Hotspur Hardcover – Nov 26 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Tally-ho! From bestseller Brown (Outfoxed and many other delicious books) comes a dashing and vibrant novel that revolves around foxhunting. The rolling hills of central Virginia are home to the Jefferson Hunt-and to scores of sly foxes, red, black and gray. When 34-year-old Peppermint dies peacefully of natural causes, the grave dug for the beloved horse uncovers the skeleton of Nola Bancroft, identifiable by her ring, the Hapsburg sapphire. The ravishing Nola disappeared without a trace from Sorrel Burrus's party 21 years earlier, leaving behind a shocked and, eventually, mourning father and mother, Edward and Tedi, and a sister, Sibyl. Many members of the hunt thought she'd eloped with handsome (but socially inferior) Guy Ramy, the sheriff's son, who went missing at the same time. Seventy-one-year-old Master of the Hunt Jane "Sister" Arnold soon finds herself searching for human prey as well as foxes. The author portrays the hunt family with such warmth and luxury of detail, one feels a friendship with each and every character, animals included. The reader will romp through the book like a hunter on a thoroughbred, never stopping for a meal or a night's sleep. A glossary of useful terms will aid those who've never ridden to the hounds.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
While burying a dead horse, several members of the Jefferson Hunt Club uncover a human body. Seventysomething master of the hunt Jane Arnold recognizes the ring on the skeleton's finger. It belonged to a sexy young club member who, along with her boyfriend, disappeared 21 years earlier. Later, the young man's skeleton is also found. Having believed that she knew her club's members well, Jane is stunned to realize that one or more of them may be murderers. Determined to uncover the killer, she sets a trap (which is very contrived, compelling the reader to suspend disbelief). Despite the promising beginning, this follow-up to Outfoxed ultimately disappoints. There is too much tell and not enough show, and endless dialog from the human and animal characters distracts rather than adds to the plot. Recommended only for public libraries with avid Brown fans.
--Patsy E. Gray, Huntsville
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some reviewers complained that the book gets too deeply into the day to day life of the hunt but that IS what the book is about :Sister Jane's life with murder thrown in to complicate things. I loved Sister. She's a tough old girl with a mind as sharp as Jane Marple. My only regret with this entire series is that Sister is 71. I hope this series goes on for quite a while and at this rate Sister may have to live to be over 100 like Poirot did.
If you want a book that offers a complete escape from the ordinary and you want a book that takes its time to settle into the story then you'll like Hostspur.
In this book, the mystery seemed more of a side plot, with the hunting information taking precedence. I am sure this is what other readers complained about. This was not a big enough flaw for me to avoid finishing the book, I actually got through it quickly because I enjoyed it. So it wasn't gory...big deal. The mystery dealt with an old cold case, that actually wasn't even a case, since no one knew what had happened to the people involved. One beautiful young woman disappears off the face of the earth, along with one of her boyfriends. Unfortunately, the inevitable change in ground and water levels, added to hunting and dogs digging brought up some old bones, proving to be human.
Sister, the head of the hunt in this area, may be older, but certainly has not lost either her riding/hunting abilities, or her concern for others.Read more ›
I love Jane "Sister" Arnold, the 71 year-old Master of the Hunt and her friends/hounds/horses, but the details in this book would appeal to only the most dedicated hunt fan. I did learn one good thing, however. Americans only hunt the fox to its den, not like their brutal British cousins who hunt to the death.
HOTSPUR's murder mystery takes a second -- or sometimes third -- seat to the machinations of the hunt season, the old money, the social climbers and all the ins and outs of hunt life. I suppose if you're a member of that set, these details and the constant fretting over your horse, your wardrobe and your standing in your club would make for good reading.
It just doesn't play in Peoria....or a small town in east Texas.
I'll continue to read Rita Mae Brown and hope she realizes she's exhausted the hunt and it's time to move on to other prey.
"Hotspur" centers on the murder of Nola Bancroft. Nola, was the beautiful and capricious younger daughter of the well heeled Bancrofts, Edward and Tedi. And about twenty-one years ago, she disappeared. Since she was dating the sheriff's dashing son, Guy, and her parents openly disapproved of that relationship, everyone assumed when the couple suddenly disappeared that Nola and Guy had eloped. But as the years passed and nothing was heard of the pair, local gossip also included the speculation that Guy had murdered Nola in a fit of anger and left town in order to avoid arrest. The recent discovery of Nola's body now bolsters the latter theory. But "Sister" Jane Arnold, Master of the Jefferson Hunt Club doesn't believe that Guy murdered Nola, and she's determined to discover what really happened even if it means reopening old wounds and stirring things up -- even a murderer's ire...Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
An o.k. story if you can get past the talking birds and animals. Tough to be outfoxed by a fox! I thought this was the first book by Ms Brown I had read, but on checking my list... Read morePublished on July 8 2004 by bookworm
This could have been a fabulous story with interesting and compelling characters. Instead, we have another self-indulgent wallow in the world of fox-hunting and so-called gracious... Read morePublished on May 2 2004
I enjoyed this book, as I do all Rita Mae Brown's "Horsey" stories! I hope more are coming...fast !Published on April 6 2004 by Amazon Customer
I have been a fan of Rita Mae Brown's for about 20 years and have read most of her books, and this was by far the most tedious. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2004
I found that this book got too bogged down in details that were not necessary to the story, especially what people should and shouldn't wear for foxhunting and the breeding of... Read morePublished on June 18 2003
I find myself disappointed with this book. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Sneaky Pie Brown books. But this, is it a story or a guide to foxhunting? Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2003
While spottedtowhee obviously disagrees, as a self-described conservative Southerner I prefer Rita Mae's light hearted hunting and animal descriptions to her older... Read morePublished on Dec 25 2002
What a disappointment. Yet ANOTHER Rita Mae Brown book about ... big surprise ... foxhunting, Southern manners, and some kind of perceived aristocracy that some people fancy... Read morePublished on Dec 16 2002 by C.M.