reveals a major accounting discrepancy. Company president Garvey Stokes finds himself at a loss–in more ways than one. He turns to his sharp-tongued, ornery bookkeeper, Iphigenia “Iffy” Demetrios, for an explanation, but she’s no help. Yet when the fuzzy math suddenly includes a body count, the figures can no longer be ignored.
While the town sheriff tries to get to the bottom of the matter, leave it to “Sister” Jane Arnold, venerable master of the Jefferson Hunt Club, to rely on her keen horse-and-hound sense to follow the trail of murder and cover-up. Throwing her off the scent, however, is former hunt club donor and all-around cad Crawford Howard, who thinks he can go toe-to-toe with the beloved septuagenarian and outclass her club by grossly sidestepping hound- and-hunt etiquette. Against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a menagerie of friends, foes, and fresh new faces saddle up for the breakneck ride to unravel the conspiracy. Even the furry denizens in the fields and boroughs have a thing or two to say about these peculiar humans.
Incomparable author Rita Mae Brown returns to the glorious hills of Virginia and its genteel foxhunting society, where how much money you have in the bank is not nearly as important as how long your family has lived on the land–and where nearly everyone has something to hide. As Sister muses, “The little secrets leak out. The big ones, well, some escape like evils from Pandora’s box. And others we’ll never know.”
Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of these other foxhunting novels: Outfoxed, Hotspur, Full Cry, and The Hunt Ball, and the New York Times bestselling Sneaky Pie Brown mystery series, as well as Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day, and Six of One (among many other novels). An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, she lives in Afton, Virginia, where she is also master of Foxhounds of Oak Ridge Hunt Club.
Praise for Rita Mae Brown
The Hunt Ball
“The hunt must go on, its grace and glory personified by the foxes, hounds and horses that provide these thrilling scenes with their on-the-ground perspective.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“Score another triumph for [Rita Mae] Brown–and for ‘Sister,’ who helps run another two-legged predator to ground.”
“A great ride with heroine ‘Sister’ Jane Arnold.”
“A quality tale that is over all too soon.”
–Charleston Post and Courier
“Dashing and vibrant . . . The reader will romp through the book like a hunter on a thoroughbred, never stopping for a meal or a night’s sleep.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Brown combines her strengths–exploring southern families, manners, and rituals as well as the human-animal bond–to bring in a winner.”
“A rich, atmospheric murder mystery . . . rife with love, scandal, anger, transgression, redemption, greed, and nobility, all of which make good reading.”
–San Jose Mercury News
“Compelling . . . engaging . . . [a] sly whodunit [with] a surprise finish.”