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"Sister" Jane Arnold and her hounds must sniff out a thief with expensive taste when a string of missing paintings leads to murder in this exciting foxhunting mystery from New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown. Spring is peeking through the frost in Virginia, and though the hunting season is coming to a close, the foxes seem determined to put the members of the J "Sister" Jane Arnold and her hounds must sniff out a thief with expensive taste when a string of missing paintings leads to murder in this exciting foxhunting mystery from New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown. Spring is peeking through the frost in Virginia, and though the hunting season is coming to a close, the foxes seem determined to put the members of the Jefferson Hunt Club through their paces. Sister and her friends are enjoying some of the best chases they've had all season when the fun is cut short by the theft of Crawford Howard's treasured Sir Alfred Munnings painting of a woman in hunting attire riding sidesaddle. When another painting goes missing five days later--also a Munnings, also of a woman hunting sidesaddle--Sister Jane knows it's no coincidence. Someone is stealing paintings of foxhunters from foxhunters. But why? Perhaps it's a form of protest against their sport. For the hunt club isn't just under attack from the thief. Mysterious signs have started to appear outside their homes, decrying their way of life. stop foxhunting: a cruel sport reads one that appears outside Crawford's house, not long after his painting goes missing. no hounds barking shows up on the telephone pole outside Sister's driveway. Annoying, but relatively harmless. Then Delores Buckingham, retired now but once a formidable foxhunter, is strangled to death after her own Munnings sidesaddle painting is stolen. Now Sister's not just up against a thief and a few obnoxious signs--she's on the hunt for a killer.


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"Sister" Jane Arnold and her hounds must sniff out a thief with expensive taste when a string of missing paintings leads to murder in this exciting foxhunting mystery from New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown. Spring is peeking through the frost in Virginia, and though the hunting season is coming to a close, the foxes seem determined to put the members of the J "Sister" Jane Arnold and her hounds must sniff out a thief with expensive taste when a string of missing paintings leads to murder in this exciting foxhunting mystery from New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown. Spring is peeking through the frost in Virginia, and though the hunting season is coming to a close, the foxes seem determined to put the members of the Jefferson Hunt Club through their paces. Sister and her friends are enjoying some of the best chases they've had all season when the fun is cut short by the theft of Crawford Howard's treasured Sir Alfred Munnings painting of a woman in hunting attire riding sidesaddle. When another painting goes missing five days later--also a Munnings, also of a woman hunting sidesaddle--Sister Jane knows it's no coincidence. Someone is stealing paintings of foxhunters from foxhunters. But why? Perhaps it's a form of protest against their sport. For the hunt club isn't just under attack from the thief. Mysterious signs have started to appear outside their homes, decrying their way of life. stop foxhunting: a cruel sport reads one that appears outside Crawford's house, not long after his painting goes missing. no hounds barking shows up on the telephone pole outside Sister's driveway. Annoying, but relatively harmless. Then Delores Buckingham, retired now but once a formidable foxhunter, is strangled to death after her own Munnings sidesaddle painting is stolen. Now Sister's not just up against a thief and a few obnoxious signs--she's on the hunt for a killer.

30 review for Out of Hounds

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    In this 13th book in the 'Sister Jane' cozy mystery series, the amateur sleuth investigates art theft and murder. The book can be read as a standalone. ***** Jane Arnold, called "Sister", has been Master of Foxhounds (MFH) of the Jefferson Hunt - a foxhunting club in Jefferson County, Virginia - for over forty years. As MFH Sister hires and fires personnel; makes arrangements with landowners; develops the pack of hounds; organizes the hunts; and so on. The foxhunts are very popular, and Sister is In this 13th book in the 'Sister Jane' cozy mystery series, the amateur sleuth investigates art theft and murder. The book can be read as a standalone. ***** Jane Arnold, called "Sister", has been Master of Foxhounds (MFH) of the Jefferson Hunt - a foxhunting club in Jefferson County, Virginia - for over forty years. As MFH Sister hires and fires personnel; makes arrangements with landowners; develops the pack of hounds; organizes the hunts; and so on. The foxhunts are very popular, and Sister is aided by an array of personnel who command the hounds and make sure things run smoothly. As the story opens, it's February 2020 - foxhunting season - and Sister is overseeing a morning hunt. After the hunt there's a breakfast with hot food, hot drinks, and a full bar where participants - most of whom are wealthy - socialize. Foxhunters like Carter Nicewonder, who sells expensive vintage jewelry, and Kathleen Sixt Dunbar, who sells high-end antiques also take the opportunity to solicit business from their affluent acquaintances. As the story unfolds valuable artworks that feature women riding sidesaddle, painted by Sir Alfred Munnings, are being stolen from the homes of rich people associated with foxhunting and/or horse breeding. The thievery is soon followed by murders, the deceased being ex-convicts as well as a woman called Delores Buckingham, whose painting was stolen from her residence. Sister and her friends, who greatly admire Munnings work, are distressed by the burglaries and fear the artworks will end up with rich collectors overseas. Thus the amateur sleuths embark on their own investigation, which largely consists of contacting museums and collectors that own Munnings' work, to see if anyone has been sniffing around, asking questions, etc. This ends up putting Sister in danger, when the perpetrator(s) fear she's getting too close. The 'Sister' cozies by Rita Mae Brown are much more about foxhunting than solving a mystery, and the story features one foxhunt after another, each of which is described in detail. The hunts are seen not only from the POVs of the humans, but also of the dogs, horses, and foxes involved. There's also chatter from pet dogs and cats, all of which adds a fun element to the novel. Like all hunting sports, foxhunting has its detractors, and protestors stage demonstrations, distribute fliers, and put up signs accusing foxhunters of being cruel and elitist. Sister carefully explains that foxhunting is the state sport of Virginia, the foxes are chased but not killed, foxhunters are nature lovers and environmentalists, and the activity generates a billion dollars in revenue. As usual in Rita Mae Brown books, the author takes the opportunity to share her interest in history, politics, and social issues in the guise of conversations among the characters. Rita Mae Brown (left) Thus Sister and her compatriots talk about changes in foxhunting over the years; the evolution of equine art; old money manners and breeding vs. new money superficiality and showiness; religion; marriage; social media; alcoholism; the coronavirus (origin in China; social distancing, masks, economic hardship, and profiteering); and more. I'd recommend the book to fans of Rita Mae Brown and people interested in foxhunting. Thanks to Netgalley, Rita Mae Brown, and Ballantine Books for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    If you’re a fan of fox hunting, Rita Mae Brown’s Out of Hounds may be just the ticket! Unfortunately, it doesn’t really grab me, and a little bit goes a long way. I do enjoy a good mystery, and this mystery isn’t bad, but the book seems to be more about the hunt for foxes than for an art thief and killer. It’s the 13th book in the “Sister” Jane Arnold series. Sister is a Master of Foxhounds, which means that she is the individual who runs the hunt. She is an intelligent woman, respected by all. T If you’re a fan of fox hunting, Rita Mae Brown’s Out of Hounds may be just the ticket! Unfortunately, it doesn’t really grab me, and a little bit goes a long way. I do enjoy a good mystery, and this mystery isn’t bad, but the book seems to be more about the hunt for foxes than for an art thief and killer. It’s the 13th book in the “Sister” Jane Arnold series. Sister is a Master of Foxhounds, which means that she is the individual who runs the hunt. She is an intelligent woman, respected by all. The hunts seem to be where a lot of socializing takes place, both among the humans and the animals, including hounds, horses, and fox, both gray and red. This is one of the author’s trademarks; she names all her critters and gives them voices, which the humans cannot understand, of course. Despite the Cast of Characters at the beginning of the book, I had quite a difficult time keeping track of everyone. Part of the problem was that my Kindle search feature did not include the Cast. After the first painting went missing, and then a body is found, things began to get interesting. I always learn a thing or two about Virginia and the surrounding area, its history and geography. In this instance, the artwork that is stolen is by a real artist, Alfred Munnings, an English painter. I confess that I did learn a thing or two about fox hunting as well. Ms Brown throws in a bit of politics and current events, as the characters must cope with the initial days of the Covid-19 pandemic. There is also a touch of romance here and there. All in all, I’d rate this one three stars. My thanks to NetGalley, Ballantine Books, and the creative Rita Mae Brown for this advance copy in exchange for my unbiased review. 3 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    February 2020 in Virginia where the state sport is Fox Hunting and the state dog is Foxhound. It's a good thing that there is an explanatory cast of characters at the beginning because there are so many animals as well as humans! If you come for wealthy humans and a good mystery with murders and art theft, you'll love it. I come for the animal conversations and antics, and I loved it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley. Thank y February 2020 in Virginia where the state sport is Fox Hunting and the state dog is Foxhound. It's a good thing that there is an explanatory cast of characters at the beginning because there are so many animals as well as humans! If you come for wealthy humans and a good mystery with murders and art theft, you'll love it. I come for the animal conversations and antics, and I loved it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley. Thank you

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I have long been a fan of Rita Mae Brown’s work. I love the setting, the characters, the animals. Out of Hounds is no exception. The book is set in present day, opening in February 2020. Sister Jane, as Master of the Jefferson Hunt, is starting to prepare for the closing of the fox hunt season. But soon there’s a new topic of interest – the theft of high-dollar artwork, paintings of women riding sidesaddle. At first, it appears to be simply a thief with exquisite taste. But then dead bodies start I have long been a fan of Rita Mae Brown’s work. I love the setting, the characters, the animals. Out of Hounds is no exception. The book is set in present day, opening in February 2020. Sister Jane, as Master of the Jefferson Hunt, is starting to prepare for the closing of the fox hunt season. But soon there’s a new topic of interest – the theft of high-dollar artwork, paintings of women riding sidesaddle. At first, it appears to be simply a thief with exquisite taste. But then dead bodies start showing up, and when Delores Buckingham, a retired foxhunter, also ends up dead, Sister is on the hunt for a killer. This is not a full-throttle, high-speed mystery. It’s a slow burn of a story. The characters are, for the most part, middle-aged and older, with the gentility of old Virginia society. They act with decorum even in difficult situations, and the story unfolds largely through dialogue. Sister is more a hunt master who happens to be inquiring about a crime than a private eye or homegrown sleuth. There is also a lot of detail about foxhunting. I find it fascinating, because it is completely out of my realm of experience. Brown thoughtfully includes a cast of characters at the beginning, identifying all players, both human and animal. This is helpful, because there are a lot of characters. Maybe more human than animal. I enjoy reading about how the hounds pursue their prey (no prey is actually killed, in case you were wondering) and how the hunters care for their hounds and horses. If you aren’t big on that kind of specific detail, this may not be the best read for you. I loved it. I also found it fascinating that Brown weaves very current events into her story. The COVID lockdowns started as she was writing, and she uses that as part of the story. This is the first book I’ve read that has done that, and I feel like she used it to good effect. It’s interesting to see how she wrote the characters’ perception of current happenings. Five stars from me, and I’ll read just about anything Rita Mae Brown writes from now until forever. Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine for the advance reader copy. All opinions expressed here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    Rita Mae Brown’s newest Sister Jane novel, “Out of Hounds” is only one of two novels I’ve read (the other is by Elinor Lipman) that addresses the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant political ramifications. Oh, most of the novel centers around “Sister” Jane Arnold and her cozy world of fox hunting in central Virginia, including other humans and the animals who make up that world. I’ve been reading Rita Mae Brown’s books since I discovered “Six of One” and “Southern Discomfort” over 40 yea Rita Mae Brown’s newest Sister Jane novel, “Out of Hounds” is only one of two novels I’ve read (the other is by Elinor Lipman) that addresses the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant political ramifications. Oh, most of the novel centers around “Sister” Jane Arnold and her cozy world of fox hunting in central Virginia, including other humans and the animals who make up that world. I’ve been reading Rita Mae Brown’s books since I discovered “Six of One” and “Southern Discomfort” over 40 years ago. I read her books for the characters, not the plots. The plots for most of the “Sister Jane” books are nonsensical; this latest one was about, I think, paintings of women riders being stolen from peoples’ homes and murders of the men doing the actual stealing. The identity of the “bad guy” is rather telegraphed to the reader early on in the book. Throw in mutilated hands - I never did figure out what was about - and other plot vagueness, and I basically quit reading for plot midway through the book. Concentrating on Brown’s characters, both human and not, make reading her “Sister” books so much fun. Over the years - maybe 20 - we have watched both humans and animals go through life experiences with charm and love. Brown writes dialogue for her animals - the foxes, horses, dogs, and even screech owls and other birds - as they go through both the special and the mundane parts of life. The “Sister Jane” books lack the sharp writing of her earlier work, but that’s probably true of many older writers (and readers like me). As I wrote before, “Out of Hounds” is written as a contemporaneous look at the Covid epidemic, from its earliest days in February/March 2020 to whenever she had to turn her finished manuscript into her publisher. She was brave to add this plot point to her book. It does “date” the book, but it also gives the story an historical context. Brown’s latest book is definitely worth reading, especially if you’re a long time reader of the “Sister Jane” series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    A interesting mystery set in the world of Virginian fox hunting. While it would probably help a reader to know more about fox hunting jargon, the author provides a great glossary with key terms and an intuitive overview. The story doesn't suffer as a result of the reader's inexperience with "the hunt." In the same way that she leverages her extensive knowledge of hunting, author Rita Mae Brown gives us a large, diverse, and well-established cast of characters with pre-existing relationships and pe A interesting mystery set in the world of Virginian fox hunting. While it would probably help a reader to know more about fox hunting jargon, the author provides a great glossary with key terms and an intuitive overview. The story doesn't suffer as a result of the reader's inexperience with "the hunt." In the same way that she leverages her extensive knowledge of hunting, author Rita Mae Brown gives us a large, diverse, and well-established cast of characters with pre-existing relationships and personal histories. Their interactions are the novel's highlight. They debate, they joke around, and they share a passion that they approach in different ways. It's also particularly refreshing to see such a large number of characters over the age of fifty who still pursue interests and human relationships. The mystery itself is interesting and gives the novel a great kick start, but ultimately falls short of expectations. The principal characters do not actively investigate the mounting pile of mysteries, at least not beyond some casual conversations and the odd internet search. It's hard to take a solid interest in the inciting incident when the characters don't seem particular invested in solving it. Ultimately, this book is more about the characters hunting in Virginia (and discussing everything from politics, anti-hunting activism, and the global pandemic) than it is about solving a murder or two. Recommended if you're curious about the world of Virginian fox hunting and the mystery genre, but it might be better to start with some of the earlier books. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for sending me a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    FMSWarrior

    If you are a fox hunting fan, this book is for you! When you have to include 20 pages that outline the characters before even getting into the story, it might be a clue that you either need to have read the other books in the series or be a serious fox hunting fan. Since i am neither, it was a struggle to follow the story at times. Though the location is what captured me as I used to live in the area 20 years ago. That said, I did like that the animals are represented and even speak up throughout If you are a fox hunting fan, this book is for you! When you have to include 20 pages that outline the characters before even getting into the story, it might be a clue that you either need to have read the other books in the series or be a serious fox hunting fan. Since i am neither, it was a struggle to follow the story at times. Though the location is what captured me as I used to live in the area 20 years ago. That said, I did like that the animals are represented and even speak up throughout the story. Sadly, I think I would need to read the first 12 books in this series to become fully engaged. Perhaps I will try the first book in the series one day and go from there.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia Walker

    Reading Out of Hounds was like visiting with old friends and checking up on all of their news. A series that stays fresh and fun over many volumes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    BonnieM☂️

    Excellent book, and another year of waiting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie Nortillo

    Horrible. Now I remember why I haven't read a Brown book in years. Horrible. Now I remember why I haven't read a Brown book in years.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Out of Hounds is the 13th "Sister" Jane mystery by Rita Mae Brown. Released 19th Jan 2020 by Penguin Random House on their Ballantine imprint, it's 320 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. Like nearly all of Ms. Brow Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Out of Hounds is the 13th "Sister" Jane mystery by Rita Mae Brown. Released 19th Jan 2020 by Penguin Random House on their Ballantine imprint, it's 320 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. Like nearly all of Ms. Brown's oeuvre, this is a capably written, well told story that is character driven, neatly plotted, and finely paced. I've long been a fan of the author, and enjoyed her cozy Mrs. Murphy series as well as her more serious writing. The Sister Jane books are cozies and full of the American foxhunting traditions and culture. If you don't know anything about riding to hounds, you will after reading this book. The dialogue and writing are pitch perfect. Typically for Ms. Brown, the writing is solidly comfortable and engaging. Reading her books is almost like visiting with an old friend you haven't seen for a while; you just pick up where you left off the last time, even if you haven't seen them for ages. I personally love anthropomorphic mysteries, but fair warning, if talking animals bug you, this probably isn't the series for you. The book also does a superlative job of giving a glimpse into Virginia hospitality and etiquette and the riding subculture. Four stars (mostly because even though American fox hunters just chase the foxes and don't kill them, it still distresses me and I'm always rooting for the foxes - the books are also *full* of upper class extremely wealthy people who often rub my proletariat heart the wrong way). Bonus points for the author's managing to make her characters ethnically diverse, and not just pasted on, either. Many of the characters have faced and worked through part of their tragic shared traumatic past, from slave times onward and at this point there seems to be more good natured camaraderie than any festering resentment. The art theft and murder plots felt secondary to the fox hunting in this one, but still overall quite a solidly entertaining read. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Fox Hunting Mixed with Murder and Art Theft It’s the end of fox hunting season, and Sister Jane, Master of the Jefferson Hunt, is preparing for closing the season. However, things are never dull for Sister Jane and her friends. Soon high dollar paintings by Alfred Munnings are stolen. Although Munnings painted many horse related paintings, the ones stolen are all of ladies riding sidesaddle. Murder enters the mix when one of the owners of a Munnings painting is killed. This is followed by more mu Fox Hunting Mixed with Murder and Art Theft It’s the end of fox hunting season, and Sister Jane, Master of the Jefferson Hunt, is preparing for closing the season. However, things are never dull for Sister Jane and her friends. Soon high dollar paintings by Alfred Munnings are stolen. Although Munnings painted many horse related paintings, the ones stolen are all of ladies riding sidesaddle. Murder enters the mix when one of the owners of a Munnings painting is killed. This is followed by more murders as the police and private investigators try to locate the stolen paintings. The Covid virus also makes an appearance along with protesters who are against fox hunting even though they don’t understand it. I always find the Sister Jane novels delightful. The fox hunting scenes are so well written you feel you’re there on a horse. The animals both foxes and horses not to mention the dogs make the story come to life. The mystery is not the focus of the story. Sister tries to do some sleuthing but it’s not the main part of the story. I did enjoy the history surrounding Alfred Munnings and his art. The only negative is that there are a great many characters. If you follow the series, this isn’t a problem, but new readers may find it challenging to remember who everyone is. I particularly enjoyed the discussions between Sister and her friends about the environment and how to preserve rural areas. If you love animals and rural life, you’ll enjoy this book. I received this book from Random House for this review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I like this series more for the mystery and not as much for the fox hunting. Having said that, I do learn a lot in each book beyond the who done it and the why done it. My problem in almost all of Rita Mae Brown's mysteries is too many characters to keep straight - people and animals all have names and that is a bit hard to deal with when reading on a Kindle. It's not a deal breaker and I make lots of notes. Here we are with the 13th in the series starring "Sister" Jane Arnold and it's almost Sp I like this series more for the mystery and not as much for the fox hunting. Having said that, I do learn a lot in each book beyond the who done it and the why done it. My problem in almost all of Rita Mae Brown's mysteries is too many characters to keep straight - people and animals all have names and that is a bit hard to deal with when reading on a Kindle. It's not a deal breaker and I make lots of notes. Here we are with the 13th in the series starring "Sister" Jane Arnold and it's almost Spring and the end of the season for foxhunting. Soon theft and murder enter their lives when various members of the hunt have paintings of women riding sidesaddle, all painted by real life artist Sir Alfred Munnings and one such theft leaves one of their own dead. Sister Jane has been a force to be reckoned with as the Master of Foxhounds for forty years so solving thefts and murder won't get the better of her. The theme of art history and the various bits of Colonial Virginia history were perfectly blended into the mystery. The reader comes away with an understanding of the history of foxhunting, too. With a setting of early 2020, Covid is a feature, too. Overall a very enjoyable mystery. My thanks to the publisher, Ballantine Books and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anam Cara

    I have always loved Rita Mae Brown's Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries. This is the first of her other books that I have read. I am sorry to say that I had a really hard time getting into the story. As with her other books, the settings are often real places and people familiar with the area around Charlottesville will have no trouble imagining the area. As in her other books, the animals "talk" with their dialogue shown in italics. There is a mystery, this time stolen paintings and then a murder or two I have always loved Rita Mae Brown's Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries. This is the first of her other books that I have read. I am sorry to say that I had a really hard time getting into the story. As with her other books, the settings are often real places and people familiar with the area around Charlottesville will have no trouble imagining the area. As in her other books, the animals "talk" with their dialogue shown in italics. There is a mystery, this time stolen paintings and then a murder or two. All that is fine. But there was page after page of the fox hunt. The fox goes here, the dogs go there, the whippers in say this, want that. There's a fence, a den, a stream. Oh, my gosh, I thought it would never end. The social life of the hunt clubs, the endless chases. They took almost as long to read as a real hunt would last. I'm sorry, but I have no interest at all in the details of a fox hunt. I confess that I started skimming pages so that I wouldn't have to read all of that. I love to read, but I have a life to get back to and spending time on a fox hunt is not high on my list of priorities even during a pandemic. The story itself is good. The characters are likable enough. But oh, my, it goes on forever. Perhaps the longes 320 pages I've ever read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Coralee Hicks

    Book 13 of Brown's "Sister" Jane series is more pastoral than usual. Gone are the long discourses on politics. Instead Brown offers us an in depth look at the joys of fox hunting. By offering the POV of the MFH and the fox, the event becomes exceptionally true to life. While some may argue that this sport is cruel, I am one who says contact sports cause more damage in today's world. The mystery almost appears off camera. Art theft, where the paintings are by the same artist, (Munnings) pose a pu Book 13 of Brown's "Sister" Jane series is more pastoral than usual. Gone are the long discourses on politics. Instead Brown offers us an in depth look at the joys of fox hunting. By offering the POV of the MFH and the fox, the event becomes exceptionally true to life. While some may argue that this sport is cruel, I am one who says contact sports cause more damage in today's world. The mystery almost appears off camera. Art theft, where the paintings are by the same artist, (Munnings) pose a puzzle. Is this a subtle way to protest fox hunting? How are the thieves able to over come security systems? Why would some one kill for a painting? Will "Sister" Jane solve the problem before someone else is killed? Days after finishing Out of Hounds, I am still drawn to the wonderful romance between Sister and her heart companion. It is not often that senior relationships are featured. I am glad that Brown now has the freedom to write stories that feature both nature and love. Full disclosure: I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for this opportunity.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I received this book through Net Galley before release and voluntarily give an honest review. Another of Rita Mae Brown’s excellent mysteries. This is part of the Sister Jane series in which Jane Arnold is the Master of Jefferson Hunt. She is one intelligent woman given to speaking her mind within the manners of her generation. This particular book tells of high stakes thievery; paintings of women who rode side-saddle painted by a well-known equine artist. The fox hunters are besieged by people w I received this book through Net Galley before release and voluntarily give an honest review. Another of Rita Mae Brown’s excellent mysteries. This is part of the Sister Jane series in which Jane Arnold is the Master of Jefferson Hunt. She is one intelligent woman given to speaking her mind within the manners of her generation. This particular book tells of high stakes thievery; paintings of women who rode side-saddle painted by a well-known equine artist. The fox hunters are besieged by people who think fox hunting is cruel and for the rich. Not true, but that is part of this story. The author brings awareness of the past history of art, foxhunting, relationships, and the character of people up to the present time. I especially found this book to be packed with action of the investigation and foxhunting type. Where there are hounds and foxes, there is adventure, humor, and bravery. Oh, and then there may be a little romance for young and more seasoned alike.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The 13th book in Brown's mystery series set in the foxhunting milieu of Virginia has generous doses of foxhound and horse lore along with a double shot of mystery: both murder and art theft. I adore this series because it gives insight into a world I'd otherwise know nothing about: foxhunting. In this outing, readers also learn a bit about the painters who document that world as well, as the art thief focuses on paintings of women riding sidesaddle. The one drawback to any Sister Jane mystery is The 13th book in Brown's mystery series set in the foxhunting milieu of Virginia has generous doses of foxhound and horse lore along with a double shot of mystery: both murder and art theft. I adore this series because it gives insight into a world I'd otherwise know nothing about: foxhunting. In this outing, readers also learn a bit about the painters who document that world as well, as the art thief focuses on paintings of women riding sidesaddle. The one drawback to any Sister Jane mystery is that Brown does get didactic at times, and when characters begin lecturing about art history the action slows a little. Still, as Brown says she wrote the book in real time as COVID-19 descended, she deserves props for writing one of the first novels out there with the virus woven into the story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Renee G.

    Delightful. The detail in this story is remarkable. The setting, plot, and characters grab you and pull you in until you think you might be a gentle born foxhunter as well. Do you have friends who own foxhounds and ride horses? You do now, they live inside this book. Have some tea and solve a perplexing art heist with them. The bad guy, like so many others, is smart enough to get away with thievery, even murder, but they just can’t keep their casual cool when the amateur detectives find clues. M Delightful. The detail in this story is remarkable. The setting, plot, and characters grab you and pull you in until you think you might be a gentle born foxhunter as well. Do you have friends who own foxhounds and ride horses? You do now, they live inside this book. Have some tea and solve a perplexing art heist with them. The bad guy, like so many others, is smart enough to get away with thievery, even murder, but they just can’t keep their casual cool when the amateur detectives find clues. My advice to bad guys, keep cool, man. Never show your hand. Especially your right hand when you’re a card shark. Ouch. I was a lucky ducky and got this free, free, freeeeeeeeee yeah baby, through a Goodreads giveaway. My thanks to Rita Mae Brown, Penguin Random House, and Ballantine Books. P.S. This was set in Virginia. 😄👍🏻 How righteous is that?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jan Tomalis

    This is my first Rita Mae Brown book and what a treat it was! The book starts with a list of all the characters in the book, animals as well as the humans. It is written in recent times of early 2020. Having never been exposed to fox hunting, I knew little about it. However, the descriptions were very vivid and the scenes were well imagined. The theft of fox hunting art is the mystery. While Sister is trying to figure out who is guilty, coronavirus is appearing in the country. A little romance i This is my first Rita Mae Brown book and what a treat it was! The book starts with a list of all the characters in the book, animals as well as the humans. It is written in recent times of early 2020. Having never been exposed to fox hunting, I knew little about it. However, the descriptions were very vivid and the scenes were well imagined. The theft of fox hunting art is the mystery. While Sister is trying to figure out who is guilty, coronavirus is appearing in the country. A little romance is included for enjoyment. I enjoyed this story and learning about this sport. I received an advance copy of this book from the author, publisher and NetGalley. I voluntarily wrote an honest review. All opinions are strictly my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have not read any of Ms. Brown' books in over a decade and was not familiar with this series. The story is written vividly- you can smell the country grass and feel the warm breezes. If you are not familiar with horse country, this book will make you want a horse to ride to hounds. The characters are fully developed and most are likable. The ones that are not, well, just bless their hearts. Mystery, friendships, flirtation, gorgeous I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have not read any of Ms. Brown' books in over a decade and was not familiar with this series. The story is written vividly- you can smell the country grass and feel the warm breezes. If you are not familiar with horse country, this book will make you want a horse to ride to hounds. The characters are fully developed and most are likable. The ones that are not, well, just bless their hearts. Mystery, friendships, flirtation, gorgeous animals - a great weekend read. While this is part of a well established series, Out of Hounds can be read as a stand alone. I have gone back and started the series with the first book to see how the story evolved over time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Out of Hounds by Rita Mae Brown is the first of the series I have read, although I have read others by Brown and enjoyed them. This book never really grabbed me: it was all about hounds, horses, and hunts, none of which do I have experience with. There were art thefts and murders and usually that's enough, but there were too many characters and too many things I knew nothing about. This is a prolific author and this is far from the first book in the series. Possibly if I started at the beginning Out of Hounds by Rita Mae Brown is the first of the series I have read, although I have read others by Brown and enjoyed them. This book never really grabbed me: it was all about hounds, horses, and hunts, none of which do I have experience with. There were art thefts and murders and usually that's enough, but there were too many characters and too many things I knew nothing about. This is a prolific author and this is far from the first book in the series. Possibly if I started at the beginning I would feel differently, but at this point, I did not care for it at all. I was invited to read a free ARC of Out of Hounds by Netgalley. All opinions contained herein are solely my own. #netgalley #outofhounds

  22. 5 out of 5

    Barb Foerst

    Sister is back with another fox hunting season. This book has most of our familiar characters. I enjoy the characters including the animal characters. During a hunt, an expensive painting is stolen. As the season progresses similar paintings are stolen in other hunting areas. Also, some sketchy characters are found missing. Sister tries to puzzle out this mystery. Spring of 2020 is the start of the Covid season and it appears that the hunt season will end early. I enjoy Sister’s way of puzzling Sister is back with another fox hunting season. This book has most of our familiar characters. I enjoy the characters including the animal characters. During a hunt, an expensive painting is stolen. As the season progresses similar paintings are stolen in other hunting areas. Also, some sketchy characters are found missing. Sister tries to puzzle out this mystery. Spring of 2020 is the start of the Covid season and it appears that the hunt season will end early. I enjoy Sister’s way of puzzling out a mystery and her discussion of current events. Nothing alarming but often thought provoking. The ending of this mystery is filled with drama and provides a great ending. I really enjoyed this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Someone is stealing paintings from fox hunters, which seems annoying but not dangerous until Delores is found strangled. Sister Jane, the Master of the Hunt, and her friends (especially her animal friends) are on the case! I admit to being a fan of this series, which I also admit isn't for everyone for the very reason I like it- the animals who periodically pipe up with their views. Bronwn lists the various characters and their eccentricities up front (it might be easier in hard copy to flip bac Someone is stealing paintings from fox hunters, which seems annoying but not dangerous until Delores is found strangled. Sister Jane, the Master of the Hunt, and her friends (especially her animal friends) are on the case! I admit to being a fan of this series, which I also admit isn't for everyone for the very reason I like it- the animals who periodically pipe up with their views. Bronwn lists the various characters and their eccentricities up front (it might be easier in hard copy to flip back and forth) and then you're off. You'll learn a lot about fox hunting and horses while reading a rather gentle mystery. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Great fun.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    I'm usually a big fan of the Rita Mae Brown books and her series. I had a difficult time getting into the book, however. Even though I knew some of the characters, the beginning with all the character information and descriptions was tedious, and I ended up skimming over those pages. I always love the animals in these books, which keeps me coming back for more of Rita Mae Brown's books and this series. The animals really hold the story and keep my attention. I did learn quite a bit about fox hunt I'm usually a big fan of the Rita Mae Brown books and her series. I had a difficult time getting into the book, however. Even though I knew some of the characters, the beginning with all the character information and descriptions was tedious, and I ended up skimming over those pages. I always love the animals in these books, which keeps me coming back for more of Rita Mae Brown's books and this series. The animals really hold the story and keep my attention. I did learn quite a bit about fox hunting. I would give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars. #OutofHounds #NetGalley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Ms. Brown has given us another great Sister Jane mystery. This is book 13 in the Sister Jane series and Jane and her foxhunting friends need to solve the art thefts and deaths in their community. I enjoy reading these books with the animal conversations taking place between the horses, foxes and dogs. Also the insight to rural Virginia and the foxhunting lifestyle is interesting and true. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    I’m a big fan of horses and dogs and, although I’ve never hunted, I rode for years. I have loved this series since the beginning and eagerly looked forward to each new one. Sadly, I was very disappointed in “Out of Hounds”. It was so boring, I actually skipped over many parts. It read like a very dry art history lecture with some political commentary thrown in. If there’s another one in this series, I sure hope it’s better than this one.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karen Fan

    Such an easy, gentle read for the holidays. I found it a nice way to end my day by following the slowly meandering story. That’s not a bad thing in any way, but if you’re looking for action skip this. The story is slowly woven in be had a lot on fox hunting, so if things like that bore you, this isn’t for you. But I found it lovely to read the slow solving of the book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Bravo to realism A good new book in this series. I liked the character development and look forward to those storylines. I really enjoyed the timeline and how the effect of Covid-19 in the real world was also played out here. Good choice. Bravo to Rita Mae Brown. Love this series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Rowe

    It is quite obvious that the author loves, loves foxhunting. I never knew all the details that go into the sport. This is an entirely new subject to me, because as a native New Yorker, I do not know what a fox looks like. Anyway, the plot is thick with humor, art theft, and murder. Enjoyed it a whole lot.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary C

    What a really good, detailed story of equine art being stolen and the research that had to go into this made sure that I checked out quite a few different artist. I'm not one to seek out museums but it makes me love an author that will expand a readers world and tell a great story at the same time! I can't wait for the next Sister Jane series. What a really good, detailed story of equine art being stolen and the research that had to go into this made sure that I checked out quite a few different artist. I'm not one to seek out museums but it makes me love an author that will expand a readers world and tell a great story at the same time! I can't wait for the next Sister Jane series.

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