The Tell-Tale Horse Audio CD – Sep 25 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Enlivened by a large cast of familiar two- and four-legged characters, Sister Jane Arnold's sixth adventure in Virginia hunt country (after 2006's The Hounds and the Fury) opens with the discovery of a nude female corpse tied to an equine shop fixture. The Jefferson Hunt community is appropriately distressed, but master of foxhounds Sister really gets outraged when a valuable trophy goes missing and then turns up in her stable. Suspects abound among the well-heeled and well-mounted but rather undeveloped members of the hunt. Brown's well-researched descriptions of hunting will please aficionados who don't mind her talking-animal conceit, but otherwise the prose is undistinguished; the useful terms section at the back is almost superfluous, though the exhaustive dramatis personae in the front is not. The tale is mostly carried by its unusual setting and a rather cozy plot featuring high-tech and financial wizardry. Author tour. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Brown's latest in the crowd-pleasing Foxhunting series is cleverly named and just as cleverly and compellingly developed. Seventysomething Sister Jane Arnold is Master of the Foxhounds as well as one of the most entertaining amateur sleuths since those of Agatha Christie. She's had more than a few romantic flings with the gentlemen in her circle, and dates a retired accountant. She can easily hold her own in most situations, whether deciphering clues to the latest murder or observing events at the Casanova Hunt Ball, where backbiting whispers and barbed comments are barely concealed by southern gentility: Those marvelous earrings set off your silver hair. I still can't believe you haven't started to color your tresses, darlin'. This time an unidentified nude corpse, dubbed Lady Godiva, is found on Trigger, the life-size horse statue outside the horsey emporium Horse Country, run by Sister's friend Marion, and the hunt is onfor the killer. Brown again proves herself masterful in the newest entry in this charming and engrossing series. Scott, Whitney --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.