Cover Image: Thrill of the Hunt

Thrill of the Hunt

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Member Reviews

It’s time for fox hunting again in Crozet, Virginia. It’s been a good start to the fox hunting year and it looks to be a go despite covid. But there’s a lot going on. The hunt has hired a videographer to film the season. There’s a cluster of suicides with unlikely victims. Drones seem to be flying over the farms for unexplained reasons. It seems unlikely they will find the solution to everything that is going on. This is another enjoyable book. I always enjoy the hunting stories. The mystery is pretty involved in this one but very interesting. I enjoyed the read.
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This is the 14th book in the Sister Jane series and it's a good one.  The fox hunting season is just getting started and COVID protocalls are in effect. Sister Jane is perplexed when a good friend is found dead with the call of suicide as the cause.  She can't imagine her friend killing himself.  I love this series with the human characteristics for all the animals involved.  From the horses, the hounds and the foxes.  The story is complex and the mystery is well written.  Always a little history involved.
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A charming and delightful mystery.  I loved the characters.  
Many thanks to Random House and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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An intriguing mystery in this excellent series weaving death, blackmail & technology with the life of the members of the Jefferson Hunt.
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The Thrill of the Hunt by Rita Mae Brown is an entertaining book, if somewhat confusing to a person with no background in fox hunting or the intricacies of raising hunting hounds. It has moments that confuse me as the reader can hear the thoughts and communications of all the animals: hounds, foxes, and horses. Brown does a good job of delineating when it is an animal speaking but it takes some getting used to. This time, it is the beginning of the season and things are just getting underway. There is no serious hunting yet. The club has commissioned a videographer to record the hunt in all its aspects, both as a souvenir and a fundraiser. He is always there and yet, never in the way. 

First it was a suicide, of their good friend, Greg, and then another suicide, no as good a friend, but someone they knew. Next came the blackmail. then the attempted suicide of Greg's wife, then the reason why. They were all aghast. The blackmail was trumped up but the public would never understand that. Then more blackmail. The mystery was a good one and it took a while to solve. The reasons were obscure. The crimes were clever. It all led to the cause: money. It all became apparent without much investigation. This is a different kind of cozy mystery, full of interesting personalities, all subtle, not in your face. A little politics, but really no hint of which side they are on. It is just past the pandemic and there are comments on that, as well, all subtle. Good read. 

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of The Thrill of the Hunt by Ballantine Books, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #netgalley #ballantine #ritamaebrown #thethrillfothehunt
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"Thrill of the Hunt" is a part of the Sister Jane series, and I enjoy it more than any of the other recent Sister Jane novels.  Once again, we're foxhunting in the Virginia countryside, and just to be clear, American foxhunters do NOT kill their prey.  The hounds pick up the scent, the fox uses various tricks to evade them, and it's a good time for all.

These hunt members and their neighbors are hospitable to the foxes that give them sport, providing them food, bedding, wormer, and even a few toys.  The primary animals in these books all have names and personalities, from the horses who usually jump boldly over obstacles that are in their path, to the hound pack that chitchat back and forth as they hunt for scent.  The wildlife are all named, too.  If you have read the other Sister Jane books, you'll note that you can become pretty well acquainted with all manner of beasts and birds.

These foxhunting cozies are pleasant light reading, and the mysteries that populate the pages are not gory or extreme murders.  This one finds two people committing suicide, seemingly without provocation or hints that they were considering such an action.  A blackmailer is also making threats and demands, possibly causing these other people to die...perhaps at least one was a murder, not a suicide.  Restoration at an old country property progresses, and in the process, an unknown slave cemetery is located.  Did this anger someone?  

The author of these books, the Sister Jane series and the Sneaky Pie series, is a Master of Foxhounds herself, and can write very well about the adventures out in the field.  I find them enjoyable as a fun outing in my mind, since I no longer keep horses.  The social world of foxhunting is full of traditions and rules that are followed by most of the participants, and sometimes they visit other hunts to enjoy traversing their territory.  

These books move forward in their timelines, characters aging and progressing in their lives in a manner consistent with the prior books.  I will be very sad when Sister Jane, now in her seventies, hangs up her tack and follows the hunt by truck.
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It should be a happy time for the Jefferson Hunt-they've survived the worst of the pandemic and are back out in the field. Sister Jane is especially pleased. But then, sadly, one member commits suicide and then another and someone is trying to blackmail others!  Sister Jane, our intrepid heroine, along with her friends, both human, and animal, figure out what's going on and put a stop to the bad behavior.  Know that there's a last cast to this, especially of animals (yes, the animals talk, a lot) but there is a list at the beginning of the novel.  I'm a fan of this series for the animals (yes), the details of the hunt, and the mysteries.  Sister Jane is a hoot. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.   It's the latest in a long running series but likely accessible and enjoyable as a standalone.
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The Jefferson Hunt has some unexpected suicides among their members.  There was no apparent reason for the first and seemingly no connection to the second.  "Sister" Jane Arnold, the Master of the Hunt, admittedly nosy, tries to figure out WHY and does it have a connection to recent blackmail attempts in the community.
I love that the heroine is in her seventies and is married to a younger man, and has friends of all ages and all walks of life.
The descriptions of foxhunting are some of my favorite parts.  I can SEE the countryside as it is described.
The animals interaction is very interesting too, especially the dogs and foxes.
This is a great series.  This book COULD be read on its own, but is better if you have read the rest of the series.
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After reading the rest of the Sister Jane mysteries by Rita Mae Brown, I have been looking forward to The Thrill of the Hunt and it definitely did not disappoint.  Set in the fall of 2020, the country is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic and the members of the Jefferson Hunt are looking forward to the new hunt season while trying to remain healthy and safe.  Shortly after the first outing of the season, one of the members of the hunt commits suicide.  Shortly after a second member of the community also commits suicide and another person receives a blackmail letter.  It is up to Jane, her husband, and several of their friends to try to determine why the suicides, who is responsible for the blackmail and if the incidents are all connected.

I thoroughly enjoy reading all of Rita Mae Brown's books as she has done an excellent job of creating characters, relationships and storylines that maintain consistency throughout each series and give insight into hobbies and regions that most people have no way of knowing or understanding except through these books.  Another strongly positive aspect of these books is the way that the characters interact with each other across age, race and economic status demonstrating that it is in fact possible for harmony to exist within communities with just a little work and understanding.  I look forward to more installments in this series as I am sure that Sister Jane has much more life and adventures still left in her.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Berkeley Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Thrill of the Hunt by Rita Mae Brown is another fox hunting saga with the usual characters and more information about the sport from the humane side.  This book again shows the author's love of hunting horses, dogs and the foxes they chase.  I am always happy to see another book in the series.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of this book!

This read was fantastic! The story was gripping, the characters were nuanced and unique, and the twists and turns had me guessing!
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Another good "hunt" novel. I love Rita Mae Brown's novels with animals and the hunt books are full of foxes, horses, and foxhounds plus all the Virginia nature. Don't forget the humans that's why there is crime.
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I have read all of the books of the Sister Jane Series.  Thrill of the Hunt was no exception.  As an ex-fox hunter I enjoyed the descriptions of cubbing and Opening Day of the hunt.  It brought many wonderful memories of my fox hunting days..  Besides the hunting a lot is happening in this book.  Jane Arnold is the main character.  She is the Master of Foxhounds of the Jefferson Hunt. The other supporting characters from the first of the series add to the story as well as the addition of new characters.   I love that the foxhounds, foxes and horses all have dialog amongst themselves. There is two parts to this story.  Crawford Harold has bought and is restoring Old Paradise,  The plantation was originally built by Sophie Marquet. She got her fortune by robbing the British with the help of her slave, Ransom Patrick.  There is rumors that she buried her fortune on the property. Jane has hired Ryan Stokes and his assistant Ayanda Freedman to follow the hunt to make a  video of the hunt as a fund raiser for the hunt. To the surprise of everyone two of their members, Greg Wilson and Arnold Snyder have committed suicide .  They are both successful in their businesses.. Both Crawford and Jane get a blackmail email telling them that  they have to drop off money at certain locations.  The reader is taken on a comical adventure of trying to outwit the blackmailers as well as find out who they are.  The story comes to a surprising and exciting end.

I look forward to the next adventure of Jane and the members of Jefferson Hunt.

Thank you NetGalley and Ballantine Books for this ARC.
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