Homeward Hound

Homeward Hound

A Novel

Book - 2018
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As winter deepens over the Blue Ridge Mountains, even the threat of snowstorms cannot derail this year's Christmas run, not as long as Sister Jane has a say in it. With spirits high and traditions strong, a glorious parade of hunters in full holiday regalia gathers on the grounds of Tattenhall Station. But a blinding blizzard brings an early end to the sport. More disturbing: A horse soon returns without its rider. Gregory Luckham, the president of a powerful energy company pushing for a pipeline through central Virginia, is the missing hunter. His presence on the hunt has been controversial to say the least, and few would bemoan his passing. A search is organized for what is presumed will be a dead, frozen body. What is discovered, however, chills everyone to the bone, and points toward murder. With more than a few opinions offered by hunters, horses, hounds, and foxes, Sister Jane sets out to track down a killer and untangle a mystery packed as hard as snow, full of secrets, old wounds, and avarice. ;Steeped in the local history of Virginia's horse country, Homeward Hound is a delightful immersion into a storied world no one knows better than Rita Mae Brown, accompanied by the indelible animal characters she brings vividly to life.
Publisher: New York, New York : Ballantine Books, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780399178375
Characteristics: xxi, 304 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Gildea, Lee Jr.,- Illustrator

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m
maucarden
Nov 20, 2018

I’ve been a fan of Rita Mae Brown (RMB) since the librarian had to pick me up off the floor after reading the first two paragraphs of her book Bingo over 18 years ago, Still one of the funniest, sweetest books I have ever read.
RMB in 200o started a series set in central Virginia centered around fox hunting, an activity that RMB knows well as she is a Master of the Foxhunt (MFH) herself in central Virginia., no small honor.
RMB treats her foxhounds, house pets, foxes and horses as honored, thinking, verbal characters. Just the type of story I usually cannot stand. I make an exception of RMB who knows how to write a story and how to make you become invested in the characters. RMB is at her best when she writes about the foxhunting. I am like a kid with her nose squished against the plate glass window of a candy store when I read her books.
Jane Arnold, better known as Sister, is MFH of the Jefferson hunt, a position she has held for more than 40 years. An old and venerable hunt, the Jefferson is a sought after club.
At the Christmas Hunt, Gregory Luckham, president of an energy company and a member of another hunt is invited to ride with the Jefferson hunt as a guest. Luckham is president of an energy company that is planning on building a pipeline through central Virginia; virtually destroying historic properties and pristine wilderness. His host hopes Luckham will see the land his pipeline could despoil while also hoping the landowners could come to an accommodation and work for a new route.
Unfortunately he disappears during a sudden blizzard that comes up during the Christmas Hunt.
I never thought I would say this, but Homeward Hound seemed to consisted mostly of hunts. There are too many hunts, not enough of the mystery.
These hunts, and the properties they go through are lovingly described and the thrill of the hunt perfectly portrayed. This however does not make up for the lack of investigation or interest in the murders on the part of both the characters and the reader.
Still and all since I have been a fan since the beginning of the series, the book was like slipping on my robe and jimmy jams, enjoying the warmth and familiarity. I would invite any reader to join, at least for a few hours, this rarified life. RMB makes it easy to start anywhere with her dramatis personae and glossary at the beginning of the book.
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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