Cover Image: Lost & Hound

Lost & Hound

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Member Reviews

Lost & Hound by Rita Mae Brown introduces a delightful cast of characters, including cunning foxes, sensible hounds, and sweet-tempered horses, who engage in sparkling conversations throughout this charming series. The true essence of this novel lies in its diverse and captivating characters. Moreover, the vivid descriptions of the countryside transport readers to a world of breathtaking beauty.

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My thanks to Net Galley, Random House Ballantine, and the personal invitation I received to review this arc.

Unfortunately I really struggled with this book. I expected this to be more of a murder mystery, and focusing on solving the case but mid way thru the book it was barely touched on. A quick stolen stamp collection was thrown in. The beginning of the book had pages of the cast of characters and the animals. I didn't need that. That could have been addressed in the story. I enjoyed the animals and the book was well written, but too much going on and so much descriptions that just dragged. It appeared more of the workings of fox hunts.

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Interesting story most.y about current fox hunting. There is a murder, theft, and physical attack of a person connected with the hunt club. The murder is almost a secondary part of the book, definitely not the main subject of the book. The main subject is fox hunting in today's world. The people, foxes, hounds and horses are all characters here and each is important to the other. I did learn a great deal about Fox a hunting, but really wasn't too interested to begin with. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC for a honest opinion.

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This is the 15th book of the Sister Jane series but the first for me. Good cozy mystery. Looking forward to more.

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This is a cozy mystery story. There is a good complement of human and animal characters. The story is set in the Virginia countryside where a murder needs to be solved. Along the way the reader will learn interesting facts about Virginia that they will find totally charming. There is also a little romance that evolves as the crime gets solved.

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Make sure to read her other novels before reading this one. This book is 15th in the Sister Jane series. The talking animals are the best in her stories. I bit of crime, a large array of characters and the atmospheric setting is wonderful. 3.5 stars

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Lost & Hound is the 15th book in the Sister Jane series. I have read this series from the beginning and always look forward to the next one when it comes out. I fox hunted for years and so enjoy the memories wlhen I read about their hunts. It takes place in Virginia. Jane Arnold (Sister) is the Master of Foxhounds with the Jefferson Hunt along with her husband, Gray Lorllard. Her best friend is Betty Franklin. There are so many others who make up the members of the hunt.

Coming home from church Sam Lorllard, Gray's brother, finds a dead body of a man tied to a chair. He is later identified as Timothy Snavely, President of Snavely Import and Exports. He calls police chief, Ben Sidel to report his findings.

Barry Harper reports that his stamp collection had some of his wildlife stamps stolen. later found in Edward Clark, Jr. one of the hunt member's horse trailer. Ben Sidel takes it and when going through them Barry finds all are there except the box turtle one which later is found taped to Ronnie Hasip's garage door. Ben is again called and takes possession of it. Later all the stamps are returned to Barry. Cameron Aldron owns an airplane service and went to college with Barry. All the hunt members are trying to figure out who would steal the stamps and involve members of the hunt. Ronnie Hasip is attacked in his garage and was badly injured. The only reason he was not killed was the UPS man was making a delivery and saw him on the floor of his garage and someone running away. Sister, Gray and Betty stay at the hospital hoping he will wake up. Ben has him under guard for his protection as they fear he will be attacked again.

I will leave the story for the reader to enjoy as there is too much going on to put on paper. The reader is left in suspense of who killed Timothy and attacked Ronnie until the end of the book. The reader will also learn about fox hunting.

I loved Sister's dogs Raleigh, a doberman, Rooster, a harrier bequested to Sister and her cat, Golliwag (Golly), all the fox hounds and foxes who all talk to each other. It adds to the story.

I so enjoy this series as well as another one of her series, Mrs. Murphy's mysteries. When either one of these comes out I will read it until it is finished. Can't wait until the next one.

Thank you NetGalley and Ballantine Books for this ARC.

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Fox hunting, Mysterious Stamps, and Murder

It’s fall and the Jefferson County hunt is eager for the first fox hunt. Unfortunately, the fog is so thick they have to turn back after the first run. Two of the members think they saw a face in the fog, but decide it must have been an illusion. The next day, the illusion becomes a reality when the face turns out to be a murdered man tied to a chair just where the hunt would have found him on a good day. Then the stamp collection of one of the members is stolen. The collection is returned, but one stamp is found on the door of the hunt treasurer before he is attacked.

These incidents are the basis of the mystery, but since no one in the Jefferson Hunt is seriously pursuing clues the incidents fall flat. The main characters, Sister, Betty, Gray, Jane’s husband, and the others discuss the murder and the stamps, but it seems incidental to their talk of the upcoming hunts.

As usual, I enjoyed the animal characters: horses, foxes and dogs. Their lively banter is fun to read. The human characters are well drawn. I always enjoy their conversations about hunting as well as current events. The Virginia country side is beautifully described, and the fox hunts are exciting. However, the mystery seems a bit lacking. I kept waiting for characters to pursue clues instead of having incidents dropped in their laps. I recommend this book as a fun read, particularly if you like animals, but for me it lacked a focus on the mystery.

Thanks to the Random House Group and Net Galley for this review copy.

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Lots of names to remember as the story goes. All the animals talk to each other as the Foxhunts proceed. A body of a man was found sitting tied to a chair beside a road the day after a Hunt, an attempted murder and a Stamp Collection was stolen. Every Foxhunt was described in detail and the crimes were discussed by the riders up until the end when there is a surprise ending!

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This is the fifteenth book in this series and the first book I've read, and I personally think I might have enjoyed this more had I read the other books. I had a hard time connecting with the characters or really caring what was going on with them or really with the mystery at all.

However a lot of others seem to really enjoy this book, and this series and the synopsis really did intrigue me, so I might try and start this series from the beginning and see if that makes me connect with the characters better.

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2604. “Lost & Hound” by Rita Mae Brown * * *
Review of eBook

A dense and persistent fog keeps people home, the birds and the deer are still. The silence is unnerving for Jane Arnold, better known as Sister. Fifteen couples are scheduled for the Jefferson Hunt Club’s foxhunt; however, after one run, the thick fog causes the cancellation of the hunt. Both Ben and Betty think they saw something, but in the thick fog, they dismiss it as an illusion.

The next day, Sam, heading for church, discovers the body. He realizes that, if not for the thick fog, they’d have discovered the body the day before.

Did the murderer want someone in the hunt club to see the body? And who is the victim?


The magnificent descriptions are the highlight of this narrative; whether it’s the setting or the foxhunt, the descriptions are magnificent, propelling the reader into the midst of the scene. It’s clear that the author is well-versed in the sport; conversations between the animals are often delightful.

The characters are well-developed and believable; here in this fifteenth book in the author’s Sister Jane series, all the expected characters are in place. As with previous stories in the series, the friendships and camaraderie between the characters is a highlight of the narrative. The plot offers some surprises, but the mystery feels like a minor plot in the telling of the tale.

An extensive cast of characters precedes the narrative; readers new to the series are likely to find these . . . the humans, the foxhounds, the horses, the red foxes, the gray foxes, the birds, Sister’s house pets . . . helpful in determining who’s who in the telling of the tale. Also provided is a list of useful terms for those unfamiliar with foxhunts. This protracted list may feel a bit daunting to readers new to the series, but the information does help with understanding the unfolding story.


I received a free copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books and NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
#LostHound #NetGalley

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There is some mystery in this book. I liked the animal’s perspective a lot. However, the book was very slow for me. I had a hard time keeping interested in the story. Maybe if I had a better understanding of fox hunting. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

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Rita Mae Brown is a master storyteller and a Master of Foxhounds as well. The protagonist of the Sister Jane series is “Sister” Jane Arnold, MFH. She is the Master who oversees a foxhunting club in North Carolina. As one learns by reading a book from this series, fox hunting is no longer a blood sport, it is all about the thrill of the chase, the joy of horseback riding and the comradery of the members. Even the foxes are as well cared for as the hounds and horses. The owners of all the fixtures, or estates that make up the hunt's territory know where all the dens are located and help put out food for the foxes.

Brown’s love of the sport shines through in all the beautiful descriptions of the territory and the thrilling action of the hunt that are a major part of all the books in this series. The author does a fantastic job of characterization. The recurring characters are well drawn and continue to develop throughout the series. In both this series and her Mrs. Murphy series, the animals are characters that are just as developed as the humans. The reader gets a taste of the conversations between the animals, and the bickering between the dogs and the foxes is quite enjoyable.

In this novel, the first hunt of the season is halted by increasing fog. Sister seems to sense something is out in the fog but shirks it off as fancy. Of course, it wasn’t. When a body is later found on display, it is obvious that it had been left for the hunt to find, had the fog not prevented the discovery. It seemed to have been a message for someone. Later, a member has his stamp collection stolen. Sister is convinced that the mysteries are somehow tied together.

I have always been a fan of Rita Mae Brown. I love her Mrs. Murphy series and usually enjoy the novels in this series. But I was disappointed in this latest book. The mystery story itself was practically nonexistent. The clues were a bit thin on the ground, there were very few scenes about the crimes or solving them. The big reveal at the end was a bit forced and handled in a way that I would expect from a pulp fiction cozy mystery.

The advanced review copy that I received only had 211 pages and the story does not begin until after several pages of character descriptions and fox hunting terms. Most of this short book is spent on descriptions of several fox hunts and discussions about endangered species and attempts to save wildlife. Although I enjoy the hunt descriptions, they were so plentiful that I lost interest and found myself skimming. Although I enjoyed the book, I found myself in hunt of the mystery story. Although Rita Mae Brown’s fans will enjoy the book, it is not the best fit for most mystery readers. However, I would recommend this book to animal lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

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This is book 15 in the “Sister” Jane Mystery Series. This story is one of intrigue when a dead body that is suspected relay a message is left in the path of fox hunters and is tied to a tree. Stolen stamps add another layer of mystery and intrigue, especially when it is learned the victim was also a stamp collector.
There is much detail provided, first in the beginning every person in the story is described in detail, then as the story progressed there was extensive descriptions of the component of the fox hunts. Somehow through all that, I often lost track of main point of the story – the mystery.
Sister Jane, along with her fellow foxhunters set out to discover the message the killer is sending and along the way disturbing clues are discovered. The friendship and commitment among the foxhunters are admirable, however, the story itself got somewhat lost among the vivid descriptions provided.
Anyone knowledgeable and interested in foxhunts or would like to learn about them, will love this book that provides a very descriptive narrative. The mystery itself is captivating, and the motive for the murder was a surprise, however, for me it was a little too heavy on such vivid descriptions of the characters, which I promptly forgot once I started reading the story, and the exacting details of a foxhunt.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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I finished Lost and Hound, a mystery by Rita Mae Brown, with mixed feelings. This installment is the first one I have read of the Sister Jane mysteries, but the fifteenth in the series. It tells of the friendships of the members of a fox hunting group set near Charlottesville and an adjacent murder mystery. There are positives to me, including the Virginia setting, the chance to learn about modern fox hunting, and the sweetness of the human characters. Yet I was let down by other points in the novel. First, the unrealistic animals characters that spoke to each other throughout the book. It was interesting to hear the “voices” of the thoughts of dogs, foxes and horses which were impacted by the hunts but it was a weird transition from the human characters. It felt a bit like filler as their conversations did nothing for the mystery. Second, the lack of meat in the mystery itself. Although the characters were involved in the research and solving it, the mystery itself seemed like a part time hobby. The clues and connections to what was going on were too few and far between. At this point, readers of the whole series may be happy with just updates on the fox hunting group. I would consider this a cozy mystery surrounding a group of friends with a lot more to their lives. Thank you to Netgalley for a chance to read this earc, in exchange for an honest review.

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Sister Jane and the talking animals are back in this tale of murder, stolen stamps, and trading in exotic reptiles. Oh, and the fox hunt. As this series grows, it becomes more challenging to recommend new installments as standalone because of the large (really large) cast of human and animal characters. That said, there is as always a list of the players at the beginning, which helps tremendously. Fans also know that the mystery- in this case the identity of the murderer and the thief (are they the same?)-is often less interesting than the hunt and, let's be honest, the conversation between the animals. You might not be surprised but you will be entertained. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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It's cubbing season at the Jefferson Hunt Club. It's a busy time as they test the younger hounds, prepare for the upcoming season, and discuss possible fundraising ideas but it also a fun time. However, when a dead body is found in an unusual situation, the fun turns to worry as it seems some of the hunt club members are being targeted.

I'm always torn with this series. On the one hand, I love the characters. Brown has a knack for dialogue in that it doesn't just convey information to move the plot along, but it gives a real feel to the characters. On the other hand, I don't actually agree with foxhunting. I know they don't kill the fox anymore, but I still feel like they are harassing a wild animal for their enjoyment.

I've only read 4 of the 15 books in this series. I feel like I could be friends with these characters and I'm sure people who have reading this series for longer feel like they are getting together with old friends when they pick up a new book.

I like it when the books I'm reading follow the same season as I'm in. I started this book on September 30 and the story begins on October 1. This "real time" adds to the feeling that these are real people.

I find it interesting that the murder mystery is kind of secondary. I've felt this with the other books in the series that I've read, too. They speculate and try to figure things out, but they don't go around questioning people or any of the other things that a typical sleuth would do. But that doesn't make the story any less fun.

The series provides a lot of historical information as well as details on various other topics. In this book. they are interested in wildflowers that attract bees and butterflies, but they are also concerned about other wildlife.

For all the information provided, I wish it had been mentioned that in Virginia a person can own a box turtle taken from the wild for personal use but only 1. Sister and Betty pick up a box turtle from the side of the road. I had to look up Virginia's rules because in my state (Georgia) you have to have a permit to have a box turtle and then it is usually only because the animal can't be returned to the wild (at the nature preserve I worked at we had a box turtle with a damaged shell).

There is another error that rubbed me the wrong way (it's a common mistake that people make) but it might have been a subtle plot point.

Overall, this is an enjoyable fall cozy mystery. If you are looking for great characters then you definitely should get this book.

My review will be published at Girl Who Reads on Wednesday -

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Early in the hunting season, a body is placed, tied to a chair, right in the path of the hunt. Sister Jane and her fellow foxhunters want to know just what message the killer is trying to send as they take care of the normal knotty problems in keeping their hunt club in good shape, physically and financially. Sister and her friends find clues and find the culprit; just a little closer than they would like!
I love the wonderful descriptions of the hunt. It makes me feel like I am there racing behind the hounds and taking the jumps. (I have never actually jumped on a horse; just trotted on the flat meadow, and I am too old to start now.)
Another great thing about this series is that we hear the animals' conversations. The dog and fox insults are really funny.
The recurring characters continue to develop and the new people are well sketched. Of course, Sister Jane is my favorite!
Great addition to the series.

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Sister Jane is back in book 15 of the Sister Jane series. I liked this story. It didn't get as political as some of Rita Mae Brown's books. It did deal with the problem of selling reptiles and snakes on the black market which I didn't realize was such a big market. My favorite things about this series is how the Horses and dogs all talk to each other. The book is about fox hunting in Virginia and gives insight into the tradition and rules.

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This is the fifteenth book in the "Sister" Jane series by Rita Mae Brown. I've read many of her books and always enjoy a little mystery with the fox hunting group.

Early fall in Virginia means shorter days, cooler temperatures, the blooming milkweeds of summer giving way to fields of fluffy seeds—and of course, the start of fox hunting season. It’s “Sister” Jane Arnold’s favorite time of year. And this year, the Jefferson Hunt Club is busier than ever, organizing a fundraising drive to help with the upkeep of their beloved hunting grounds.

But the festive season is interrupted by the appearance of a dead body, tied to a chair and placed directly in the path of an early-season hunt. No one recognizes the victim, but the intentional placement makes it clear that someone is sending a message. Then, one huntsman’s valuable stamp collection is stolen, and they discover the victim was also a stamp collector. Sister suspects a connection, which is confirmed when just one stamp is found taped to the garage door of her friend and treasurer of the hunt club Ronnie Haslip. Could Ronnie have been involved in either the murder or the theft, or has he been marked as the next victim? Sister must uncover who has been sending these cryptic signs to her friends—before any of them wind up dead.

My Thoughts:
I didn't enjoy this one as much as I have many of Rita Mae Brown's books. There just didn't seem to be much of story here. Yes, there is a mystery, but for some reason I just couldn't get into this one. I did enjoy, as always with her books, the animal characters interspersed thorughout the book. The first 10% of the book was a list of the characters with a description of each one. Unfortunately
by the time I get into the story I've forgotten who each character is and how they are related to the others in the book. Luckily there is enough description through the prose to fit everyone together. I enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie among the fox hunting group and how they always seem to be there for each other and truly care.

Thanks to Ballantine Books through Netgalley for an advance copy. This book will be published on October 24, 2023.

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