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The Tell-tale Horse: A Novel Hardcover – Sep 25 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (Sept. 25 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034549024X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345490247
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 23.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,379,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read this at the Edmonton Public library, now I'm adding it to my library. But the publication in the larger paperbacks is quite expensive unfortunately. Jo-Anne Willman, Edmonton.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 37 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
more for fans of the series Sept. 29 2007
By tregatt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Tell-Tale Horse," while a well written and a rather enjoyable read, might actually be one "Sister" Jane Arnold installment that is more for fans of the series (& Rita Mae Brown) than for it is mystery readers looking for a compelling read. Don't misunderstand, "Tell -Tale Horse" is a rather absorbing read, even if the author does seem to thrive on going over much of the same material (fox hunting and what it takes to keep a good kennel -- she's gone over much of the same material in previous installments although I will admit that it is interesting to keep track of what's new with the Jefferson Hunt Club ); but I really borrowed the book in hopes of snuggling up with a good mystery. Unfortunately, my hopes were a little dashed here -- the mystery premise was a good one but it felt to me as if it never got the attention that it merited. Which was a shame.

On the way back from a lovely evening at the Casanova Hunt Club's annual ball, "Sister" Jane Arnold (master of the Jefferson Hunt Club) and good friend Marion Maggiolo, are horrified to find the body of a beautiful young woman, naked and carefully placed on top of the statue of a horse that stands outside the tact shop Marion own. Both Jane and Marion are further shocked to discover that the John Barton Payne silver bowl, a treasured fox hunting prize that enjoyed pride of place in the store, has been stolen. Are the two events linked? As the community settles into speculating as to who may behind the "Lady Godiva" murder, "Sister" Jane Arnold resolves to discover the truth in spite of her busy schedule...

I have to admit that as a novel about fox hunting and life in a small Virginian community where everyone knows each other's histories, interests and deepest secrets, "Tell-Tale Horse" is a fairly absorbing read. And really, the author does a wonderful job of painting the scene and developing her characters so that they are more than just names off a page. Though I do think that there are a few too many characters at times, and so many subplots! Perhaps I am a little narrow minded here (all right, I am a being a tad narrow minded) but I really did choose to read this book for it's promising mystery subplot. And I'm really disappointed that the subplot was never really given a chance. The first victim remains an unknown: after a while we learn her name and where she worked but that's about all. The second murder takes place towards the very end of the book, and the murderer is masked by accident. The murderer's motivations are hurriedly sketched in, and there were very little plot twists and practically no red herring suspects. On the other hand, the book is well written and in a very charming and engaging manner. And I did enjoy "Tell Tale Horse" in spite of my disappointment with the sketch mystery subplot. And that's why I'm awarding "Tell-Tale Horse" 3 stars, but recommending it is more for fans of the series and non-mystery readers than anyone else.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Waiting for that good mystery again Oct. 1 2007
By S. Roth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was really hopeful that this would be a Rita Mae Brown comeback. I have grown to love the Jane Arnold books and wouldn't miss one, but I keep waiting for a more in depth story. I will say though, that there were things mentioned in this book that point to more interesting story lines in future books. The hunting prose is always good, although some things we have heard for many books and for newbies I guess it's worth repeating. I'd like to see a little more depth to the story, perhaps Crawford will come back and just what do his hounds think of that? I will anxiously await the next book because I've grown to enjoy the Jefferson Hunt as much as I do my own hunt club. I do have to say, the vulgarity from Jane Arnold just doesn't sound like her. Perhaps in her old age she's getting a bit more testy. (I know I am!)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Rita Mae at her best. Nov. 28 2007
By Kat Lodge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As per usual,complex characters and local flavor are drawn with exquisite and loving detail.
As a horse lover and lover of other creatures both domestic and wild, Rita Mae's writing speaks to my soul.
Kat Lodge, Clarion, Iowa.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
What has happened to Rita Mae Brown? Jan. 31 2008
By Horsemom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Rita Mae Brown can be a wonderful writer. Unfortunately, in this series, and in the Mrs. Murphy series, of late, she seems to have forgotten her audience. The characters are becoming wooden, and the plots are less involved, while Brown spends pages pontificating on various subjects that are not relevant to the story. Pass on this one unless you are really a die-hard fan.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
good story, poor editing Feb. 20 2008
By Schwaja - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beihg a horse person, I avidly read all of Rita Mae Brown's "sister jane" books. While this story is somewhat engaging, I felt the editing and sentence structure were terrible. Every sentence was full of fragments, strung together by an over abundance of commas. Made for a disjointed read. Here's a sample: "Ilona Merriman, hairnet in place, derby correctly placed on her head - which is to say, straight across the brow -rode up to Sister, reined in Tom Tiger, her handy small Thoroughbred, gave a pregnant pause, and then tattled." Almost every sentence is structured this way. Found it very distracting from the storyline.

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